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Vivatech: AP-HP and five companies imagine "the digital hospital" through their "@HôtelDieu" project

The AP-HP and the companies Lifen, Implicity, Nouveal, Withings and Nabla, are joining forces around the "@HôtelDieu" project.

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The Assistance publique-hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) and the companies Lifen, Implicity, Nouveal, Withings and Nabla, are joining forces around the "@HôtelDieu" project, "to speed up the adoption of digital innovations and artificial intelligence (AI) in the hospital ecosystem", the partners said to TIC Santé on 16 June, at the Vivatech show.

This project is supported by "an alliance of complementary players" composed of the companies Implicity, Lifen, Nabla, Nouveal, Withing, the incubator Biolabs, the University of Paris and AP-HP, with its platform for supporting digital projects in healthcare.

The consortium was formed in "early April", when the partners responded together to the "Digital Health" call for expressions of interest (CEI), launched by the public investment bank Bpifrance.

The "Digital Health" CEI aims to promote the emergence in France of innovative solutions "armed with proposals of medico-economic values to conquer the e-health market", Bpifrance states on its website.

"This project is a response to this CEI, we are in an application phase, at this stage the project has been pre-selected and we believe in it, which is why we are presenting it here collectively," explained Nicolas Castoldi, Deputy Director of AP-HP, responsible for managing transversal projects, in particular the new Hôtel-Dieu.

"Now is the time to share what this project encompasses and more broadly, to present a different way of working between hospitals and start-ups and how we can build projects together."

The winning projects of the CEI will be unveiled "mid-July", said the Deputy Director General of AP-HP and "ideally" the members of the consortium hope to launch their project operationally "at the end of the holidays, after the summer".

The project name, "@HôtelDieu", reflects "the symbol of the Parisian hospital, which is the Hôtel-Dieu, not far from Notre-Dame".

As a reminder, the Hôtel-Dieu renovation project already includes digital technology in its work. Entrusted to Novaxia, the renovation involves a "biotech/medtech" incubator managed by Biolabs and a co-working space dedicated to healthcare AI, which is designed to host "around fifty specialized start-ups".

"This Biolabs incubator will be a gateway to all AP-HP care services, not just the Hôtel-Dieu hospital. The aim is to create a gateway for collaborations between start-ups and AP-HP in the areas of remote surveillance and connected objects around this central core," explained Nicolas Castoldi. "The main thrust of the project was a collective effort, it is not exclusive but presupposes the very strong individual commitment of company leaders. This group of pioneers aims to open up the way and we are keen to expand this circle, which for us, at AP-HP, will allow us to work better with start-ups," he added.

"For digital health to become a reality, we need to produce operators who will be act as a reference tomorrow and ensure that others follow in their steps."

This view is shared by Arnaud Rosier, Managing Director of the start-up Implicity, which is developing a platform for the remote surveillance of patients with implantable rhythmic prostheses and AI algorithms.

"There is very little real competition between health start-ups in France, they are very complementary and the problem is that they do not cover the entire value chain, which is even more complicated in healthcare," he said.

"If we are truly claiming to be pathfinders, we must build on successes, plow the furrow for others and contribute in concrete terms to the transformation of hospitals and their professions," he added.

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A project to "create digital hospitals"

The "@HotelDieu" project dates back "to 2017", explained Prof. Philippe Ravaud, Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center of Hôtel-Dieu and scientific manager of the renovation project.

"Initially, there was the project of a university hospital institute (IHU) with a platform and remote monitoring of patients, above all chronic patients. Last year, Covid-19 offered us large-scale usage cases and, for example, Covidom was proof that the concept works - we can provide care remotely and just as well," he explained.

For Prof. Ravaud, the aim was to "create a digital hospital", to respond to the need to follow-up not only patients who are chronically ill, but also pregnant women or patients leaving the emergency department and requiring outpatient follow-up, etc.

The consortium is not "targeting a specific number of patients to be included" but intends, via the expansion of "digital hospitals", to follow "tens of thousands of patients".

"The projects comprises two pillars - working with the central core that makes up the consortium currently, then creating at Hôtel-Dieu an open innovation, facilitation and support platform for start-ups who are interested," Nicolas Castoldi said.

Regulatory, medico-economic, methodological, evaluation issues, etc., this platform must cover all the issues facing start-ups operating in the field of healthcare.

Like the "@HôtelDieu" project, the platform is expected to be launched "in September", if the CEI selects them.

Each operator has its own role to play

While waiting for Bpifrance to choose its winning projects, each company involved in the consortium is playing its part and, with AP-HP, the University of Paris and Biolabs, intends to develop its project "even if it will take longer".

For example, Lifen, which specializes in the secure exchange of medical documents, focuses on the "interoperability" aspect of data "between start-ups and the hospital and between start-ups themselves," said its Managing Director, Franck Le Ouay.

We should not forget that at the beginning of the year, Lifen launched its "Care Together" program, which is designed to facilitate the access of healthcare institutions to e-health solutions, "while making them interoperable with their current tools". Its participation in the consortium is part of this approach.

In addition to its remote surveillance expertise, Implicity focuses on “tools designed to present data to healthcare professionals and the development of AI algorithms” in order to better understand patient pathways.

The specialist Withings will provide connected devices to patients for home monitoring and will collect, process and analyze data from these medical devices to "create biomarkers," said Vincent Vercamer, Head of Strategy at Withings.

Nouveal, a specialist in digitizing the patient pathway, is working on a "generic platform to create a bridge between all specialized protocols and to present an overview to caregivers". This platform will also be used to remotely monitor patients and send alerts when necessary.

And finally, Nabla, a start-up specializing in women's health, will develop a remote monitoring app for use after a gynecological emergency, it was revealed on 16 June.

Regarding the financing of the project, the partners did not provide any figures, but hoped that Bpifrance could support them within the framework of the CEI.

Nathan Veyret

Brand content manager @Lifen. Après 3 ans d'expérience en agence de communication corporate, il gère à présent l'image de marque de Lifen.

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