Digital and Hospital

Oriane Simon
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Digital and Hospital

Following its spectacular fund-raising in March, Doctolib has become France's most valuable start-up. With over 60 million users in Germany, Italy and France, Doctolib is now worth almost 6 billion euros, surpassing Backmarket, Sorare and Qonto. This example illustrates the rapid and meteoric growth of digital healthcare, which has been accentuated since the health crisis, revealing the opportunities offered by the use of digital technology in healthcare.

From teleconsultation to the digitization of patient care, these innovations are profoundly transforming many stages of the healthcare process. Like Doctolib's solution, all these innovations aim to streamline patient care and facilitate the day-to-day work of healthcare staff. These projects, often led by young startups, are leading us to rethink the relationships between these new players and other, more institutional ones, such as hospitals or hospital federations. While these startups are revolutionizing the sector, many challenges arise from this new collaboration, particularly in terms of staff training and data management.

What form does this startup-hospital relationship take today? What are the benefits and challenges of such collaboration?

Startups in the healthcare sector are very diverse

Today, digital technology is taking over many areas of hospital life, revolutionizing both the day-to-day work of healthcare staff and the patient experience. Here, we present a selection of startups that embody the diversity of digital healthcare solutions.

Better World specializes in patient and caregiver feedback analysis. Today, we help 500+ facilities leverage their patients' and professionals' verbatims, using award-winning Artificial Intelligence algorithms. Our proprietary algorithms are trained on over a million verbatims, enabling the greatest level of analysis available today. This better understanding of needs and expectations then enables targeted action plans to improve the day-to-day lives of patients and caregivers.

Happytal was created in 2013 to improve the daily lives of patients and their loved ones through a concierge service accessible from an online platform. On the latter, patients can complete their admission or pre-admission procedures online. They can also call on the "pink polos" for a chat or a few distractions.

Hublo transforms hospital human resources with a digital platform dedicated to managing replacements and absenteeism. The startup's economic success testifies to the enthusiasm of medical teams for this solution. In September 2021, Hublo raised nearly 22 million euros in financing. Its solution is now deployed in 4 countries and in over 2,500 establishments.

These three examples illustrate the diversity of start-up companies working in hospitals. These digitized, automated solutions relieve medical teams of repetitive, time-consuming tasks, leaving them free to focus on their core business.

Fostering innovation

To support these initiatives, a veritable ecosystem has been set up around digital health. Numerous public and private players are committed to promoting and fostering innovation in this sector.

To become a world leader in digital health, the French public sector has mobilized extensively and several initiatives have been launched. Indeed, in July 2020, the French government announced the creation of the Ségur en Santé Numérique in hospitals. Two billion euros of investment are earmarked to fund the creation of software and support the sharing of data and information between healthcare staff and users of the healthcare system. In concrete terms, the Ségur digital health initiative aims to enable wider use of the Dossier Médical Partagé (DMP) and secure messaging in healthcare.

In December 2020, the French President announced the creation of PariSanté Campus, a research and innovation campus on the Val-de-Grâce site. Inaugurated in 2021, this campus is an example of the coordination needed between the public and private sectors in the healthcare sector. Indeed, its creation is supported by five public operators - Inserm, Université PSL, Inria and the Health Data Hub - as well as numerous private players, including 60 start-ups. Paris Santé Campus was also an ambassador for the VivaTech 2022 event.

Some initiatives are led by the hospitals themselves. For example, the first innovation center created by AP-HP, Novaxia and Biolabs will be set up at Hôtel Dieu in 2021. This initiative illustrates the determination of major public groups such as AP HP to promote innovation. Once again, the public and private sectors are cooperating, and these startups incubated at the heart of the hospital will be in contact with the 12,300 doctors at AP-HP. A real virtuous circle is being set up to ensure that the solutions proposed meet the sector's expectations and make it more resilient.


From digitizing the patient journey to teleconsultation, digital healthcare is gaining ground. Driven by the expected economic and scientific gains, many public and private players are supporting and promoting innovation in this sector. However, certain difficulties persist and new challenges are emerging. One of them concerns the protection of medical health data. This is why, in 2019, the Health Data Hub was created, a Groupement d'Intérêt Public tasked with fostering research while protecting health data. It informs patients of their rights, facilitates data sharing between healthcare professionals and ensures that data is protected when it is used. Other difficulties persist, however, such as the training of healthcare staff in these tools and inequalities in access to digital technology.

Better World is the French leader inlistening to patient feedbackwith 600+ healthcare and medical-social establishments covered.

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