French Season in Romania: e-Health is the future of Health

Newsroom 19/06/2019 | 12:56

Last week, Business Review attended a series of events organized by La villa numeris, a French digital Think Tank, in the framework of the French Season in Romania, designed to foster cooperation between Romanian and French companies in leading digital industries of both countries. The intense and passionate debates led to very interesting visions and good practices explorations.

As Oana Craioveanu, co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub Bucharest, who moderated the conversations said, “e-Health is about looking to the future of Health: how are we going to solve the issues of a growing population on the planet, how are we going to bridge so many gaps?”

The session started with a keynote on Digital Medicine by Dr Cécile Monteil, physician and Medical Director at iLumens, a French simulation and training facility.

“Digital health can help a lot, but some tools are less useful than others. We must have a critical look at what digital health is bringing. Wearables and smartphone apps for instance already help a lot today. For example, connected blood pressure monitors, glucose monitors, electronic diabetes agendas at home are very easy to use, very accessible and very useful. But some devices and apps such as the classifiers are giving useless information. A lot of entrepreneurs and start-ups today create products without knowing the healthcare system. Healthcare actors and innovation entrepreneurs must absolutely work hand in hand to develop the right products. Wearables are great, but access to health data doesn’t necessarily imply changes of behaviours. These won’t come from tech, they will come from people.”

Virtual reality is also very useful for the training of doctors and surgeons. 3D printing allows printing organs of patients who have difficult surgery coming up and extends the accessibility of surgery, surgeons can operate better and faster. It can also allow printing very light and effective casts.

Another very trendy topic is AI in medicine. A lot of media says it’s going to replace all doctors etc. I don’t think so. AI is complementary to doctors and is designed to help them. The first algorithm to be officially authorized is IDX, since 2018 in USA, analysing radiography and detecting diabetic retinopathy.

After men repaired, we can look into the augmented man. Starting with the digital giants (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung…). They invest billions and don’t pay all the taxes they should be paying… They will be offering a lot of health services, but the price for this will be to give up your data. Do we want this?

Given all the futuristic scenarios around us, we must think about the kind of society we want to create. But before we could even one day invent immortality, we must think that we don’t even respect the basic behaviours to prevent death. Our worst enemy is ourselves. Therefore, it is important to question ourselves: “what do want for tomorrow?”

Ion Petrovai –co-founder – Freshblood

“We see a lot of opportunities out there in the eHealth domain, and we believe that the public could be benefiting from if we are able to conduct multidisciplinary work”

Public incentives are a key to encourage progresses and initiatives.

We have been working a lot with start-ups, and recently big healthcare companies in Romania are beginning to give resources and prizes to them.

As a doctor, your software has been formatted to think in a specific way… I believe that in order to secure the development of health innovations, we need to have all stakeholders on equal terms. For example, patient’s empowerment is one of the missing links.  More and more patients know exactly what they need. The challenge is to put everybody at the same table.

One of the KPIs of advanced healthcare innovation is when the local authorities are buying from start-ups.”

Isabelle Hilali – founder & CEO – Datacraft

“The key is to make sure people are talking to each other both in digital and in the Healthcare industry.

First of all, you have to try to focus on what’s your mission. Check first what data you have, then think what’s your mission, and don’t focus on external things.

Start small, learn, and build your project from there.

There is more money than good projects… When you are at early stage, it is difficult to get the right support if you are an eHealth company because funds don’t really know how to assess it.”

David Giblas  – Chief Innovation, Health, Digital, Data & AI Officer et Malakoff Mederic Humanis

“For us, digital, data, AI and start-ups are key. And this is not a question of something fashionable for our annual report, but really a question of how we can secure the delivery of our strategy, and what value we can receive from it. We don’t have a digital or data strategy: we have a business strategy.

We created 2 years ago a team of digital customer experience combined with our eHealth team. We have now more than 100 people dedicated to design and deliver new eHealth services in 4 topics: prevention, optimisation of health journeys, telemedicine, and the monitoring of chronical diseases. We also decided 12 months ago to establish a corporate venture fund of EUR 150 million investing in the start-ups of the Health Industry under the condition that those have to work with us.

It’s a cultural shock for us to work with start-ups, and you need to have the right organization in place to bridge the gap between the tech, the start-up culture and your own company.

I was part of the creation of the Health Data Hub in France. The objective of this hub is to consolidate public and private data health businesses. Our company was the only insurance company selected in the hub.

Trust in your organization is a question of accountability. If your company is dealing with medical data, it is really a question about the reputation of your company.

We talk a lot about data… but we should be talking more about algorithms… To me, the next step is to explain who takes the decisions, and how the decisions were made, on which ethical background… It’s not only about data now, it’s really also about algorithms.

The question for innovation is scale. If you are not at scale, it’s very difficult to get value from your innovation.”

Rozalina Lapadatu, President, APAA (Asociatia Pacientilor cu Afectiuni Autoimune)

“If you want to put the patients at the center, you should start by listening to them.

It’s like the Maslow pyramid, the basic is the diagnostic and treatment, and after that, from there you can build for a better quality of life for the patients.

Maybe it’s time for the European Union to start watching what’s going on in USA. For example, the FDA in the USA has started approving apps for health.

From the patient’s perspective, data comes with a big question mark… Is my data safe? Where is it going?”

Rémi Flicoteaux – Data Expert AP/HP

“My concern about health data is quality. You can get a lot of data, but what quality is it? Can you really analyse it? What does it mean really?

Paris has 39 public hospitals, in a single and unique institution, the APHP (Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris). Currently, they’re trying to gather all the data, the hospitals working on the same IT system, so from there we’re building a big data warehouse.

Artificial intelligence is a chance. We have to use the raw data coming from the people. And then the first thing we can do is transparency… And let know everyone what we are doing.”

Lucian Ionita – Digital Health enthusiast, eHealthRomania.com

“Innovation in health is very specific, because it’s a very internal feeling. You see a problem and you want to solve it.“

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