BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine

BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine

The BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine combines the research and development activities of various institutes. The aim is to share expertise with industrial partners and to expedite innovation.


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The BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine carries out research and development in the field of micro-technology – in line with economic trends and for the benefit of mankind. The activities focus on the fields of application of competitive sports, prevention, rehabilitation and medical technology.

Engineers from different disciplines, doctors, health and psychology specialists and training managers from the field of competitive sports work together on the following challenges:


  • Developing high-quality and user-friendly possible solutions for practical use on the basis of interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Researching technologies and procedures for implementing innovative and marketable products for SMEs, medical practices, hospitals and sports associations.


The aim is to boost, maintain or regain the physical and coordinative capacity of people in their everyday lives, working lives, or in sports. The BFH Centre pools the currently existing collaboration between various institutions:

Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM
Institute for Human Centered Engineering HuCE
Institute for Rehabilitation and Performance Technology IRPT
Department of Health Professions


The BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine is integrated in a network of national and international research institutions, industry, hospitals and group practices. It acts as an active connective link between fundamental research and practice.


The BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine is always open to projects and partnerships with additional partners and will be pleased to receive your enquiry.


Application fields

Competitive sports
The field of competitive sports is developing rapidly: As a result of increased marketing via the media, ever more resources are becoming available in this field. Pre-competition preparation of athletes is also becoming increasingly professional as the result of new technologies. Interdisciplinary project groups are developing relevant and innovative approaches to supporting competitive sports.
Eidgenössische Hochschule für Sport EHSM (Swiss School of Sports)


Prevention and rehabilitation
Maintaining fitness is crucial for health and well-being. However, people with severe disabilities only have limited possibilities for physical activity. Successful transfer of methods from competitive sports to neurological rehabilitation helps affected persons to develop their full potential. In conjunction with industrial partners and clinics, interdisciplinary teams develop rehabilitation methods, training and diagnostic devices which serve to improve general fitness or to stimulate muscles.

Institute for Rehabilitation and Performance Technology IRPT

Department of Health Professions of the BFH


Medical technology
Engineering and medical expertise make it possible to work on challenging projects in the fields of diagnosis and therapy. One focus is on research into and development of diagnostic devices, for example in the fields of ophthalmology and electro-physiology. Systems designed for research into short-sightedness and long-term measurement of heart signals are implemented here. A further focus is on research into and development of therapy devices.

Institute for Human Centered Engineering HuCE




At the BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine, experts from the fields of science and engineering research and develop technologies and procedures in close collaboration with end-users in the fields of competitive sports and medicine.

Microelectronics, signal processing and hardware algorithms
Possible solutions in terms of sensor and scanning technology and signal processing methods, including extracting striking features from vital signals for predicting neuro-cardiovascular conditions.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering -  microLab


Image processing, computer perception and virtual reality as well as haptics
Analysis of image and video data, visualisation of three-dimensional data and interaction in virtual space – for application in medical image analysis and machine vision for industry.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering - cpvrLab

Biomedical engineering
Expertise and experience in integrating various technologies (mechanics and design, electronics, sensors, signal processing, algorithms, and software) to develop, improve, and test medical devices together with clinical and commercial partners.
Institute for Human Centered Engineering - BMELab


Optics and optical coherence tomography
tomography With the focus on optical coherence tomography (OCT), development of spectral domain OCT systems with state-of-the-art optical components and laser systems, implementation of feasibility studies and test measurements, expertise in optomechanical and optoelectronic design.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering - optoLab


Sensor technology and sensor networks
Design and deployment of sensors and signal evaluation for innovative applications in sports, health and medicine.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering - scienceLab

Mathematical modelling and data analysis
Expertise in mathematical modelling, sensor technology, physical fundamentals and numerical and statistical data analysis. Research is carried out into applications of numerical simulations (FEM), modelling and data analyses in the field of medical technology and instrument manufacturing.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering - scienceLab

Expertise in the field of intelligent image- and laser-based perception, motion planning and collision prevention of kinematics and development of mobile mechatronic systems.
Institut for Human Centered Engineering - roboticsLab

Motion science and biomechanics
The portfolio includes qualitative and quantitative research methods and all current neuromuscular and biomechanical measurement systems, test theories, statistics, epidemiology as well as systematic reviews and meta analyses.
Department of Health Professions

Reference projects

At the BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine, around 100 scientific staff and engineers, doctors, doctoral candidates and lecturers work in the fields of application-oriented research and development. The following reference projects provide an idea of their activities.

Body sensor network system
Recording and evaluating motion data enables both athletes and coaches to work in targeted fashion on realising their full potential and improving their performance on a long-term basis.

Berner Business Creation | Publikumslieblinge

Eye tracking in sports
Eye tracking systems analyse pupil movements and combine these with a scenic image in order to make the course of gaze of the carrier visible. The purpose of eye tracking systems suitable for sports is to develop a suitable measurement technology for analysis of gaze behaviour and to facilitate widespread use in sports practice.

Lokomat: Robot for gait rehabilitation
Gait rehabilitation robots make fitness training possible for severely disabled persons. During a randomised controlled trial, it was possible to observe a considerable and rapid increase in the fitness of severely impaired stroke patients who trained on a Lokomat system enhanced with biofeedback and regulation systems.

Recumbent bicycle
Functional electro-stimulation enables people who have become paralysed due to spinal cord injuries to drive a recumbent bicycle with their own muscle power and thereby strengthen heart, lungs and muscles.

To generate a rapid alarm in the case of a fall incident or an emergency situation, a sensor has been developed which records acceleration data close to the body's centre of gravity. The watertight and rechargeable sensor node is fixed to the thorax with a skin-friendly plaster and transmits the readings to a smartphone which then transfers these to an algorithm.

Early myopia diagnostics
Intensive and prolonged close work increasingly leads to a pathological imbalance between the refraction power of the eye and its length. With the new optical coherence tomography system, progression of the disease can be monitored, and use of special contact lenses designed to counteract myopia can be prescribed. The aim is to obtain a deeper understanding of the growth processes in the eye and a sustained improvement in visual function without risky medicinal intervention or surgery.

Repair of mitral valves
Heart valve defects are among the most frequent causes of heart failure. Together with an industrial partner, specialists research medical devices for heart valve repair which are less invasive and easier to operate – with excellent results for patients. 

Hand and arm amputations are traumatic events which have a long-term negative impact on quality of life. Patients have not been able to feel objects with the prosthetic devices available to date. The objective of the WiseSkin project is to develop a sensor skin for tactile prosthetic devices with a view to regaining a sense of touch.

Oesophagus ECG
Tens of thousands of people in Switzerland suffer from cardiac palpitations which are diagnosed by electrocardiogram (ECG). In collaboration with doctors, engineers are thus developing long-term ECG catheters for improved diagnosis possibilities.

Services offered

The BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine carries out services for SMEs, medical practices, hospitals and sports associations – on a technically well-founded, application-oriented and innovative basis.

Research and development
Working in partnership with industry, the BFH Centre plans, coordinates and implements research development projects at national and international levels.
further information


Services for third parties – from prototype to series
In collaboration with project partners, the BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine develops functional and laboratory samples and produces everything from prototypes suitable for industrial application to whole series in-house.
further information

Fostering of spin-off and start-up companies
The BFH Centre facilitates access to laboratory infrastructures for spin-off and start-up companies. The STI Foundation also supports projects with technological innovation potential on the basis of loans and coaching for young entrepreneurs.
Fostering of start-up companies
Start-up companies

Training of qualified young professionals
Qualification of skilled workers is promoted at appropriate levels with bachelor and master degree courses and further training programmes. As a result of close links with research, new findings and developments are quickly incorporated into teaching, thus strengthening its practical orientation. With the 'Industry Fellowship Master' programme, the BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine provides the opportunity to employ and train highly qualified students on a project-related basis.

Master of Science in Biomedlcal Engineering
The master degree course in Biomedical Engineering is offered by the medical faculty of the University of Bern in close collaboration with the BFH. The degree course assumes a bridging role between academia and industry and is thus of strategic importance.

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

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Bern University of Applied Sciences
BFH Centre for Technologies in Sports and Medicine
Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne
Aarbergstrasse 5
CH-2560 Nidau-Biel
T +41 031 848 31 90

Prof. Dr Marcel Jacomet
Head of the BFH Centre

Dr Michael Sauter
Deputy Head of the BFH Centre
T + 41 31 848 31 91


Martin Rumo
Deputy Head of the BFH Centre
T + 41 31 848 31 92