14 research projects were presented during the first workshop of the “Engineering-Health” ToolBox

The Health Engineering Toolbox “Health Engineering Heaven” created by the University of Lille, Centrale Lille, and the University Hospital of Lille is a unique device that brings together tools to facilitate and increase interdisciplinary research projects between engineering and health. The objective is to accelerate the development of disruptive deep tech innovations at the crossroads of health and engineering.

The first workshop organized on March 24, 2022 on the Lille University Hospital campus, combined 3-minute pitches and BtoB meetings between health professionals and engineering researchers to forge collaborations around innovation projects.

The University of Lille with its faculties of Health and Sport Sciences (UFR3S) and Sciences and Technologies (FST), Centrale Lille, and the Lille University Hospital, in association with CERN, organized their first joint workshop on health engineering. The challenge is to identify new engineering applications in the field of health and to give birth to new projects that meet the needs of patients and clinicians on the Lille site. 14 research projects were presented around themes such as diagnosis, transomics, therapy and artificial intelligence.

Bringing together more than 180 participants, the March 24 workshop is one of the concrete expressions of the collaborative dynamic between health and engineering that drives the Lille site. It illustrates the synergies active within the academic community and takes them to a larger scale. This time of exchange and meeting also marks the first stage of construction of the Health Engineering Toolbox “Health Engineering Heaven” launched this month of March 2022 by the three establishments.

Collect, meet, then launch operationally

The Health Engineering Toolbox “Health Engineering Heaven” is part of the “Engineering for Lille health” initiative of the Public Experimental Establishment. It is a tool whose vocation is to promote the emergence of new bottom-up breakthrough research and innovation projects, at the Engineering and Health interface to meet the needs of patients and clinicians. Bringing together all the site players in engineering and health, it constitutes an essential link linking the triptych “Research, Training, Valorisation” both in clinical/health and technology/engineering for the entire Lille and regional community.

It relies on the 6 major engineering schools[1], the FST, their research teams and their engineering training potential, as well as the health research teams of the Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences (UFR 3S) and clinicians, their platforms and technical platforms. The project covers the entire value chain from upstream research to innovation, including translational research, clinical trials, to industrialization issues.

The ToolBox systematizes the collection of health needs and engineering offers. It brings out new collaborative research and innovation projects between health professionals (clinicians, researchers, nurses, etc.) and researchers in engineering and technology. It supports their operational launch by mobilizing students and doctoral students on the various projects[2]. Finally, it facilitates the transition to the stages of clinical trials and transfer to the socio-economic world, by relying in particular on the structures and platforms existing within the Lille ecosystem.

An initiative born from field experience

The approach has emerged over the past three years during the exchanges and interactions carried out within the framework of the i-Site between actors from different but complementary disciplinary fields. This approach is also part of the continuity of the collaboration which naturally took place during the Covid health crisis and which gave birth to the Lille Covid-19 Research Task Force.

During this exceptional period, which proved to be both a breeding ground and a catalyst, Lille health and engineering players got to know each other better and above all to work together differently, by combining their knowledge and their respective know-how to very quickly provide new, concrete and operational solutions to identified health problems.

A working group was naturally set up under the impetus of Régis Bordet, current President of the University of Lille. Within this working group, four people more specifically led the structuring of the approach and the collective process of engineering innovation for health: Prof. Philippe Pernod (Centrale Lille), Prof. François Pattou (University of Lille Lille University Hospital, Lille Pasteur Institute), Prof. Eric Boulanger (University of Lille) and Prof. Michel Salzet (University of Lille). Their action also contributes to a change of scale, both in terms of the number of research projects carried out at the crossroads of the two fields of research and in terms of the complexity of the issues addressed.

This workshop is in a way a collateral benefit of the Covid crisis. During this exceptional health event, the actors understood the need to bring engineering and health closer together. The dynamics of the Lille site got under way, with a lot of brainstorming, first during the crisis then as part of the work on the I-Site, of which health engineering is one of the axes strong. This collective adventure which starts concretely with the workshop of March 24, marks the entry into a phase of amplification of research collaborations. The next step will consist in bringing together all of Lille’s players, first academic, then soon economic. » Régis Bordet, President of the University of Lille.

I share the enthusiasm of the quartet of professors behind this initiative and applaud their commitment which led to the development of the ToolBox and the organization of this workshop. Their action directly echoes the conviction shared by our three organizations : ie that by bringing together health and engineering, we strengthen our ability to create innovations that benefit everyone and that meet already identified needs. The first step was to collect the needs and promote the meeting between the parties ; it is now launched. What’s more, these are topics that particularly resonate for Centrale Lille : we train generalist engineers to work on complex issues with a global approach ; in this, we share the same approach as an internal medicine healthcare professional. Our schools are also committed to enriching their training so that health engineering has its full place. adds Emmanuel Duflos, Director of Centrale Lille.

We are particularly happy and proud of the holding of this workshop. It illustrates the strength of the partnership that unites the academic world of the Lille site. This initiative was nourished by the experience shared during the health crisis where health professionals and engineering researchers pooled their talents with the aim of quickly finding concrete and operational solutions. That it finds a new expression through the ToolBox is particularly promising for the future. », concludes Frédéric Boiron, Director General of the Lille University Hospital

The pitches of health personnel and engineering researchers presented on March 24, 2022

  1. Xiaomi Marcilly, Jessica Schiro“PMCF (Post Market Clinical Follow-up): Automatic detection and classification of adverse events”, CIC-IT 1403, METRICS ULR 2694
  2. Clarisse Dhaenens“Digital health”, CRIStAL UMR 9180
  3. Matthew Calafiore“Primary care data, health data warehouse, improvement of professional practices, reuse of health data”, Department of General Medicine, METRICS ULR 2694
  4. Anthony Trezeibre, Dominique Collard, Abdelkrim Talbi“Micro-Nano-technologies at the service of the Clinic: Transdisciplinary Approaches for Translational Research”, IEMN UMR 8520 – LIMMS
  5. Annabelle Dupont, Michael Rosa“Cardiac pathologies, blood flow abnormalities and haemostasis”, UMR 1011
  6. PAuline Lecomte“Biomechanics of biological tissues: modelling, characterization and associated patient-specific medical devices”, LaMcube UMR 9013
  7. Gregory Baud“Personalized surgical treatment of hernias and eventrations of the anterior abdominal wall”
  8. Alessandro RAIMONDO, Benjamin Frisch“CERN – From Fundamental Physics to Medical Applications”, CERN Knowledge Transfer
  9. Bertrand Decaudin“Patient journey, hospital-city link, improvement of professional practices, proper use of medication, elderly subjects”, ULR7365
  10. Hassen Drira, Franck Barbier“Gait and facial expression abnormalities”, IMT Nord Europe – CERI and LAMIH UMR 8201
  11. Francois Puisieux“Early detection of post-fall intracranial haemorrhages in elderly people in nursing homes”, METRICS ULR 2694
  12. Xianyi Zeng“Connected and intelligent textiles for human health”, GEMTEX
  13. Etienne Cousin“Computerized medical decision support systems, clinical pharmacy, improvement of professional practices, reuse of health data”, GRITA ULR 7365
  14. David Montaigne, Sabine Szunerits“Precision medicine in cardiovascular and metabolic pathology”, UMR1011 and IEMN UMR 8520

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14 research projects were presented during the first workshop of the “Engineering-Health” ToolBox

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