Europe welcomes first-ever e-health digital ecosystem
With digital innovation and data becoming increasingly essential in the healthcare sector, four leading European firms providing expertise in science, technology, insurance and telecommunications have joined forces on a European joint venture that aims to harness digital technology to improve health services for all.
France puts focus on global digital health
Linked to the PariSante Campus initiative announced by French President Macron, this multi-discplinary project announced by Europe-headquartered industry leaders Capgemini, Generali, Sanofi and Orange is set to create Europe’s first
e-health digital ecosystem. And with it, to strengthen France’s position on the global digital health stage.
With the belief that France, and more broadly Europe, can be among the leading global players in digital healthcare innovation, Paul Hudson, CEO of global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi, says the aim of the joint venture is a shared ambition to “bring together all the players, including startups, [to] collectively invest in the future of healthcare for the benefit of patients” and subsequently to position France “at the heart of European innovation in this strategic field”.
Capitalise on startup innovation
With an initial investment of €24 million and launch dates of June and December for the virtual platform and physical space (Paris), respectively, the project will capitalise on the innovation of startups to develop and implement digital solutions that improve the quality, security, accessibility and productivity of healthcare.
According to Stephane Richard, CEO of Orange, “by creating a multidisciplinary ecosystem bringing together major European groups and startups, we are providing ourselves with the means to accelerate the development of solutions for the benefit of both patients and caregivers”.
As a global leader in digital technology, Capgemini believes that one of its major responsibilities for future generations is to put technology at the service of health. “[We] believe that digital technology will provide a tremendous boost [and] we have the ambition to quickly achieve concrete results.” states Capgemini Group’s CEO Aiman Ezzat.
The joint venture will focus on key themes for one or two years at a time and may revolve around a technology, a pathology, a patient population or be related to a public health topic.
Pooling expertise in digital and data
The alliance of the four founding members brings together a wealth of shared technologies, expertise, innovation and data from France and across Europe.
While Sanofi is known for transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions worldwide, Capgemini, a global leader in digital transformation and technology, providing strategies and solutions in the evolving world of cloud, data, AI and platforms.
As a historic player in the healthcare market, insurer Generali brings to the table decades-long data that can be made available to startups to fuel their search for solutions, states Laurent Granier, CEO, Generali France.
“Our motivation as an insurer and assistance provider is to participate in an innovative and powerful ecosystem that will help model the healthcare solutions of the future and to work on new technologies and innovation services for patients.”
Digital platform and physical space
The online platform is centred around an institute whose main mission is to bring together experts, institutions, schools, universities and hospitals around issues concerning the use of data and digital tools in the healthcare sector. Also, it will serve as an entry point for interactions between the partners and startups.
The physical platform, located in the heart of Paris, will feature a creative laboratory, including a Fab Lab, Data Lab and Living Lab, where patients and healthcare professionals can develop, test, adjust and assess solutions.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”