French focus on digital health provides a positive sign for the upcoming French Presidency! 

France will take over the EU presidency of the Council in January of 2022, opening the door for new and adapted priorities. While an official agenda for the French presidency is not yet public, it is always interesting to consider the current national politics to identify points of interest for the government. 

In terms of digital health, France is currently beginning a significant investment period. Health Minister Olivier Véran announced at the end of October that France was going to accelerate its national digital health strategy as well as invest 650 million euros over the next year for digital health expenditures.  

The French government describes supporting digital health as a necessity for providing better care and bringing patients closer to the healthcare system. A third of the budget will go towards research and innovation, with the goal of making France an EU and global leader in digital health strategy. Their strategy mentions technologies and devices utilising artificial intelligence. 

The second third is allotted to experimental programmes within medical facilities and the remaining funding will be split between training healthcare professionals to ensure digital literacy, addressing the digital divide amongst patients and the actual deployment and infrastructure of digital health tools. Approximately 100 million will be allocated in early 2022.

While this investment is exciting for France individually, it is also exciting for the Avicenna Alliance to see such an emphasis on digital health research and innovation coming from the incoming EU Council presidency. With a multitude of relevant digital health and artificial intelligence legislations currently underway, a strong presidency emphasis on digital health will continue to support investment in this crucial sector. 

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