“The issue of health care poses a critical challenge for our society”: PSL is a partner in the PariSanté Campus
The emergence or resurgence of infectious diseases that can cause global economic, social and political upheaval, and the increasing number of patients afflicted with a chronic disease, don’t just call for changes to the world of health care; they represent a priority for public policy, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. On Friday, December 4, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the launch of a major digital health facility dubbed the PariSanté Campus on the site of the former Val-de-Grâce military hospital in Paris. Université PSL is among five public bodies that will be leading this major project.
The idea behind the PariSanté Campus is to build and consolidate a digital health sector that places a high value on ethics and openness to the community.
The project spans a continuum ranging from education to value creation. It will initially draw on the five major public institutions that will be present at the site: the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), which will establish its headquarters there; Université PSL; France’s National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA); the Health Data Hub and the National Digital Health Agency (ANS). They will work in tandem with private partners on research, innovation and technology transfer to make the medicine of the future a reality.
Boasting state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure and accessible to all members of a wide-ranging ecosystem, including research entities, hospitals and Paris’s other universities, the project is also designed to attract public and private investment to spur innovation and entrepreneurship on behalf of universal health.
It aims to create a home for world-class education, research and innovation related to digital health, with four key objectives:
- Encourage efforts to generate and mine health data on behalf of research and innovation;
- Provide support for top-level training in digital health and the creation of pools of expertise;
- Develop applications that have a strong economic impact by creating businesses and jobs;
- Improve medical treatment strategies and health care system efficiency, always with the best interests of patients in mind.
The center will be attentive to community concerns, inviting debate on the science and technology of digital health, with a primary focus on the ethical issues at the heart of that scientific discipline. PariSanté Campus will thereby provide the opportunity to examine the social potential of digital innovations in health care.
Three institutions operating in close cooperation at the site –PRAIRIE, Q-Bio and the Institut de Technologies Avancées Pour la Santé (Institute of advanced technology for health) – will serve as the nucleus for fundamental, clinical and computational research that combines biology, physics, chemistry, information technology and mathematics.
The complex challenges and concerns posed by digital health will also be addressed from the standpoint of issues in the humanities and social sciences that are integral to the site’s projects: medical ethics, patient rights, justice, privacy protection, equal access to health care.
As a forum that brings together community groups, hospitals, researchers, regulatory agencies and entrepreneurs, the campus at Val-de-Grâce will be instrumental over time in bringing critical attention to the economic, social and political implications of the new era being ushered in by digital health care and the ongoing threat of pandemics.
“The issue of health care poses a critical challenge for our society, and to respond to that challenge, we need to design a blueprint for the future we wish to see. The quality of that response will depend on our ability to address every aspect of the issue: medical, scientific, technological, ethical, political, socioeconomic. That is why we need to be able to bring together the full range of stakeholders, expertise and disciplines in one flagship location, where we can mine massive amounts of data on behalf of fundamental and applied research, education and innovation but also, first and foremost, patients and members of the community. Val-de-Grâce – true to Université PSL’s core values, objectives and ambitions – is one of the most potent resources that the French government has established for meeting that challenge.” Alain Fuchs, Président of Université PSL