FRENCH E-HEALTH MARKET : BARRIERS AND DRIVERS

The Paris Health Week exhibition opened its doors May 16 to 18 2017 to welcome the world’s leaders in healthcare information technology: telemedicine, connected healthcare, mobile applications, web platforms, etc. We took this opportunity to meet the "e-health" players and better understand this burgeoning market.

 

“Digital services for the individual’s well-being...”

According to the WHO, e-health brings together "digital services for the individual’s well-being" in different domains such as telemedicine, prevention, homecare, remote chronic disease monitoring or shared medical records. For all actors involved, e-health is a relevant solution to the challenges faced by health systems around the world.

 

...are facing significant barriers on the French market...

The e-health market has been steadily increasing for several years in France and is currently estimated between 2.2 and 3 billion euros. However, the industry leaders we met agree that there has been a delay in integration of e-health in France. This delay could be explained, in part, by the current performance of the French healthcare system. Indeed, any technological innovation must demonstrate its superiority in relation to the existing one in terms of efficiency and integration costs. This performance requirement is more difficult to achieve in the most efficient health systems.

Moreover, the attitude of the regulatory and reimbursement authorities in relation to the recurring question "who pays?" is another obstacle to the e-health development in France. Authorities are particularly cost-conscious in public hospitals. Private institutions are more likely to adopt digital solutions to attract patients who will be able to pay for these services.

Technical difficulties also hamper the adoption of e-health in France. The structuring of collected and stored health data is an essential element to take advantage of Big Data and develop new e-health solutions. But Dr. Alain Livartowski of the Curie Institute estimates in his intervention to the Agora Unicancer that almost 99% of the collected data today is unstructured. The lack of coordination between hospitals makes this aspect even more complex.

 

...But levers exist to accelerate the growth of e-health in France

From the Industry's point of view, the e-health market in France requires strong political will to harmonize health data collection. Such commitment at the national level would create a climate conducive to the development of "Big Data" innovations, could facilitate the development of economic relevance data, and validate appropriate repayment mechanisms.

Political will must also focus on prevention by encouraging French people to adopt a proactive approach to their health through the use of connected devices. Early detection and management of chronic diseases can improve clinical outcomes while reducing long-term healthcare costs.

The Paris Health Week 2017 exhibition demonstrated, like the previous edition, the power of the breeding ground for innovative projects and technologies developed in France. Providing the best conditions for success and development for these projects is necessary to take full advantage of the opportunities available in e-health.

 

Houssem eddine EL AYADI
Consultant