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’Telemedicine and AI in healthcare: what issues are the European Union and Member States facing?’, 2019 Louis Dubouis Symposium organised by the DESAPS Chair-IRDEIC-CEEC, IMH

June 5, 2019 June 6, 2019
5-6 June 2019

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Guy Isaac lecture hall

Nathalie De Grove-Valdeyron, holder of the Chair in European healthcare and health product law (DESAPS), and Isabelle Poirot-Mazéres, IMH, have organised the Louis Dubouis Symposium around the issues of e-health, telemedicine and the use of artificial intelligence in the sector.

The Louis Dubouis symposium is organised under the aegis of the Jean Monnet DESAPS Chair of Toulouse I Capitole University. This year, the topics under discussion are the national health systems, the development of e-health in some of its manifestations such as telemedicine, and the use of artificial intelligence. While telemedicine has been a priority for some time for the European Union, Member States are only now getting involved. It is often seen as the panacea for the major problems of healthcare access and the increasing healthcare and medical-social demands. The use of AI, as in other domains, is disrupting this sector and its practices. It is transforming jobs and rearranging patient-healthcare provider relationships. It is even raising doubts about the adequacy and relevance of existing legal regimes. At all levels from governance to healthcare training, the digital disruption has required legal and ethical reflections at the very moment that French regulation is necessary for remote health services and the European position on AI needs defining.
The issues are clear. Innovative digital solutions can contribute solutions by bringing healthcare closer to the patient and by personalising the scientific knowledge available to improve patient health and work on disease prevention for millions of the public. Those solutions are also at the core of national health service reforms and the transition to new health and care-giving models.
In this respect, different speakers took stock of the progress made and the challenges to overcome in the effective roll-out of telemedicine at national and cross-border levels while ensuring the protection of personal data. The ongoing changes cannot be looked at independently of artificial intelligence which is increasingly important for health system actors. Indeed, it is one of the paths towards the development of ‘4P’ healthcare (personalised, predictive, preventive, participatory) and, through ‘deep learning’, it opens the door to staggering prospects. However, to enable a fair future, it must remain technically under human control, ethically within the values of human societies and legally within the long-standing principles that buttress our legal systems. How can innovation be advanced for the benefit of medicine? How can it be regulated without stifling it? How can existing prejudices be removed from it or new ones avoided?
These questions and many others will be considered during the symposium, where academics, health and industry professionals, and political and administrative decision-makers attempt to respond to them or at least advance the analysis of such.

Gaëlle Le Merer
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