Walter Karlen

Creating adaptive bio-medical systems for global health

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich. Since Oktober 2014 I direct the Mobile Health Systems Lab

I was a researcher and post-doctoral fellow for mobile health monitoring at the Biomedical Engineering Research Group of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, the Pedriatic Anesthesia Research Team of the Department of Anesthesia of BC Children's Hospital and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. My current research is focused on the automation if medicine at the point-of-care. This includes the smart processing of respiratory (CO2, flow, pressure) photoplethysmography (PPG, SpO2) and electroencephalography (EEG) signals. I was a Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professor Fellow from 2014-2018. Previously, I was holding a fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

I received my M.Sc./Engineering degree in micro-engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in 2005.

I obtained the degree of Docteur ès sciences (PhD) from EPFL in April 2009. My thesis was entitled "Adaptive Wake and Sleep Detection for Wearable Systems".

From 2005 to 2009 I was a research assistant at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems under the direction of Prof. Dario Floreano.

From  2005 to 2009 I was a scientific consultant for physiological monitoring in extreme environments for Solar Impulse S.A., Switzerland. Learn more about Solar Impulse here.

research interests

My research interests include global health, bio-medical signal processing, adaptive systems, human-machine interaction, bio-inspired engineering, wearable and embedded systems, robotic sensors and actuators.


We apply these approaches and technologies in the field of anesthesia, intensive care, respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia), sleep, back pain, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, and dengue fever.

contact address

skype: walter_karlen

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© Walter Karlen, 2008-2019
last update:14.10.2019