Digital health

Changed on 08/10/2020

Tools to support diagnosis, analysis of exams, optimisation and personalisation of treatment, screening of biologically active molecules, and more. For 15 years or so, the application of the digital sciences to complex medical data has revolutionised the processing of health data and promises numerous benefits for patients.

Illustration Santé numérique / équipe CARMEN
© Inria / Photo C. Morel


For oncologists, the use of modelling and AI may aid the diagnosis of cancer by identifying novel disease markers earlier, by enhancing the precision of surgical procedures and therapies, by simulating the potential impact of treatment based on a patient's genome, and by personalising treatment according to the results obtained. For cardiologists, AI may speed up the analysis of ECGs and thus enable remote patient monitoring. And the diagnostic skills of radiologists will soon be aided by increasingly high-performing AI solutions.

Inria conducts numerous cross-disciplinary research projects on digital health and digital biology, paving the way for start-ups with global reach. One example is Therapixel, whose automated tool for analysing mammographs has already reduced false-positive rates by 5%. It will be released for sale in 2020. The possibilities are exciting. They are also inseparable from the issues of ethics and health data protection, which are incorporated right from the design phase of the technologies on offer ("privacy by design").

Large-scale programs

Representation cerveau

Human Brain Project

This major international project aims to model the human brain and create the tools to do so. What is at stake? Gain efficiency in the treatment of neurological diseases.



The partnership with the National Center for Diabetes Precision Medicine aims to develop tools for personalized diabetes treatment.



The objective of this large-scale collaborative project is to couple brain imaging and genomics to help treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

Inria's project-teams are mobilizing for health

  •  Sistm: this joint project-team in collaboration with INSERM is working with immunologists and clinicians on the treatment of AIDS by administration of interleukin.
  • MFX: this project-team uses 3D printing techniques to create prostheses from bio-compatible materials.
  • Aramis conducts brain and spinal cord research with hospital professionals.
  • Camin: this project-team works on the design and development of neuroprostheses in the context of sensory-motor deficiencies, in strong interaction with clinical partners and with the LIRMM (Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics and Microelectronics of Montpellier).
  • Empenn: this joint team with Inserm, CNRS and the University of Rennes targets the detection and development of imaging biomarkers for brain diseases.
  • Petrus: this team created a secure medical-social file technology to be installed in the homes of dependent people in order to improve the coordination of care and social benefits, while ensuring patient privacy.
  • Mimesis uses real-time and augmented reality simulation during surgery, customized from patient data.
  • Epione uses artificial intelligence and medical imaging for personalized medicine.

Two stars startups from Inria research

Logo Therapanacea

More accurate radiotherapies

This startup is developing new-generation software with artificial intelligence bricks to support medical teams in the customization of radiotherapy treatments to fight cancer.

Logo startup Therapixel

The start-up Therapixel raises €5m to improve breast cancer detection

This startup specialized in artificial intelligence applied to medical imaging is at the origin of an algorithm that interprets mammograms and makes it possible to detect breast cancer at first reading with great efficiency.

And also:

  • InSimo: this startup offers simulation software for learning the surgical procedure and surgical planning, particularly for cataract surgery. An action financed by the Bill Gates Foundation.
  • Inheart: this startup from the Carmen project-team is developing a 3D virtual heart modeling and localization technology to provide better and safer cardiac procedures.
  • Anatoscope: startup from the Imagine project team, Anatoscope offers a software solution to build 3D digital avatars based on medical imaging, with the same biomechanical characteristics as the real person. the avatar can then be used to model musculoskeletal and dental pathologies, to virtually test personalized treatments before applying them to the patient or to produce prostheses.
  • Nurea: a startup from the Memphis project-team, Nurea develops software for decision support and customization of implants for cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.
  • Pixyl: this startup from the Mistis project-team makes to medical research a new IT solution to locate, identify and quantify different types of brain lesions using to a MRI.
  • Lixof: this XPOP startup offers analysis solutions for clinical trials, also applicable to pharmacovigilance and pharmaco-epidemiology.