Swiss Chinese Life Sciences Forum 2017

Author: Michael Jeive

Upcoming Events

FHNW SSRCC – China Insights Series
11.12.2017 What Next for China? Lessons from the 19th Party Congress
01/02 2018 Intellectual Property Rights
02/03 2018 Digital Channels and Online Marketing in China
04/05 2018 Key International HR Questions for Swiss SMEs in China
Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce – Events
27.10.2017 1st Chinese Market Fair
06.11.2017 SCCC-Luncheon „Doing Business in Switzerland from the Chinese Perspective“
13.11.2017 SCCC-Luncheon „Banking Needs of Swiss Corporates in Asia““

On Friday, 15 September 2017, the first Swiss Chinese Life Sciences Forum attracted close to 200 attendees and speakers to discuss the challenges responses and opportunities in the Chinese health sector especially relating to rapid demographic and social changes in China and digital health in China investigating how mobile and digital technologies are being harnessed to help solve China’s current and future healthcare problems.

The event, jointly organised by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, and the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce was generously hosted by Roche at the global headquarters in Basel.

After welcome speeches from representatives of the organisers and from Mr Christoph Brutschin, State Councillor of the Canton of Basel Stadt, the event moved swiftly to its two core themes.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Chinese Healthcare Sector

In the opening session, moderated by Michael Jeive,  Head of the FHNW’s Swiss SME Research Center China, Laurenz Kellenberger Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer Basilea Pharmaceuticals, Alexander Hardy, Head of Global Product Strategy, Roche Pharma, Dr Christoph Nabholz, Head

© Swiss Chinese Life Siences Forum

R&D Life & Health, Swiss Re Group and Dr Zhang Li from SCC Life Sciences considered how China’s changing demographics including an ageing and  – at the same time increasingly wealthy population – were leading to increasing demand for healthcare services. They noted that recent reforms in the Chinese health insurance system had led to over 95% of the population being covered by basic health insurance, but nonetheless, in many cases China’s citizens were still required to pay substantial additional costs sometimes rising up to 30% of the total treatment bill. Dr Christoph Nabholz introduced an innovative “critical illness insurance” developed by SwissRe that could enable individuals to access advanced treatments for conditions such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. Laurenz Kellenberger Ph.D showed us the rapid development from imitation to innovation within the Chinese pharmaceutical and especially biotech sector as well as describing the recent improvements in the regulatory environment were improving the environment for international companies and making collaboration easier. Alexander Hardy demonstrated China’s economic growth and its openness to investment having positive impacts on the health care sector despite continuing challenges in terms of access to treatment for the rural population and the immense complexity of the system as a whole. Dr Zhang Li joining for the panel discussion, talked about the hospital centric system especially as impacts in concentrating the best quality staff in China’s 1400 tertiary level hospitals and the importance of Traditional Chinese Medicine for large parts of the Chinese population.

The Potential for Digitalisation

The second section focusing on digital health in China brought together Dr. Tim Jaeger, Global Head of Diagnostics Information Solutions at Roche Diagnostics, Michael Frizberg, General Manager of Luye Supply AG and Sandy Johnston from PricewaterhouseCoopers under the moderation of Felix Sutter, President of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Tim Jaeger showed us how data integration and analytics linked to a much more nuanced understanding of disease complexity as well as new diagnostic tools are rapidly changing the way we deal with chronic and non-communicable diseases opening the way towards personalised medicine. Michael Frizberg demonstrated how the integration of digital healthcare apps and devices are changing the way the patients interact with the healthcare system and the data available to medical practitioners while Sandy Johnston focused on how digitalisation is creating an opportunity for China to leapfrog to an ultramodern healthcare system if it can respond to the policy and revenue challenges.

2nd event in 2018

The event was the first in what is planned to be an annual series taking place in Basel with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, and the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce working together each year with major industry players to investigate key themes in the Sino Swiss healthcare landscape. The next event is scheduled for September 2018.


Impressions (Photo Gallery)


Prof. Michael Jeive
Head Swiss SME Research Center China

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