Connected health: a new hype or a deeper change?

Connected health: a new hype or a deeper change?

Viewpoint by Richard Zuber (23ème homme, FR)

Companies of all sizes – WithingsFitbitGarminApple, etc. – from many countries are popping up with new devices and tools, and software including apps that share the same promise, namely to make our lives better!

Health, sense of well-being and weight loss, as well as non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, are being targeted by more than 90 000 apps and services globally. Everybody wants a share in this enormous market, and countless investors are betting on THE next big thing in the ‘Connected Health’ market.

Not everybody with the technical skills also has expertise in the diet and health sector. Connected health needs to grow based on scientifically validated knowledge and vast data resources. The latest app launched in France is moving in that direction. Like many others, the app tracks behaviour and food intake helping users improve personal well-being. However, but unlike its competitors, has been supported by Michel Cymes, a doctor regularly appearing on French TV, reassuring people about the quality of services provided.

Funded by the European Commission, QuaLiFY bringing together research organisations and innovative SMEs in the health sector with very ambitious goals; (1) access to empirical diet and health data to foster innovation, and (2) providing a recognisable quality label for healthcare and allied professionals as well as consumers.

Ultimately, the QuaLiFY Server Platform will provide access to scientifically valid data and knowledge rules relevant to personalised nutritional products and services. It will help companies and researchers access and apply scientifically sound data through an open-innovation platform with a wide range of web services and support connected health actors with access to experts to determine the scientific value of potential products and services.