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Friday, October 20, 2017

Technological Innovation in the Health Industry

~ Dr. Patrice Cristofini, Founder and Chairman, E-Health Club from Center of Prospective and Strategic Studies (CEPS)

“We now have a really big change of paradigm: it is what we call patient empowerment. In Europe the patient wants to take charge of his own healthcare capital. That's a big, big paradigm shift.

In the early days of healthcare, when we spoke about e-health, we were really focused on hospitals. The thinking was that the hospital was the main centre, the main provider for data. Now the thinking in Europe is that hospitals must open their doors. They cannot keep all the data inside. They need to open up to different sectors.

We are seeing more and more GPs treating patients at home. It's what we call personalized health. So now more and more data will be produced in homes, a trend that we think will continue for the next 10 years. So the question is how the technology can help and can support this big change.

If you see the evolution in terms of technology, we first had mobile with a lot of data conception. We moved on to Internet of Things so we generate a lot of data. But if you have a lot of data, the question is, how can you analyse this data?  Of course, we have big data in the cloud and we can analyse. Now after we analyse the data, how can we share this data between all the healthcare players. So, we have a big, big evolution particularly in Europe.

As I mentioned before, in the past e-health – in Europe – was focused on hospitals. We tried to work at the regional level to build a platform. So we opened the hospital and we connected it with the healthcare environment. Some countries have done well. They operate on a more global level, using telehealth, mobile health, to have more global approach.

In Europe we are more focused now on a regional platform. In France, for example, the government takes a lot of initiative and they try to give doctors an incentive. But the idea is to be really cross-regional, across Europe. The idea is, I am a citizen of Europe, I travel to Switzerland, I go to France, I want to have my medical data and I want to share my data with any health care professional wherever I am. And that is really a problem for the state because they have different regulations.

So as I said earlier, we have a new paradigm where we see empowered patients. The entire structure and healthcare professionals must follow.

We are also facing, in e-health, what I call the Big BANG. BANG means that the amount of data that will be generated will be enormous. B is for biotech, A for nanotech, N stands for new technology (information, communication) and G is for genomic because the future of the precision medicine will involve analysing the real data.

At this stage, we are not sure that the infrastructure and the network are efficient enough when all these topics mature. It means that to be successful in digitally managing all the data coming from patients in the next 10 years we will need new systems. They need to be secure but you need to be sure that your infrastructure and your network is able to drive that.

The success of digital will be an alliance between new usage, new service between patient and healthcare professional and infrastructure and network to drive larger amounts of data and to analyse them.

So we are facing the second revolution of digital, which includes – as the last speaker said – IoT, Blockchain, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence.

Einstein often said that there are no innovative people. There are just ordinary people. I believe the biggest risk is not to take any risk. Thank you.”