Academy

02.12.2021

Avoid intensive care surge in order to prevent triage decisions

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The Covid-19 pandemic is once more leading to critically high levels of occupancy in intensive care units. The Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SSICM) and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) call for stricter measures and solidarity.

The increase in numbers of cases and the high levels of occupancy in intensive care units is worrisome. Patients are being transferred regionally, and at times also outside the canton. There is also a significant increase in the number of hospitalizations in regions that have been less affected so far. Triage decisions cannot be ruled out in the near future. In a joint media release, the SAMS and SGI call for solidarity, demand stricter measures, and remind of the medical-ethical principles of the triage guidelines.

Download the media release (in French) (PDF)

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Funding

01.12.2021

Young Talents in Clinical Research: 14 grants for young medical doctors

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With the «Young Talents in Clinical Research» programme launched in 2017, the Gottfried and Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation and the SAMS aim at encouraging young medical doctors to start out in clinical research. 14 grants have been awarded among the 33 proposals submitted within the 2021 call.

During the fifth call for proposals – with revised regulations to focus more clearly on the original target audience of the programme – the SAMS evaluation committee proposed to support 14 promising young clinician scientists. The Bangerter Foundation approved the awards for a total of CHF 1 million. You can find the list of grantees and supported projects in the synopsis below (PDF). The next YTCR call will be opened at the end of March 2022.

Synopsis of grantees (PDF)

Link to the programme

Ethics

29.11.2021

Consultation: Guidelines on the collaboration of the medical profession with industry

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Collaboration between healthcare professionals and industry has long been established, contributes to medical progress, and is fundamentally in the interest of good healthcare. At the same time, it can entail dependencies and lead to conflicts of interest. The SAMS addresses this issue in the guidelines «Collaboration between the medical profession and industry». These guidelines have been updated and are open for public consultation until 25 February 2022.

A broad-based subcommittee of the SAMS Central Ethics Committee has updated the guidelines from 2013. The new title «Collaboration between healthcare professionals, responsible persons in healthcare organisations and industry» shows that the scope of the guidelines no longer focuses on the medical profession, but concerns all healthcare professionals. Interested organisations and individuals are invited to comment. Further information and the documents for the statement can be found on our website.

Link to the consultation

SPHN

25.11.2021

SPHN and the university hospitals renew the collaboration agreements

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) sees itself as a supporting partner of the university hospitals. In addition to developing research infrastructures, SPHN aims to promote better, more personalized patient care. In order to build upon the achievements of the first funding period (2017 – 2020), the collaboration agreements between SPHN and the university hospitals have been renewed until 2024.

At the beginning of 2018, SPHN and the five university hospitals signed collaboration agreements for building interoperable clinical data management systems. Thereby, the foundation was laid for the close cooperation between SPHN and the hospitals to support nationwide research with health-related data within the framework of the initiative. In order to seamlessly continue the collaboration, SPHN and the university hospitals renewed the agreements in mid-November 2021 for another three years. They include annual milestones, joint monitoring and a regular updating of the objectives. More information about SPHN can be found on our dedicated page.

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Academy

23.11.2021

Consultation on the Swiss Citizen Science Principles

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The concept of Citizen Science refers to research projects in which scientists and citizens work together. As part of the Citizen Science 2021-2024 initiative, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have contributed to developing Citizen Science Principles for Switzerland. You are invited to taking part in the consultation on the document.

Various organisations have drafted a proposal that is adapted to Switzerland. The text is based on existing guidelines, in particular the European Citizen Science Principles (2015) and the Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (2021). The consultation period runs until 15 December 2021.

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SPHN

17.11.2021

New tool for data query at the five university hospitals

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The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is committed to enabling FAIR* and responsible use of health data. To support researchers with the planning of their studies, the SPHN Data Coordination Center (DCC) has implemented a Federated Query System (FQS) for feasibility analyses in collaboration with the five university hospitals. The FQS allows researchers to check whether and which patient data may be available at the university hospitals to answer specific research questions.

Query systems that allow researchers to search for specific patient data have so far been restricted to individual hospitals or clinics and have not yielded cross-institutional results. With the implementation of the new FQS, the DCC together with the university hospitals succeeded to harmonize and standardize anonymized clinical information so that it can be accessed and analyzed across institutions via a common user interface, while strictly complying with data protection, ethical and legal regulations. More information can be found in the SAMS’ newsletter published today.

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Publications

08.11.2021

What role did science play in managing the Covid-19 pandemic?

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A study conducted by PD Dr. Alexandra Hofmänner mandated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences examines science advice to policy during the Covid-19 pandemic in Switzerland. The publication documents events, contexts and framework conditions and presents six options for future action.

In what way did the Swiss experience differ from selected other countries? Where is there a need for action in the future? To answer these questions, the study is based on extensive comparative literature research and nearly 40 interviews with stakeholders from science, politics, public administration and the media. The analysis provides both, insight and outlook, aiming to learn for future crises. Details can be found in the PDF and on the website of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Download the report (PDF)

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Academy

14.10.2021

No to a ban on animal and human experimentation

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On 13 February 2022, the federal popular initiative for a ban on animal and human experimentation will be put to the vote. Acceptance of this initiative would prevent biomedical research and new medical treatments. At stake are the high quality of healthcare and responsible research in Switzerland.

Together with the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, swissuniversities and other scientific institutions, the SAMS recommends to reject the initiative. More information can be found on our website.

Further information