New OR-X research and teaching center officially opened

Prof. Fürnstahl giving his presentation to guests in OR-X

OR-X research and teaching center officially opened

Balgrist University Hospital has opened OR-X (Operating Room X), its new surgical research and teaching center. In attendance at the opening were guests from the world of politics, healthcare, industry and medicine.

At the heart of the OR-X are the fully-equipped operating room and a Skills Lab, which offers an ideal environment for developing surgical innovations and training the surgeons of tomorrow. As the strategic infrastructure of University Medicine Zurich (UMZH), the OR-X supports academic research and plays a critical role in the further development of healthcare in the Zurich region.


Over 250 guests on two days

  • Government Councillor Dr. Silvia Steiner visiting the OR-X festivities at Balgrist University Hospital.
Over 250 guests on two days

On 24 and 25 August, Balgrist University Hospital celebrated the opening of its tenth operating room (Operating Room X, in short: OR-X). Over 250 invited guests took the opportunity to visit the room with its modern technical equipment and listen to the speeches from Rita Fuhrer, President of the Balgrist Association, Mazda Farshad and Thomas Huggler, the Hospital Directors, Martin Hirzel, President of Swissmem, and Philipp Fürnstahl, one of the OR-X co-founders.

Yet the new OR-X will never see patients. It is a national research infrastructure and the surgical teaching and research center at Balgrist University Hospital. It combines a realistic infrastructure with the latest technology and is accessible to national and international experts. The heart of OR-X is a fully-equipped operating room that was designed for the surgical research and training of tomorrow. It’s a place where new technologies are developed, experienced surgeons receive further training and future surgeons are trained.

The X not only stands for the number 10, but also the great potential that this digitalized research infrastructure offers. Teaching is performed without any direct contact to patients and using 3D-printed models, simulators and human preparations. The direct integration into a clinic and the connection to the existing research environment is unique. The technical highlights include intraoperative artificial intelligence (AI), navigation systems, operating robots and applications supported by augmented reality (AR).

With its six surgical workstations, the Skills Lab provides the perfect conditions for conducting training and larger research experiments with several participants.

Impressions from the OR-X opening

Together with many guests from medicine, academia, politics, healthcare and public, we ceremonially opened the OR-X on August 24 and 25, 2023.

Further Information

About OR-X
OR-X (Operating Room X) is a state-of-the-art infrastructure for surgical research and education based on the latest technology. It will simplify surgical education without placing unnecessary burdens on patients. Researchers can develop and validate new technologies and innovations more efficiently.

For further information, contact
Gregor Lüthy, Head of Communications, Balgrist University Hospital
+41 44 386 14 15 / kommunikation(at)