Connected Objects: Gadget or Effective Solutions for Health?

Connected Objects: Gadget or Effective Solutions for Health?

Conference given at the “Rencontres de l’Innovation” the 27th April in Carcassonne (France).

Non-implantable health digital objects invade our daily lives. They are not in the category of medical devices. Interactive pedometer measuring our number of daily steps and encouraging us to do more, telephone application to better manage a chronic illness, weighing scales, electronic cigarette to stop smoking, serious games, pillbox Electronic gymnastics, gymnastics on digital tablet, connected watch for cardiac rhythm monitoring, shoe evaluating energy expenditure, electronic health bracelet, wake diffuser acting on sleep, glycemic monitoring glasses, patch … The offer is plethoric. The market is considerable (PIPAME, 2016).

Some digital objects are intended to help a medical diagnosis by biometric and behavioral measurements (“quantified self”). Others measure a behavioral marker (number of steps). Others aim to become genuine prevention and / or care solutions, we speak of non-medicinal or INM interventions (HAS, 2011).

The supply of these products is increasing every day. Their use may be prescribed or recommended by health professionals or prevention. But are they really safe? Are they really effective at preventing a disease or treating symptoms? Are they really tailored to the needs of seniors? Are they really useful or cost effective? Are they sold at the right price? Are they vehicles for increasing or reducing social inequalities? Or, ultimately, are they just gadgets that will end up in the closet in a few weeks like so many others?

A major challenge is to be able to evaluate them scientifically and determine their true added value in terms of health and quality of life. Today, no evaluation procedure is accepted by all, as is the case for validation of medicines. Users and healthcare professionals are left to their own devices. Manufacturers do not know which validation and monitoring procedure to follow. Researchers are opposed to the best modalities of upstream and downstream study protocol. Decision-makers lack regulatory and legal tools other than manufacturing standards.

The conference calls for a scientific approach and a genuine approach to validation and clinical monitoring on the subject to improve professional practices and benefits for patients. The slideshow is open access.


Evaluating the connected objects health on manufacturing quality and user experience says nothing about their health effectiveness. There is an urgent need to create a consensual approach to validation and surveillance as was the case for the drug 50 years ago.

Les références

Académie Nationale de Médecine (2013). Thérapies complémentaires: Leur place parmi les ressources de soins. Paris: Académie Nationale de Médecine.

Haute Autorité de Santé (2011). Développement de la prescription de thérapeutiques non médicamenteuses validées. Paris: HAS Edition.

Ministère de l’Economie, de l’Industrie et du Numérique (2016). E-santé : faire émerger l’offre française en répondant aux besoins présents et futurs des acteurs de santé. Paris: PIPAME.

Ninot G (2014). Définir la notion d’intervention non médicamenteuse. Blog en Santé, A16.

Pour citer cet article du Blog en Santé ©

Ninot G (2017). Connected Objects: Gadget or Effective Solutions for Health? Blog en Santé, C6.

© Copyright 2017 Grégory Ninot. All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “Connected Objects: Gadget or Effective Solutions for Health?
  1. Ta bonne santé says:

    Bonjour, très bon article,
    Il est vrai qu’il s’agit d’un enjeu majeur pour les années à venir, mais il faut savoir que sur toutes ces inventions, seules 50% des ces objets répondent réellement aux besoins de leurs utilisateurs..

  2. Calleo says:

    Oui en effet ! Les objets connectés prennent de plus en plus de place et s’implantent petit à petit dans notre vie surtout dans le domaine de santé.
    Merci pour ce partage !

  3. Thomas says:

    Très intéressante réflexion. C’est vrai que les objets connectés envahissent de plus en plus notre quotidien. On peut d’ailleurs souvent se demander s’ils apportent un vrai intérêt pour l’utilisateur….(quid des parapluies connectés ?)
    Il est donc important de rester vigilants…

  4. CoachAddict says:

    Merci pour l’info, c’est bon à savoir. Et effectivement, nombreuses sont la question qui se pose, surtout s’ils sont vraiment adaptés aux besoins spécifiques de leurs utilisateurs? En tout cas, il faut faire très attention.

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