Health is an application domain of choice for research in Computer Science and Information Systems. The term "e-Health" refers to the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to the full range of functions involved in the health sector. The aim is to improve the quality, access and efficiency of healthcare for all.
The IRIT e-Health platform offers an academic research potential to provide solutions to major challenges:
These issues are at the core of the prospects for economic and social development, as outlined by the French National Research Agency (ANR):
"The development of technologies for the health and dependence prevention stems from strong societal needs and growing constraints which include:
These issues are at the intersection of two strategic axes of the IRIT:
Faced with increased chronic degenerative diseases that require follow-up care, and with the increasing willingness of patients to seek care in a family environment in order to keep their social links, there is currently in France, as in other developed countries, new strategic directions in structuring the healthcare systems. This takes notably the form of a transfer of a large part of the activities from the hospital to the patient’s home. The hospital becomes a step in the process of care, together with surrounding care structures. People losing their autonomy (elderly, sick or disabled), in order to continue living alone, must be monitored and assisted in their daily environment.
The activities of the IRIT e-Health platform are in line with the guidance of national (ANR) and European ("Ambient Assisted Living” initiative) research programs relating to health, where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are considered an essential element for improving practice in this area.
The healthcare professionals agree on the economic and human benefits of keeping patients at home. Faced with an aging population, we want to enable dependent elderly to maintain their quality of life, rather than being housed in special institutions. Some long-term treatment usually provided in hospital can also be provided at home, at lower cost and with better patient satisfaction, if appropriate infrastructure is in place. At the technological level, this area requires a convergence of home automation, telecommunications, and monitoring techniques as well as decision-making systems to detect potentially dangerous situations for the patient and initiate appropriate alarms towards the patient’s environment (family, doctor...). Systems that integrate sensor networks and data transmission and processing, associated with the continuous monitoring of the physiological parameters of an individual are privileged objects of study for the e-Health platform.
The IRIT e-Health platform of is also concerned with providing the various players in healthcare of new opportunities to use ICT, both in the field of telecommunications and of the new interaction techniques. These technological advances can be leveraged to make more efficient the practices of the medical sector, and enable new applications. In this area, the e-Health platform promotes user-centered design methods to propose new applications adapted to the users tasks, and evaluate the usefulness and usability of these applications in their context of use.
In 2011, the platform e-Health is coordinating a national project dealing with the coordination of activities for the home care (http://www.plasosoins.org). Two projects funded by the Midi-Pyrénées Region are also underway, as well as five doctorates.
The CHL will offer the hardware and software infrastructure of a health facility. From a technical point of view, these software components will be available on a virtualized architecture for high availability, and enable the connection and operation of dedicated medical tools with different health professional.
This cooperation enables "in vivo" testing and validation of solutions stemming from research in e-health, by enabling deployment at realistic scale of these projects in hospitals, care centers and with home-care patients.
 Programme : Technologies pour la Santé et l’Autonomie. Agence Nationale de la recherche, appel à projets 2008.
 Étude prospective sur les technologies pour la santé et l’autonomie. ALCIMED, étude réalisée à la demande de l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche et de la Caisse Nationale de Solidarité pour l’Autonomie. Octobre 2007.
 Usage des TIC par les patients et les citoyens en situation de fragilité dans leurs lieux de vie. Conseil Général des Technologies de l’Information, MM. Robert Picard et Jean-Pierre Souzy. Août 2007.
 Bien vieillir dans la société de l’information, une initiative i2010. Communication de la commission des communautés Européennes au parlement, au conseil, au comité économique et social et au comité des régions. Juin 2007.