Alexandre Ceccaldi

Alexandre Ceccaldi is the General Secretary of the European Technology Platform on Nanomedicine (ETPN), the think tank of medical applications of nanotechnologies in Europe, and coordinator of the NOBEL European Project, which acts for the convergence of all emerging medtech including digital health.

He holds a PhD in biology (University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris) and an engineering degree from Agro ParisTech, with experience in anticancer strategies, industrial management and innovative design. Previously, he has managed INGESTEM, the first French national public consortium entirely dedicated to R&D on induced pluripotent stem cells and their medical applications. He is currently responsible for the management and development of the secretariat of the ETPN association in Paris, and provides strategic and operational support to a community of more than 120 member organizations of the European nanomedicine ecosystem, in coordination with the board of directors of the platform. He has a passion for innovation in healthcare, not for the sake of it, but because it may really change the life of millions patients every year.

Everything we know about healthcare will be totally different in twenty years. But while breath-taking new technologies become available, I believe our most important task is to integrate them in a way that always benefits patients. Emerging medical technologies are fantastic tools with which we can completely reimagine the continuum of care. We can redesign how, when and where healthcare is delivered to improve the quality of our lives and the sustainability of healthcare systems. Artificial intelligence is the most powerful breakthrough I see in healthcare. Digital health will revolutionize prevention, diagnosis, care and long-term monitoring, profoundly transforming outcomes for patients. While there may be some reluctance to ‘trust’ machines today for both security and ethical issues which must be addressed, I may imagine a day when it would be unethical not to consult AI before making clinical decisions. There are other fields where we can see awe-inspiring progress. In nanomedicine, biomaterials, photonics and robotics, innovation is becoming a reality for patients. These technologies can combine to deliver unprecedented solutions: nanoparticles to treat cancer without using drugs, artificial pancreas to make life with diabetes simpler, exoskeletons controlled by the brain of patients with disabilities, retinal implants to treat age-related blindness, etc. Today’s health systems are mainly responsive. We are still focusing on acute, short-term responses to chronic conditions. This is inefficient. I see three ways in which technologies can transform the continuum of care for the good of patients. First, a modern health system should seek to avoid the acute phase of care through smarter prevention and earlier diagnosis. Basically, it is all about not becoming a patient, through wellness care. Second, we must optimize the management of the acute phase when it occurs. Patients who require hospitalisation should benefit from personalized approaches and a faster return to their normal...