Alexandre Le Guilcher is the founder and co-director of Evolucare Labs, the Research and Innovation laboratory of the Evolucare Group, whose mission is to develop innovative digital solutions for the health care sector. With the Smart Angel project, it is developing a solution that can be integrated into various information systems, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and connected objects to monitor and support all patients throughout their care pathway.
Smart Angel is one of your flagship projects. What is it and what is its aim ?
ALG : ALG: Smart Angel aims to make it easier to monitor patients, whether upon discharge, after outpatient surgery or even in hospital, when continuous monitoring is required. This solution is like a virtual nurse that allows for the collection of clinical data via connected medical devices and tailored questionnaires, as well as processing of these data by a rules engine. Smart Angel is different from other monitoring solutions because it uses innovative, adaptable and self-learning technology. Specifically, it is a distributed system, based on software agents, that can create a monitoring agent (virtual nurse) per patient according to their medical record. It is also designed to improve over time by learning from practical experience.
How did this project come about ?
To get this project up and running, Evolucare has teamed up with 6 industry, hospital and research partners. The consortium has been awarded €8m in funding by Bpifrance under the Investments for the Future Program for the development of this project, which has a total R&D budget of €13.3m. The AP-HP [the organization bringing together the public hospitals of Paris] and Nîmes University Hospital are our world-renowned hospital partners, coordinating two large-scale, multi-center clinical studies to prove the effectiveness of the Smart Angel device. The consortium also includes the electronics company INES, for the manufacture of medical devices, and the Université de Picardie-Jules-Verne (UPJV). Two of its laboratories are involved: MIS (Modeling, Information and Systems) for AI components and data security, and the CRP-CPO (Psychology Research Center: Cognition, Psyche and Organizations) for ergonomics and acceptance of the technology by patients. As a long-standing player in health information systems, Evolucare provides its expertise as a specialist in patient data management, health care organization and interoperability.
What is the status of the project and what are its expected uses ?
The first two large-scale clinical studies (10,000 patients) have begun. They focus on post-operative monitoring: 1) at home after outpatient surgical procedures, a multi-center study led by Nîmes University Hospital; and 2) in hospital, a study carried out by the AP-HP, with 20 institutions including 10 university hospitals. Smart Angel will create other ‘little angels’ and could ultimately monitor patients throughout their care pathway. The system architecture, for which Evolucare has filed a patent, is designed to be multi-use and target various diseases (strokes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep related diseases, etc.). All we have to do is configure the monitoring rules, tailor the questionnaire to the patient and integrate connected objects on an ad-hoc basis. A version dedicated to telemonitoring of patients with Covid-19 is currently in progress.