4th Meeting ESOF 2018

Fourth preparatory meeting ESOF 2018

The ESOF 2018 preparatory meetings  in Toulouse continue in 2017, with a series of scientific events that converge with the orientations of the national and regional research strategy. The themes chosen for these meetings are linked to the axes of the EuroScience Open Forum, and are reflected in the ESOF 2018 call for proposals.

The 4th preparatory meeting, organised in Toulouse on Wednesday 8 March 2017, was focused on new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and health. It is organised around presentations and discussions on "Big Data in Health" and will be an opportunity to present the work of PhD students exploring this topic.

Highlights and perspectives

The 4th Preparatory Meeting ESOF 2018, dedicated to Big data in Health, took place on March 8th at the Purpan Hospital in Toulouse. What’s new and what’s going on regarding this buzzing topic at the frontier between medicine, high techs, ethics with big political and societal issues?

Big data, smart data, health, ethics, personalised medicine, informed consent of the patient, commercial use of health data…: the 4th Preparatory ESOF2018 Meeting, and the first one dedicated to a scientific topic, brought together experts and organisations for a high-level debate with technical and social issues. As Big Brother is around and as technologies are going faster than market and laws, the implementation of big data in healthcare involves several questions and opens bright perspectives.

Lots of questions and the first one is how to define big data in health? But also how to create confidence, how to guarantee patient’s rights, how to control and regulate access and use of these data? What about a political incentive to promote an emerging industrial sector? About big data and health, everything is about multidisciplinary approach with concerns in medicine, legislation, ethics. It was indeed the case during the 5th ESOF Meeting which took place at the Pierre-Paul Riquet Hospital and brought together 80 participants.

During the opening ceremony, Raymond Le Moign, CEO of the Toulouse Hospital, explained that big data in health allow to think about new health services and products and highlighted the challenges of precision and prediction medicine. Thomas Lefevre (Paris 13 University, Hôpital Jean Verdier, Inserm-CNRS EHESS), has recalled the definition, rather vague, of big data and their application in health as well as the next issues to face in order to implement it. Cyrille Delpierre, researcher at UMR1027 Inserm-Université Paul Sabatier leading a team studying inequalities in healthcare, explained that data are never objective and underlined the importance of the context of data and patient. As an industrial, Benjamin Sarda from Air Liquide Medical System pinpointed that medical data held by French hospitals represent a huge treasure but that nothing is done to promote their use and to support the emergence of start-up, SME and industrial tissue in this area. At the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT), Nathalie Aussenac is working both on the technological supply but also on the societal demands in the double context of health costs cutting and hope to provide new solutions for the patients. Thierry Lang (IFERISS) said that big data are useful tools to produce hypothesis in epidemiology but that it is now time to produce knowledges ! The last speaker, Caroline Gans-Combe (INSEEC and European Commission expert) remind about the legal vacuum surrounding self-generated data and about problems when it comes to re-using data in different context or applications.

Regarding big data in health, the challenges are clearly scientific, ethical, technological and economic, but also in a political and societal perspectives as emphasized by the institutions represented (Occitanie Region, Toulouse Metropole, Toulouse University Midi-Pyrenees) on march 8th. This debate will be continued during the ESOF “Health in our Societies” sessions in July 2018. Meanwhile, the next and fifth meeting "Objectif ESOF 2018" will be held on 12 May 2017 around the Human / Robot interactions.

Preparatory ESOF2018 Meetings in 2017

  1. 8th March 2017 - Big Data & Health
  2. 12th May 2017 - Interaction Robot - Robot / Robot - Human
  3. September 2017 - Digital Agriculture & Nutrition
  4. December 2017 - Water & Energy

The ESOF2018 Preparatory Meeting are organised with the financial support of Region Occitanie.


About ESOF

ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe. It is dedicated to scientific research and innovation and offers a unique framework for interaction and debate for scientists, innovators, policy makers, business people and the general public. The next edition of the biennal will take place in Toulouse, 9th-14th July 2018. After Stockholm, Munich, Barcelone, Turin, Dublin, Copenhague et Manchester, ESOF Toulouse 2018 will bring together 4000 participants during scientific sessions and more than 50000 visitors invited to join events in the city. ESOF Toulouse 2018 six-days event will include six differents programmes « Science », « Science Policy », « Science to Business », « Careers », « Media & Science Communication » and « Science in the city » - but also exhibition and satellite events. A call for proposals for the scientific sessions is open until 2th june 2017.

Download the programme of the 4th Meeting ESOF 2018

programme-4th-meeting-esof2018-fr (359.1 KiB)