The winners of the “Digital Health” Call for Expression of Interest (AMI) were announced on September 26. This CEI was launched in October 2021 and operated, on behalf of the State, by Bpifrance as part of the “France 2030” investment plan, which aims to “sustainably transform, through technological and industrial innovation, the sectors keys to economics. That of health in particular, and this is the objective of this AMI: “to facilitate the emergence of the medicine of the future and to make France a leader in digital health.”
Out of 198 projects submitted, fourteen were selected, almost half of which are digital medical devices. Projects such as Iktos Robtotics, which aims to develop an autonomous and intelligent laboratory capable of discovering new molecules that could potentially become drugs, 24 hours a day; or even Mila-Learn, a digital application designed as a therapeutic support device for children with specific learning disabilities.
Demagus, a project proposed by the start-up Mag4Health, is based on certain quantum properties. It consists in producing a new generation of magnetoencephalographs giving access to all of the neuronal activity and being able in particular to improve epileptic diagnoses. Matthieu Le Prado, Managing Director of the company, wishes to specify that the objective is “to set up manufacturing plants for the device in Grenoble” to respond to the current challenge of relocating healthcare industries. Part of the prototype can be seen below.
Another interesting idea, presented by Loamics, a French deep tech company expert in big data and artificial intelligence: to create the first data warehouse for city medical care on a national scale thanks to dynamic data technology.
Alliances between the public sector, large groups and start-ups
At the helm, start-ups, but also large groups like Dassault Systèmes, associated with hospitals, universities, public research centers like Inserm, and laboratories.
Projects worth several million euros for which the government is ready to contribute between 950,000 and 17.14 million euros for the most generously funded project (the hospital of the future, carried out with the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Paris). Remember that in the context of an AMI, each euro is paid on condition that it finds an equivalent from the private sector opposite. Clearly, (and broadly!) to receive 1.37 million in state aid, you have to find 1.37 million in private funds. For investors who choose to follow them, the fact that each euro invested is matched by one euro from Bpifrance is obviously an encouraging argument.
Simulate the effect that this drug will have on this patient
Most candidates are therefore at the fundraising stage. This is the case of Exact Cure, an e-health start-up that is developing what are called digital twins. The company simulates patients’ response to medication in a personalized way according to their weight, age, pathologies, whether they have kidney failure or not, whether they smoke or not…
“The models are built on the basis of scientific publications which come from research laboratories or hospitals, relating to certain drugs, on paracetamol and other painkillers but also on anti-inflammatories, anti-cancer drugs, cardiology treatments , etc.”explains Frédéric Mayan, CEO of Exact Cure.
The software has two versions. On the one hand, a mobile application for patients, which allows them to predict the effect of the drug on them, and to monitor it in real time. “A clock tells you ‘the medicine will be effective in 32 minutes, it will be most effective in one hour twelve and it won’t work at all in 4.5 hours’. This is particularly interesting for those who take medicine every days. If you want to take a painkiller in self-medication in addition to your usual treatment for example, it also tells you if it’s ok or not, if it’s compatible, if it will be effective”he continues.
On the other, a web application for health professionals, for whom it is easy to see the benefit: before prescribing a drug, the doctor looks at how a person with the same profile reacted and adjusts the treatments and dosages accordingly. “Between 25,000 and 40,000 people die each year due to the misuse of medication. In this, what we type is 1/3 of bad medication linked to a lack of personalization”says Frédéric Mayan.
Take into account patient feedback in real time
On this AMI, the project presented is called Oncotwin. It is a question of developing this same software, this time specialized in oncology (cancer treatment), but also and above all of adding a new functionality to it. “The goal is to enrich our simulations to make them more and more precise by taking into account the patient’s drug experience in real time (which he will have to indicate on the app). Then it’s artificial intelligence, we learn from each case. We will always be able to readjust our digital twin, and that of the others as well, based on our personal feedback.”
Both apps are free. “Our business is not about charging professionals or patients, explains Frédéric Dayan, who still allows himself a ‘for now’. We sell our applications to intermediaries, to major accounts such as Vidal (reference site providing information on health products). Other typical customers: pharmaceutical laboratories. Upsa is one of our customers for example.”
“We expect within two years to have finalized all the functionalities of Oncotwincontinues the CEO. We are a real start-up, we want to be the kings of the world! We want each time there is a drug simulation, it uses our calculator, whether in small labs or at Amazon (which already sells drugs in the United States). We want to be the world reference in personalized drug simulation!” To be continued, because as always with AMIs, the ambitions are as great as the sums involved… and the deadlines!
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The State wants to bring out the future French technological champions in health
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