Background

Recent years have seen the spread of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Southern countries. These new technologies offer opportunities to create targeted, durable and sustainable systems to improve health in Southern countries, particularly in regions that lack personnel and infrastructures. By helping to reduce the cost of access to healthcare, by providing populations with information to fight epidemics, and by working to improve the coverage of vaccination programmes and fighting counterfeit medicines, ICT offers a powerful opportunity to improve the health of populations in Southern countries.

Aware of the extraordinary opportunities offered by e-health in the least advanced countries, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has decided to create an “e-health Observatory for Southern countries.” The primary aim of this Observatory is to carry out a targeted analysis of e-health initiatives, then make this information available to the scientific, medical and business communities and give these initiatives the opportunity to develop.

It is an ambitious roadmap to match an equally ambitious goal: the e-health Observatory created by the Foundation aims to become the point of reference for anyone interested in e-health in Southern countries.

A dedicated website will be launched in June 2016.

Developing countries are aware that they lack resources and cannot afford a Western-style healthcare system. The portion of GDP dedicated to health in developed countries is 12%, compared to around 5% in many developing countries. We need to look for alternative models. E-health could be an amazing opportunity in many areas: preventative medicine, health insurance systems and epidemiology.

“Many projects in a range of application fields have already been launched. But most of these are pilot projects, and only a few have actually been scaled up. There is a real lack of visibility around these players. To solve this problem, the appropriate response is first to collect and analyse successful projects, and then develop those with the greatest potential on a larger scale. Hence the benefit of creating an e-health Observatory for Southern countries!”

Gilles Babinet "Digital Champion", represents France at the European Commission on digital issues

Perspectives

Resulting from work that began in January 2015, the e-health Observatory for Southern countries is primarily dedicated to identifying innovative and effective projects. A think-tank made up of e-health experts has defined the scope and goals of the project: the Observatory’s main mission is to monitor initiatives from countries in Africa, South-East Asia and India that are the most effective in terms of training health personnel; telemedicine; information, education and changing behaviour; and monitoring patients and medical data. These categorised initiatives will make up the Observatory’s first database, which will continue to grow through permanent monitoring as well as field surveys to provide detailed documentation of the projects judged to be the most effective.

The results and analyses of the work as well as the database will be published via a dedicated website, to be launched at the beginning of July 2016.

A one-day conference is planned for 4 July 2016 at the Fondation Pierre Fabre headquarters. Open to people working in development aid, new technologies and healthcare, the conference will be filmed and streamed online. Project organisers will be invited to present the initiatives judged to be the most interesting. The event will raise the profile of their projects and encourage dialogue between organisations in the South and public and private bodies involved in supporting and financing e-health solutions.

Partenaires

  • CATEL
  • StartupBRICS

Experts consulted for the Observatory:

  • Bertin Nahum, Chairman, CEO and founder of MedTech
  • Demba Diallo, Associate Director and founder of Innhotep
  • Gilles Babinet, « Digital Champion », represents France at the European Commission on digital issues
  • Jean-Luc Clément, Advisor to the Department for European and International Relations and Cooperation in the French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research
  • Mehdi Benchoufi, President of Club Jade