Health - Personalised Healthcare

France 2030: Inserm and Inria leading a major national digital health programme

Changed on 22/02/2024
First announced at the launch of the France 2030 digital health acceleration strategy in 2021, the Digital Health priority research programmes and infrastructure (PEPR) project was officially launched today. This ambitious research programme, led jointly by Inserm and Inria, has been allocated €60 million over seven years from the France 2030 plan. Its aim is to position France as a European leader in digital health innovation, with the objectives of achieving scientific breakthroughs and generating disruptive technologies over the next five to ten years.

Furthering knowledge in order to improve diagnoses and patient treatment methods, or predict changes in a patient's condition: these are key issues for digital health innovation. To meet these challenges, accessing new sources of healthcare data is a key factor, and will require the development of new acquisition systems in addition to algorithms and digital models to exploit these ever-growing volumes of data.

The Digital Health research programme will take up this dual challenge by coordinating the French research ecosystem in these fields, focusing on two main themes:

  • the acquisition of "multi-scale" biological and medical data for each patient (i.e. in space, on scales ranging from DNA to population monitoring, or from individual behaviour to interaction with the environment, but also in time, on scales ranging from a few milliseconds to several decades);
  • the construction – by processing this data – of the most comprehensive, personalised and scalable digital representation of the patient possible: the "digital twin".

Led jointly led by Inserm and Inria, this programme brings together the key players in the French research ecosystem, including CNRS, CEA, INRAE, IRD and the Institut Pasteur, as well as the major research universities in this field (members of the France Universités and Udice associations), university teaching hospitals and engineering schools (members of CDEFI). The PEPR involves more than 150 laboratories associated with some forty universities and Grandes Ecoles and at least 14 hospitals.

Ultimately, the aim is to provide optimum lifelong healthcare for all patients, using all available clinical, genetic, imaging, and biological information obtained from connected medical devices and their medical history, but also in relation to their socio-demographic profile, lifestyle habits, environment, etc.

The Digital Health programme's research activities revolve around four programmes designed to:

  • develop new digital methods for the multi-scale analysis of healthcare data;
  • overcome the technical and socio-demographic challenges of using personalised, multi-scale health data (managing and exploiting large volumes of varied data);
  • develop applications in the cardiovascular field;
  • develop applications in the field of neuroscience.

The French National Research Agency will be the designated operator for the various schemes to be launched as part of this research programme.

"Digital health is an essential tool for the prevention and treatment of disease," states Professor Didier Samuel, CEO of Inserm. We are delighted to be stepping up our collaboration with Inria through the joint management of this ambitious national programme, which sets out to develop breakthrough technologies in this field, leading to significant advances for patients, the general public and doctors alike."

According to Bruno Sportisse, CEO of Inria: "From medical imaging and the genome to digital twins in healthcare and AI, digital technology continues to transform healthcare, with a constant renewal of subjects. Meeting the challenges of tomorrow means creating a structured research, innovation and healthcare ecosystem by combining different areas of expertise. This is the strength of the projects that will be carried out within the Digital Health priority research programmes and infrastructure [PEPR] project, bringing together actors from public research (national bodies, major universities...), training, healthcare and Healthtech companies. This PEPR also complements the range of initiatives that Inserm and Inria are jointly conducting at the interface between health and digital technology, to strengthen the French ecosystem and build collective momentum for the benefit of patients." 

Through the France 2030 plan, the government is devoting €3 billion to research via ambitious research programmes (PEPRs), led by research institutions striving to consolidate French leadership in key fields linked, or likely to be linked, to a technological, economic, societal, health or environmental transformation, and which are considered priorities at national or European level.

"The priority research programme and infrastructure – PEPR – project on health and digital technology, which we are officially launching today, is a fantastic opportunity for Inserm and Inria to combine their expertise, and to rapidly develop their expertise in this key field of medicine and science for the twenty-first century. This research programme will enable us to consolidate our French leadership, in which Inserm and Inria already figure prominently, and move resolutely towards our goal of putting digital technology and data at the service of our collective health!", declares François Braun, French Minister for Health and Prevention.

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At Inria, digital health and biology research projects are numerous and interdisciplinary: diagnostic assistance, analysis of examinations, optimisation and personalisation of treatments, screening of molecules with biological activity, etc.