Understanding the healthcare of tomorrow in four terms (or, How Sorbonne University unites innovation with interdisciplinary activities)

Developing new technologies and increasing lifespans are turning the healthcare sector upside down. Committed to taking on social challenges (cost of living, aging populations, quality of life, and so on), Sorbonne University is developing unique research in the biomedical sector. Its Institut universitaire d’ingénierie en santé (University institute for medical engineering) is now encouraging a new interdisciplinary dynamic (medicine/science/engineering/humanities and social issues/technology) to develop innovative measures.


‘Connected objects,’ ‘nanoparticles,’ ‘biomedicine,’ and ‘start-ups’: these four terms cover it all!

Biomedicine: using e-health to achieve better diagnoses

Thanks to medical data-gathering, information now goes straight to the patient.


For this reason, the e-Biomed chair focuses on  innovative scientific projects in order to facilitate treatment and patient monitoring so as to avoid patient hospitalization wherever possible.


Led by Dr Dan Istrate and run by doctors, multidisciplinary lecturer-researchers and medical engineers from Sorbonne University’s member institutions (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, University of Technology of Compiègne and so on), this research center has, for example, developed an e-health app that enables diabetics to easily learn their blood-glucose “numbers“ and get an automatic notification via their smartphone in case of dangerous levels.


The chair also has plans to develop a home medical telemonitoring device for pregnant women. The aim is for patients to measure their contractions themselves, thereby reducing the risk of premature birth.


Increased independence, automatic monitoring in real time, better detection of problems, and improved monitoring – these various projects are sure to improve patients’ day-to-day lives!

Robotics and connected objects: putting the patient at the heart of innovation

The principle of Sorbonne University’s e-health research is to put users and patients at the center of its projects.


Teams at Sorbonne University are working on connected objects or patients with problems swallowing after a stroke: medical data is recorded using sound sensors and is transmitted directly to doctors, without the patient having to go anywhere!


Another project aimed at supporting patients’ rehabilitation after a stroke is being conducted by the L2E laboratory at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in partnership with the Raymond-Poincaré de Garches hospital. It takes the form of a serious game involving walking with the use of sensors and a camera, which allow patients to record their movements and compare them to what they should be doing and to guide them, in real time, to improve their form.


And since robots are starting to serve a major role in the arsenal of available therapies, a partnership with the SeniorAdom start-up has been developed to support isolated seniors, and the Smart Labex (Laboratoire d’Excellence) is conducting research into the use of robots as companions.

Start-ups and health institutes: technology is combatting sensory disabilities

L’Institut de la Vision (the Vision Institute), a stakeholder in the LifeSenses Labex at Sorbonne University, seeks to break down the barriers between hospitals, academic research and industry.


The institute – one of the largest European research centers for eye diseases – welcomes about 10 start-ups to its incubator in order to develop technologies based on French, European and American academic research. Clinical trials and new assessment methods in the fields of artificial vision, gene therapy and imaging are being tested so as to understand eye diseases, improve diagnosis of auditory and visual disabilities and explore innovative compensatory technologies (augmented reality, home automation, robotics, simulators, etc.) for the benefit of patients.


Since the emphasis is on education and interdisciplinary activities at Sorbonne University, the two-year Biologie et traitement des déficits sensoriels (Biology and the treatment of sensory deficits) master’s degree program at Université de Pierre et Marie Curie – the No. 1 French university for science and medicine – allows doctors to receive training on basic research, biologists on medical research and physicians and mathematicians on biological research.

Nanoparticles: when the infinitely small lets Sorbonne University see the infinitely big 

At a time when the subject of nanoparticles is becoming part of everyday conversation when the topic turns to clothes, cosmetics and even the air we breathe, nanoparticles also offer great therapeutic and technological hope for patients.


That is why researchers from the CNRS/ESPCI ParisTech and the Laboratoire Physico-chimie des polymères et milieux dispersés (Physical chemistry laboratory for polymers and dispersed media – CNRS/UPMC/ESPCI ParisTech) have developed a revolutionary method of resistant adhesion between two gels by spreading a nanoparticle solution on their surface.


This discovery has paved the way to new perspectives on regenerative medicine: it is now possible to stick together skin and organs that have suffered deep incisions or lesions. 

Join the 8th School on Organic Electronics : Nano-Organics and Devices


Interested in innovative medicine? Join in on EIT Health’s call for projects (until May 16) or find out more about our e-health training courses.

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