logo BrailleNet

10th European e-Accessibility Forum
e-Accessibility in a connected world

30 May 2016, 9am-6pm
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris

  Version française
Printable version

How the Internet of Things is changing healthcare

Alexis NORMAND (Paris)

Speaker's information

photo Alexis Normand

Alexis Normand is Director of Research & Development in Healthcare at Withings, leader of IoT Healthcare. A graduate of HEC Business School and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po), he has a background in industry and strategy consultancy, notably assisting public healthcare policy reform for government agencies in the Gulf. He also serves on a French Think Tank.



Withings is a French company set up in 2008 to develop devices and apps for self-monitoring and self-sensing, also known as “the quantified self”.

In 2009 Withings introduced the first Wi-Fi scales on the market so that users could monitor and log changes in body weight. Following on from the successful take up of this device, they developed a blood pressure monitor, a high-definition wireless security camera, a smart sleep system, and a line of automatic activity-tracking Bluetooth watches.

All of Withings connected objects have three components: an object, a mobile app with an interface to check related data, and a platform to collect and track this data over time. All data collected via these devices is logged on a personal dashboard on the Withings platform. This data can be shared with others. The idea is that when efforts are rewarded, for example by weight loss, healthy changes to lifestyle become effortless. The more users share their data, the better the effects on their health. On average, Withings users walk 5500 steps per day. When they compete with their friends, this figure rises.

The positive effects can also be seen in an older population. Many suffer from high blood pressure but few keep tabs on it and the risk of heart disease is high. Connected blood pressure measuring devices encourage this population to check their blood pressure on a daily basis, reducing the risk of disease significantly.

The data is managed by a third party. The idea is not to share the data with an employer or insurance company, but individuals can choose to share it with their doctor or caregiver to compliment data held by hospitals in medical records. Withings has also developed an open data platform where aggregated anonymous data from all connected objects is presented and trends are plotted on a map of France. In the US, the health service has been encouraged to find ways to reduce the number of days spent in hospital by patients. Patients are sent home equipped with blood pressure monitors and the data is fed back to hospital staff who are able to keep tabs on patients at home.

Such use of IoT technology is not common in France as there is no pressure to lower the number of readmissions to hospitals. However, Withings do work with French hospitals in the interest of medical research, for example to measure the level of activity following the removal of a cancerous tumour in the spine, or to monitor the treatment of obesity.

The IoT allows for an increasingly patient-centred medicine. Today connected objects are used by people on the preventive side and not on the curative side of medicine, but this is set to change with time.

Watch Alexis Normand's presentation on YouTube (in French). For subtitles, please use the CC button, and if you require a transcript do not hesitate to contact us at contact[at]braillenet.org.


Retour à la liste des articles
Help - Site map - Contact