The Science of Pandemic Technology

Co-Hosted with The Big Data Institute at The University of Oxford


April 2021 Seminar

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 6 PM CET



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The SwissCovid App:

Where do we stand after 10 months of operation?

The SwissCovid app was released in Switzerland on May 25, 2020 as the world’s first exposure notification app issued by a governmental public health authority. In this talk, we will briefly cover the beginnings and design decisions of the underlying protocol. We will then present the experiences gained during the first 10 months of SwissCovid operation. Specific topics touched upon in this part include the monitoring system and key performance indicators, the strategy and results of effectiveness analyses, as well as challenges (especially during the second pandemic wave) and resulting performance adjustments. The third presentation part provides an outlook of ongoing and planned extensions such as the integration of the crowdNotifier protocol for decentralized presence tracing.

Meet The Speakers


Viktor von Wyl

Viktor holds a Master in Biology (University of Basel) and a PhD in  Epidemiology (ETH Zurich). He has worked as an epidemiologist for HIV cohorts at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C , the University Hospital Zurich and the University College London.

In 2014, Viktor joined the University of Zurich as Director of the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Registry. In April 2020 he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Digital and Mobile Health. Viktor also serves as a member of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force Digital Epidemiology group and leads the digital follow-up cohort of the Swiss Corona Immunitas seroprevalence project.


Marcel Salathé

Marcel is a digital epidemiologist working at the interface of health and computer science. Educated at the University of Basel and ETH Zurich, he’s worked at Stanford and Penn State University before joining EPFL as Associate Professor in 2015. In 2020, Marcel led the digital epidemiology group of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force and co-authored the DP-3T and CrowdNotifier protocols for digital contact tracing.



Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs

Joanna Masel, PhD

Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona

Luca Ferretti, PhD

Senior Researcher in Statistical Genetics and Pathogen DynamicsBig Data Institute, The University of Oxford

Watch the previous seminars on-demand

The Science of Pandemic Technology Seminar Series is dedicated to showcasing the latest and best available scientific research to inform digital health innovation for COVID response. Subscribe to learn more about upcoming events and join the Science of Pandemic Technology community.

Topics for future presentations and panel discussions

Contributors to this series include some of the leading experts in exposure science, epidemiology, virology, public health, infectious disease, Bluetooth technology, pathogen dynamics, health communications, behavioral economics, privacy, cybersecurity and digital health innovation.

EN Technology

Evaluating the efficacy of digital proximity tracing and exposure notification apps

Risk Scoring Models

Protocols for establishing risk thresholds for exposure notifications

Health Communication

Effective communications strategies to drive app adoption, foster public trust, and promote behavior change

When to Quarantine

Cost-benefit analysis of quarantine guidelines

Ethics & Health Equity

Ethical frameworks and health equity considerations for pandemic technology innovation

Exposure Science

Microbial exposure science of modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Implications for risk assessment and prevention

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