1.1 Presentation and scope of study
According to the World Health Organization, the term e-health refers to "the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for health". This definition includes a first major domain called Health Information System (HIS) or Hospital Information System (HIS), encompassing all information exchange solutions between hospitals, doctors and patients such as the computerized medical record or the health card system. E-Health also includes other areas:
- Telemedicine: it includes various medical procedures performed remotely;
- Telehealth: it concerns mainly monitoring and prevention;
- Technological devices for patients or m-health (mobile applications, smart connected objects, etc.);
- Technological devices for suppliers;
- Technological devices for public and industrial actors.
The global e-health market is growing. The total amount of start-ups fundraising worldwide is growing relatively steadily. The number of patients using telemedicine is increasing worldwide as well; this is a very promising segment within telehealth. The practise of telemedicine is also stimulated by the development of connected objects and m-health via smartphone applications, for example, measuring physiological and physical data that can be analyzed for future medical treatments.
On the French market, the health sector is directly linked to public investments. The Ministry of Health announced a development plan dedicated to e-health, proof that the sector represents a real growth driver, but also a way of modernizing the various patient's treatments. We must also mention the Shared Medical Record (digital health record) and the widespread use of teleconsultation.
In addition, many startups are investing in the French market. The latter shows signs of future growth, given the ageing population and the increase in the number of chronic diseases. A large part of the population also suffers from a long-term condition, such as diabetes. However, the market is still not very mature and fragmented around several relatively small players.
The current boom in telemedicine, telehealth and especially m-health reflects a real revolution in the field of health, marked by the transformation of medical practices, relationships between market players (such as health professionals), etc.
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