Paris, 11 December 2017.
Launched two years ago, on 10 December 2015, the OpenHealth Institute supports innovative research applied to the analysis of health data for the purposes of public health and health system evaluation. It also organises distance or face-to-face training for health sector stakeholders and specialised courses. In 24 months, the Institute has supported 20 innovative research projects carried out by public health laboratories, epidemiology, data science and social sciences of major French and international universities.


The work supported touches on a wide variety of health research areas

On 17 November, the OpenHealth Institute held its first "Young Researchers" session. The objective was to bring together scholarship recipients of the Institute (Master 2, PHD students and postdoctoral students) for a scientific session of sharing and exchanges and to outline research into the contribution of health data analysis.

For Professor Jacques Demongeot, Chair of the Institute's Scientific Council, the diversity of the work supported illustrates the value that health data can generate in terms of improving public health knowledge and improving the efficiency of healthcare systems.

From the "automated processing of natural language" to the contribution of "mobile telephony in estimating the spatio-temporal distribution of epidemics", the works presented offer a wide range of topics. Thus, among all the works supported, the grants awarded by the OpenHealth Institute have, for example, contributed to:

  • The project of a 1st-year postdoctoral student at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), Inserm, who carried out a postdoctoral assignment lasting a few months at the University of Amsterdam to develop her work on emotional and behavioural symptoms in children and links to mental health in adulthood.
  • To fund the 2-month residency at the Boston Children's Hospital of a PHD student from LIMSI (Computer Science Laboratory for Mechanics and Engineering Sciences, Paris Saclay) as part of his work on the automated processing of natural language to analyse large volumes of patient records.
  • In support of a 2nd-year PhD student in the Public Health at the Epidemiology and Statistics Research Centre, Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS), Inserm, to carry out an 8-month placement in Norway and work on the Norwegian mother-child cohort Moba, from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in connection with her thesis on the association between exposure to mixed food contaminants and child development.
  • In support of a PhD student from SESSTIM, Inserm, University of Aix-Marseille, in his work on the reuse of mobile phone data in estimating the spatio-temporal spread of epidemics, applied to the case of malaria in Senegal.
  • The continuation of a PHD student's work in public health at the Doctoral School of Societies, Politics and Public Health of the University of Bordeaux, on recognising multiple events to analyse and predict the development of cancer.

Professor Marius Fieschi, President of the OpenHealth Institute, praised the quality and richness of the topics and projects presented during this session: "This reinforces the OpenHealth Institute's purpose of supporting the dynamics and optimisation of French research in the field of health data analysis, while equipping young researchers with a mechanism that is at once flexible, rigorous and independent".


2018, a new impetus for research around and into health data

Beyond this first "Young Researchers" session, and at the proposal of the Scientific Council, the Institute's office has decided to award eight new scholarships for the 2017–2018 year, seven to support PhD students on innovative themes in the field of health data analysis, an eighth to support the completion of a postdoctoral project in a North American laboratory.

The OpenHealth Institute has also set a goal of contributing to the dissemination of knowledge in the field of data processing. It continues its distance learning programme initiated last year. The first webinar of the year, jointly organised with SESSTIM (Economic and Social Sciences of Health and Treatment of Medical Information, UMR912), will take place on 5 January 2018 under Guy Fagherazzi, INSERM Paris, and will focus on "Modern epidemiology in the digital age. Use of connected objects and social networks in cohort studies".

The training programme will continue throughout 2018 with sessions dedicated to "Deep learning and health applications" or "The visual analysis of temporal reasons in patient file data".


Pr Marius Fieschi, President
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About OpenHealth Institute
A non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting research, the OpenHealth Institute aims to support research focused on the analysis of health data for public health and health system evaluation purposes. It therefore aims to help stimulate and support the dynamics of French research in this field by equipping it with a mechanism that is at once flexible, rigorous and independent. The OpenHealth Institute, which stems from the OpenHealth Company initiative, is chaired by Professor Marius Fieschi.


Composition of the scientific council

  • Professor Jacques Demongeot, Director of the Public Health Unit at Grenoble University Hospital, President of the Scientific Council of the OpenHealth Institute
  • Noël Bonneuil, Director of Studies at EHESS and Director of Research at INED
  • Dr Philippe Combes, Hospital Practitioner at Montperrin Hospital Aix-en-Provence
  • Professor Bruno Falissard, Professor of Biostatistics at the Paris-Sud Faculty of Medicine, Inserm Unit Director
  • Professor Marius Fieschi, Honorary Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of Marseille, President of the OpenHealth Institute
  • Professor Roch Giorgi, Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of Marseille, Director of SESSTIM
  • Professor Christian Hervé, Director of the Medical Ethics Laboratory of René-Descartes University (Paris 5)
  • Professor Pierre Le Beux, Honorary Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of Rennes
  • Professor Christian Roux, Director of Research and Innovation of the Mines-Telecom Institute
  • Professor Christophe Tzourio, Professor at the University of Bordeaux, Inserm Unit Director

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