The City of Nice is responding to a growing community need for providing senior citizens with quality at home healthcare by establishing a centre dedicated to digital health innovation.
Nice has an ageing population with almost one-third of its residents over 60 years of age. Subsequently, access to high quality healthcare and notably at-home care has become a priority for the city's administration. 27 Delvalle aims to provide technological solutions (simulation, agile methods, design thinking) that will improve the way healthcare is delivered.
The project brings together healthcare stakeholders to create tools and services for senior citizens to enable independent living. At the centre's living-lab, users are directly involved in the evaluation and testing of new products and services. An e-Health Business Innovation Centre and co-working space is supporting start-ups and boosting the creation of new jobs in the ‘silver economy’. Other plans include training for health professionals and citizens in digital health technologies, and a number of research and EU-funded projects are being undertaken.
Originally published by EUROCITIES, the network of 130 European cities - PDF: http://nws.eurocities.eu/MediaShell/media/2016AwardsCitiesinactionNice.pdf
This project was shortlisted for the 'EUROCITIES Awards' in 2016 in the following category: Cooperation. Learn more about the award.
Background and objectives
Nice has a high proportion of senior citizens for a city of its size with 28% of residents over 60. As a result, the city is dealing with healthcare challenges posed by an ageing population at a level other European cities won’t experience for a decade or more. These include providing home care for patients discharged from hospital or people who are reluctant to relocate to an aged care facility. The City of Nice identified that by using digital technologies, it could potentially provide more affordable and accessible healthcare solutions for seniors. The City also recognised the need to invest in industries other than tourism and pinpointed the ‘silver economy’ as one with significant growth potential.
27 Delvalle is the corner stone on which the City of Nice plans to build a European Health Centre. The transformation of the Pasteur district of hospitals and clinics into a precinct dedicated to healthcare and integrated technology systems and services has commenced. Ultimately, the goal is for Nice to become a European Healthy City where citizens’ health and wellbeing is enabled by political commitment, institutional change, capacity building, partnership-based planning and innovative projects.
The objectives of 27 Delvalle are:
- Raise citizens' awareness of the positive impact of new technologies on health and self-sufficiency
- Offer creators to the opportunity to trial their health innovations with users
- Pilot the silver economy sector by fostering the creation of start-ups (30 to 40 by 2020) and generating local employment
- Creating wellness for seniors
- Establish Nice as a European reference in connected health
In September 2015, the City of Nice opened 27 Delvalle to create a clustered community environment for healthcare innovation. This centre for connected health was established in partnership with the City of Nice, Nice Metropole, Nice University’s Clinical Research Centre (Ciu-Santé) and France Silver Eco, an association dedicated to developing the silver economy, which has its head quarters at 27 Delvalle. The building also houses the health branch of CEEI, Nice Metropole’s business incubator.
The Cluster's objectives are:
- Promote the use of telemedicine
- Train health professionals in tomorrow's solutions
- Create a platform for therapeutic e-health education
- Introduce seniors to new technologies
- Trial health applications with target audiences
- Set up an Urban Living Lab
A key component of the Living Lab is the demonstration apartment. This helps partners test and improve ideas for remote medical monitoring, data management and care planning, fall detection and prevention, alerts management and independent living in different settings such as homes, residential care facilities and hospitals. It also allows seniors to discover innovative devices they can install in their homes. To date, 23 products have been showcased here from home robots to connected furniture and online rehabilitation coaching. Calls for new products and services to trial takes place every six months.
The Living Lab has attracted visits from health care professionals, senior citizens, carers and patient associations. In addition to these groups, children, young adults and businesses have been invited to take part in training and education activities.
Results and impacts
Approximately 550 medical, nursing and ergotherapy students have received training, over 100 seniors have participated in internet and digital health education workshops and 600 children have attended health education courses centred on the use of games and digital devices.
The e-Health Business Innovation Centre adds value for startups through the team’s experience in healthcare, seniors care management, fundraising and international trade. Subsequently, six startups have succeeded in taking smart ideas to market. These include:
- DV Sante: creator of a mobile service to streamline the organisation of at home care
- Ignilife: founder of a chronic disease prevention web platform
- Nively: developer of a solution for real-time location and maintenance of biomedical devices in hospitals and aged care homes.
The City of Nice and Nice Metropole have advanced their research agenda by submitting more than 10 projects to European Horizon 2020 in the areas of healthy ageing, environmental constraints and health, and connected urban life. The city is also strengthening its participation in regional ERDF calls, EUROCITIES activities and IDEX, a new French university research funding program. At a local level, researchers at Nice University are involved in a project to further develop the interoperability of connected objects in the Living Lab.
Barriers and challenges
Stringent management practices and a robust governance process are needed to bring together different types of organisations with different missions and ways of working together as a cohesive, collaborative ecosystem.
Lessons learned and transferability
Building a strong brand identity from the beginning for 27 Delvalle has played a pivotal role in the project’s profile and success in attracting innovators and stakeholders that now includes over 100 partner companies.
The City of Nice positioned the aged care issue at the top of its public policy agenda. The city has outlined five priorities needed to facilitate digital health innovation:
- Elderly people and their families need to understand what technology solutions exist;
- Healthcare professionals need to be trained in the use and promotion of new technologies developed in the sector;
- A space is needed where companies can trial their innovations and people can see, touch and use them;
- The city must also support start-ups and SMEs involved in healthcare, wellbeing, smart homes and healthy ageing, creating a vibrant ecosystem dedicated to new usages and tools;
- Stimulate original research in key enabling technologies.
Cities in action - Nice fosters healthcare innovation, Pioneering urban health solutions - Eurocities, November 2016