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Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care

Tobias Kowatsch

Tobias Kowatsch, Professor


Tobias Kowatsch holds a PhD in Management (University of St.Gallen, 2016), a Master’s in Business Informatics (Saarland University, 2012), a Master’s in Media and Computer Science (Hochschule Furtwangen, 2007), and a Diploma (FH) in Computer Science (Hochschule Furtwangen, 2005). After his successful habilitation in 2021, he was also awarded the degree of a private lecturer with the “venia legendi” in Information Systems with a special focus on Digital Health (University of St.Gallen, 2022).

Since 2013, Dr Kowatsch is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Digital Health Interventions, a joint initiative of the Department of Management, Technology and Economics at ETH Zurich and the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen. In this role and in close collaboration with his interdisciplinary team and research partners, Tobias designs digital health interventions (“digital pills”) for the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases at the intersection of information systems research, computer science and behavioural medicine.

In 2014, Dr Kowatsch helped initiate MobileCoach, an open-source software platform for digital biomarker and health intervention research. He still participates in the ongoing development of MobileCoach and applies the platform in various research projects and teaching.

Since 2015, Tobias is also the Scientific Director of the CSS Health Lab, a joint initiative of the Chair of Information Management at ETH Zurich and the Chair of Operations Management at the University of St.Gallen. The CSS Health Lab aims at improving the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases with ubiquitous technology.

In 2017, Dr Kowatsch co-founded the ETH Zurich and University of St.Gallen spin-off Pathmate Technologies which creates and delivers digital health interventions for the management of non-communicable diseases. For example, manoa is a digital health intervention for individuals with hypertension. Since 2017, Tobias is also a Scientific Advisory Board member of Pathmate Technologies.

In August 2018 Tobias was appointed Assistant Professor for Digital Health at the University of St.Gallen.

Since March 2020, Dr Kowatsch is the Lead Principal Investigator (ETH Zurich) of the Mobile Health Intervention Module that is part of the Future Health Technologies Programme (FHT). FHT develops a mobile digital health technology concept to transform healthcare toward a patient-centric model. It is a programme of the Singapore-ETH Centre, established by ETH Zurich and Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF), as part of NRF’s Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE).

From March to July 2021, Dr Kowatsch was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.

In August 2022, Dr Kowatsch was appointed Associate Professor for Digital Health Interventions at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich. Sincel then, he also joined the board of directors of the School of Medicine at the University of St.Gallen.

Professor Tobias Kowatsch on ORCID


Google Scholar

Which Components of a Smartphone Walking App Help Users to Reach Personalized Step Goals? Results From an Optimization Trial
Journal of Medical Internet Research 02/2021:
Conversational Agents as Mediating Social Actors in Chronic Disease Management Involving Health Care Professionals, Patients, and Family Members: Multisite Single-Arm Feasibility Stud
Breathing as an Input Modality in a Gameful Breathing Training App (Breeze 2): Development and Evaluation Study
Elsevier, Academic Press 2023:
Digital Therapeutics for Mental Health and Addiction. The State of the Science and Vision for the Future
Association for Computing Machinery 08/2023:
Detecting Receptivity for mHealth Interventions
Association for Computing Machinery 05/2024:
Predicting Early User Churn in a Public Digital Weight Loss Intervention

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