Orange, Sanofi, Capgemini and Generali form eHealth ecosystem

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The founders claim this is the first joint venture of its kind in Europe and will be based in Paris.

Sanofi, Capgemini, Generali and Orange have announced plans to create a joint venture in France to fast-track the development and launch of healthcare solutions for the benefit of patients.

The project, “on a scale that is unique in Europe”, according to the statement issued by Orange, will bring together scientific and technological expertise in France and Europe.

Paris hub

A virtual platform and physical base will be located in Paris, linked to the PariSanté Campus – an initiative announced by the French President – and is intended to position France as a leader in digital health.

It will include a creative laboratory, a Fab Lab, a Data Lab and a Living Lab in which patients and healthcare professionals can develop, test, adjust and assess solutions. An additional lab will be dedicated to ethical and economic issues. It will synergize the PariSanté Campus, which aims to structure and federate an international digital health sector, open to national and international partnerships.

The founding partners are planning an initial investment of €24 million in the new entity, which is expected to be operational from June 2021 in the case of the virtual platform and December 2021 for the physical platform.

Large and small

Orange says that digital innovation and data have become essential in healthcare. The ecosystem will bring together the founding companies and aims to federate large companies and startups at a European level, around an open-innovation approach, conducive to the emergence of disruptive new models.

Work 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.

The project is based on three pillars:
•    the founding companies will share and pool their technologies, expertise and data with selected startups, in compliance with regulations and within an ethical and responsible framework, to support the implementation of digital solutions that improve the quality, security, accessibility and productivity of healthcare.
•    the multidisciplinary nature of the ecosystem will be embodied by the founding companies, the partner companies and around a hundred French and European startups, as well as other players in the healthcare, technology and insurance sectors, public and private hospitals, patient associations, regulators, schools and universities,
•    the development of concrete solutions to build tomorrow’s healthcare services, from the initial idea right through to making them available to patients and/or healthcare professionals. The strength of this alliance is based on the fact that the entire ecosystem will simultaneously focus on the same commitment, which will limit the dispersion of energy and increase the chances of success and creation of value for patients and the entire sector.

Founding thoughts

“We believe that France, and more broadly Europe, have all the necessary assets to be among the leading global players in digital healthcare innovation. This project is the cornerstone of the open ecosystem centred on digital technology and healthcare data that we want to build with our partners.

"Our shared ambition is to bring together all the players, including startups, that will collectively invent the future of healthcare for the benefit of patients and thereby place France at the heart of European innovation in this strategic field,” explained Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi.

“As a global leader in digital technology, one of our major responsibilities for future generations is to put technology at the service of health,” added Aiman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini Group.

He continued, “Through this alliance, 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 innovative services for patients.

Jean-Laurent Granier, CEO of Generali France and Chairman of Europ Assistance, commented, “The insurance business works on the basis of statistics drawn from a large volume of anonymised data reaching back over several decades. This can be made available to startups to fuel their search for solutions.

As an historical player in the healthcare market, nationally and internationally, Generali wishes to actively contribute to the creation and running of this unique ecosystem in France and Europe, in collaboration with other leading international companies in their sector .

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, stated, “At Orange, we are convinced that digital transformation is an important source of progress and that the potential for e-health is immense. This is a major challenge for society and, as a responsible operator, we believe that we can contribute to this effort.

“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".