Project

Back to overview

Tracking of Urgent Risks in Swiss Travellers (TOURIST) to improve travel advice in Swiss travel clinics

English title Tracking of Urgent Risks in Swiss Travellers (TOURIST) to improve travel advice in Swiss travel clinics
Applicant Bühler Silja
Number 166524
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Tropical Medicine
Start/End 01.04.2017 - 31.03.2021
Approved amount 380'701.00
Show all

All Disciplines (6)

Discipline
Tropical Medicine
Accidents
Cardiovascular Diseases
Mental Disorders, Psychosomatic Diseases
Infectious Diseases
Respiratory Diseases

Keywords (8)

health risk; elderly travellers; travel medicine; chronic diseased travellers; mHealth technology; infectious diseases; TRAVEL app; non-infectious health risks

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Reisemedizin fokussiert sich hauptsächlich auf Infektionskrankheiten und Impfungen. Andere bedeutende reise-assoziierte Risiken werden dabei häufig vernachlässigt. Das Projekt leistet einen Beitrag, um die wenig erforschten nicht-infektiösen Reiserisiken zu untersuchen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Das Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention, Universität Zürich, hat zusammen mit der ETH Zürich eine TRAVEL App entwickelt, die auf den Smartphones von Reisenden installiert werden kann. Mit Hilfe dieser App werden täglich Daten zu Risikoverhalten und Gesundheitsproblemen sowie mittels GPS umfangreiche Daten zu Reiseroute und Umweltfaktoren erfasst.

Das Hauptziel ist es verschiedene Risikoprofile der Reisenden zu erstellen. Diese setzen sich aus Persönlichkeitsmerkmalen, Reiseroute, Risikoverhalten, Reiseaktivitäten und Umweltrisikofaktoren zusammen. Ein besonderer Fokus dieses Projekts liegt auf älteren Reisenden und Personen mit chronischen Erkrankungen, da diese Gruppen einen zunehmenden Anteil an Reisenden darstellen. Weitere Ziele beinhalten die Quantifizierung und Charakterisierung von Gesundheitsproblemen; zudem werden Zusammenhänge zwischen spezifischen Risikoprofilen und Gesundheitsproblemen ermittelt, um eine verbesserte Beratung und Betreuung zu erarbeiten.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Die Schweizer unternehmen 10 Mio. Reisen jährlich, wovon ca. 1,5 Mio. in tropische/subtropische Destinationen führen. Dabei erleiden 70% der Reisenden Gesundheitsprobleme. Wir erwarten, dass unsere Forschung die reisemedizinische Beratung verbessert, zu einer Reduzierung reise-assoziierter Gesundheitsprobleme, Hospitalisierungen und Repatriierungen führt, und damit hoffentlich zu erfreulichen Reisen beiträgt.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.03.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
TOURIST2 – Tracking of urgent risks in swiss travellers to the 6 main travel destinations – Feasibility and ethical considerations of a smartphone application-based study
Baroutsou Vasiliki, Hatz Christoph, Blanke Ulf, Haile Sarah R., Fehr Jan, Neumayr Andreas, Puhan Milo A., Bühler Silja (2021), TOURIST2 – Tracking of urgent risks in swiss travellers to the 6 main travel destinations – Feasibility and ethical considerations of a smartphone application-based study, in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 39, 101912-101912.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Swiss TPH; Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
A presentation to the physicians of 'SUVA' in Lucerne Individual talk Travel risks 04.06.2021 lucerne, Switzerland Hatz Christoph;
CISTM17 Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine Talk given at a conference Tracking Travelers. Advances in Use of Mobile Health Technology During Travel. 19.05.2021 virtual, Malaysia Farnham Andrea;
University Centers Hamburg Eppendorf Fortbildung Individual talk Tracking of Urgent Risks in Swiss Travelers - an ongoing App-based study .... 15.05.2019 Hamburg, Germany Bühler Silja;
Bernhard Nocht Institut Fortbildungsreihe Individual talk Tracking of Urgent Risks in Swiss Travelers - an ongoing App-based study .... 05.09.2018 Hamburg, Germany Bühler Silja;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
173043 Investigating the interplay of job exposures, ambient air pollution and living environment as drivers of the chronic lung disease epidemic The Large-scale LuftiBus-SNC Cohort 01.01.2018 Project funding (special)
192653 Infection Tracking in Travellers (ITIT) 01.10.2020 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Travel medicine advice focuses mainly on infectious disease and vaccinations. Other risks related to traveling (e.g. accident risk) are largely neglected, although they occur more often and may have severe health consequences. Data on non-infectious disease risks in travellers are limited. In addition, previous research in this field suffers from two important limitations: studies are typically based on retrospective analyses of travellers and are therefore constrained by recall bias; they also collect only a limited number of variables and do not record detailed information on the influence of underlying health disorders, traveller’s individual behaviour and environmental factors. New mobile Health (mHealth) technology creates an opportunity to approach travel medicine research in a different way, expanding our understanding of risks to travellers and improving advice offered in Swiss travel clinics and ultimately world-wide. Using mHealth technology, the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI), University of Zurich, developed a TRAVEL app in collaboration with the Wearable Computing Lab, ETH Zurich. This app can be installed on travellers’ smartphones. It allows overcoming the limitations described above to a large extent: (i) using simple daily questionnaires, data on risk behaviour and health events of travellers can be collected without recall bias; (ii) using GPS, comprehensive data, especially detailed information on the travel itinerary and on environmental information (e.g. local weather conditions) are obtained. The TRAVEL app was successfully pretested in 100 travellers to Thailand (TOURIST phase I) seeking pre-travel advice at the travel clinic at EBPI and at the travel clinic of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. Using this newly developed technology, our proposed research will concentrate on Swiss travellers to five major destinations in tropical and subtropical countries. The primary objective of our study is to identify distinct risk profiles among travellers based on the risk factor variables collected by questionnaires before, during, and after travel using cluster analysis. These risk profiles are constituted by personal characteristics (incl. age and pre-existing health disorders), travel itinerary, risk behaviours and activities during travel and environmental risk factors. Our secondary objectives are set to characterise and numerate the health outcomes of travellers and to detect relationships between specific risk profiles and health outcomes during travel. Beyond expanding our knowledge on infectious disease risks, our main aim is to improve the understanding of poorly assessed and underestimated health threats such as accidents, injury, and mental health outcomes. In addition, we will consider the travel risks specific to elderly travellers and travellers with chronic conditions as these two groups represent an increasing subset of travellers. We expect that our research will improve travel health advice by informed recommendations for practical preventive measures, resulting in a reduction of health problems, hospitalisations and repatriations. These measures may further save lives and resources, and will hopefully contribute to enjoyable trips.
-