VINCI Energies business unit Cegelec 3S has just set up a design office to support the digital transition of healthcare institutions. The aim is to deliver a range of services that meet their specific needs as part of an open ecosystem approach.

With an ageing population on the one hand and a commitment from public authorities to help older people remain in their home environment for as long as possible on the other, we are seeing the average age of nursing home residents increase every year. Today, almost all residents have multiple conditions, especially of a neuro-degenerative nature (Alzheimer’s and related disorders).  

This means that health facilities need to take steps to operate more like small clinics than places to live and deliver external home care services.   

“eHealth projects will only move forwards if they manage to bring together an ecosystem of public and private players involved in healthcare professions.”

The coming revolution will play out on a digital stage. In order to limit transfers as well as repeat hospital admissions and on-site procedures, nursing homes will need to have access to the necessary equipment to practise telemedicine and to manage relationships with patients and their friends and family.  

Currently, most of the digital development being undertaken in the care home sector involves wearable technology, where the residents themselves wear smart bracelets or pendants. However, initial experiences are paving the way for more sophisticated and systematic digitised processes.

Cutting-edge technologies

Cegelec 3S, a VINCI Energies business unit specialising in communications installations, has been working on numerous initiatives in the field over the past three years. These include a smart room with a headboard featuring a fall detection system; a telepresence robot fitted with a screen enabling people with reduced mobility to interact with friends, relatives and care staff; and an open software platform supporting internal and external application interoperability (care programming, supervision, taxi reservation, teleconsultation, medical data collection, etc.).

“While the medical environment is an ideal testing ground for cutting-edge technologies, robotics and algorithms, Health 4.0 must primarily aim to meet two goals: improve patient and resident comfort, and enhance carers’ working conditions,” says François Faguais, manager of the Cegelec 3S business unit.  

From assessment to maintenance

In order to gear its eHealth services more specifically towards meeting the new needs and challenges facing its clients and towards becoming a long-term expert partner for technical and innovative solutions, Cegelec 3S recently set up a dedicated design office. This offers an extended range of services, including an assessment of needs and practices, an organisational, technical and real estate audit, social engineering and assistance to the client, technical and organisational engineering, project management, financial arrangements, project monitoring, maintenance and training.  

And to further bolster its approach, the company has hired a nurse and a former nursing home director. “As far as eHealth is concerned, the solution cannot just be technological. If we want to understand the needs and expectations of administrative and medical directors in healthcare facilities, we need to speak the same language as them,” points out Faguais.

For the time being, Cegelec 3S is essentially targeting nursing homes, accommodation for people with disabilities, home nursing services, Hospital at Home services, home help services, health centres, and so on.  

But in the future, the VINCI Energies business unit intends to roll out its solutions in hospital environments. “eHealth is a public policy issue. Projects will only move forwards if they manage to bring together an entire ecosystem of public and private players involved in healthcare professions who can communicate using common standards and share data reliably and securely,” stresses Faguais.