Swiss post: Digital health is part of our digital strategy
Interview with Laurent Christe, Senior Engagement Manager at Swiss Post
Swiss Post has historically focused on postal services. Why is the company investing in digital health?
Swiss Post aims to achieve growth in a targeted way in our traditional core competencies of logistics and communication, which include digital communication and digital health.
Swiss Post has been investing in digital health for a long time. In the beginning – more than ten years ago – we worked with the canton of Geneva on Mon Dossier Medical, the first electronic health record available to the patient–citizen. Our Digital Health Business Unit was then created in 2015 – as a department of Post CH Communication SA, a subsidiary company of Swiss Post – and now employs 36 people.
Today, digital health is part of the digital strategy of Swiss Post. Its key activities include operating a platform for accessing electronic patient records (in accordance with the Swiss law EPRA - Federal Act on the Electronic Patient Record); B2B services for healthcare professionals; B2C services connecting healthcare professionals and patients; and the delivery of IT services to healthcare professionals.
Could you briefly outline your role in the company?
As Senior Engagement Manager, I am responsible for maintaining and developing Swiss Post’s relationships with its current healthcare sector customers, particularly those active in Romandie. As Sales Manager, I am responsible for coordinating and planning the sales strategy for our services and developing our market.
Biopôle is Swiss Post’s first location in western Switzerland. How do you think Swiss Post’s Digital Health Business Unit will benefit from this new location?
Our digital health team is currently located in Bern (Wankdorf), Zurich (Oerlikon) and – as off 2021 – at Biopôle. We chose Biopôle for its community of innovation enterprises in both the healthcare sector and the life sciences in general. The proximity to these companies stimulates our own developments in digital health. Also, being close to our current and future customers represents a huge advantage when developing our services for the digital health market.
What are the services/products that you hope to deliver in the future?
We will deliver more B2B and B2C services in the healthcare sector. In addition to the electronic patient record platform that is available for our customers in Switzerland, we also offer a host of B2B services, including e-report transfer, e-image data management, e-transfer/referral, virtual visits and the teamplay myCare Companion.
Other services are in the pipeline and will be ready to go to market in 2023. To deliver them, Swiss Post is collaborating with big and small lead companies in the digital health sector.
What type of collaboration with local start-ups and larger companies are you looking for? What can companies expect from a collaboration with your department?
The aim is to be more familiar with the products and services developed in the life sciences sector and to develop some synergies with companies working in that sector. Companies collaborating with Swiss Post would get the opportunity to deliver their own services on our platform. And, although it isn’t our primary objective, we have already collaborated with research institutions located in the university hospitals.
With over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, Laurent Christe joined Swiss Post in 2017, serving as Senior Engagement Manager in Digital Health. Prior to that, he was the CEO of two public hospitals in western Switzerland and worked as a consultant in the healthcare sector. With a proven track record in structure and cost optimisation, Laurent is a high-performing and innovative executive.
As a diversified company, Swiss Post operates in the communication, logistics, retail financial and passenger transport markets. Within the communication market, its services include delivery of letters and newspapers, direct marketing, and information and document solutions. In logistics, it operates in Switzerland and internationally as a parcels, courier and express service provider, and provides tailored and comprehensive logistics solutions. In retail finance its subsidiary PostFinance Ltd offers extensive services for payment transactions, savings, investments, retirement planning and financing solutions, and has had a banking licence since 2013. In the public passenger transport market its subsidiary PostBus Switzerland Ltd operates regional, municipal and urban bus services. Swiss Post operates in approximately 25 countries. The company employs more than 55,000 members of staff worldwide and generated turnover of over CHF 7.1 billion in 2020.