All news

Leveraging MedVallée to make Montpellier an exemplary area for Global Health

Information updated on 28/11/22

Futurapolis showed that MedVallée, world-class excellence cluster in Global Health, is gaining ground in an exemplary territory. Proof is in the actions presented by Montpellier, Montpellier Métropole, the Montpellier University Hospital, and Occitanum.

Futurapolis 2022

Futurapolis 2022

MedVallée is a world-class excellence cluster in Global Health, supported by many stakeholders committed to public health. It has a single goal: to promote access for everyone to high-quality healthcare and food in a peaceful environment. Futurapolis Santé offered a demonstration of that aim. The sixth edition of this annual event was held on October 7 and 8 at the Montpellier Opera Comédie theater by Le Point magazine in partnership with Montpellier, Montpellier Métropole, and the Occitanie Region. The event showcased some of the initiatives that have made Montpellier a model territory in terms of Global Health.
MedVallée’s three key pillars are “feed, care, protect,” focusing on ways to ensure that no one is left by the wayside, in particular the most vulnerable people.

“We have an obligation to take action to fight against health inequalities, both in terms of preventive care and access to healthcare,” emphasized Michaël Delafosse, Mayor of Montpellier and President of Montpellier Métropole, during the official inauguration of Futurapolis Santé.

That is why Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole are rolling out specific measures “that address all the determining factors in health,” such as the Ma.Prévention Santé (My.Preventive Health) mobile unit, which will soon be traveling through the city’s neighborhoods, says Élodie Brun-Mandon, Montpellier city council member in charge of health care.
The first key initiative is to provide free public transportation. This measure is designed to reduce people’s use of cars. In the Montpellier metropolitan area, “8% of deaths are linked to air pollution. The environment’s impact on health is considerable,” says Grégoire Mercier, head of the Health Data Science Unit and Public Health Department at the Montpellier University Hospital (CHU). 
However, in addition to promoting a peaceful environment, Montpellier and Montpellier Metropole are stepping up their health prevention initiatives, as explained by Hervé Martin, Montpellier’s Deputy Director of Sports, such as the “Coup de Pouce Jeune” (Helping Hand for Youth) program, which offers €50 per child for their first membership in a sports club or cultural activity.
Mediation for health care will also be developed, mobilizing players based in their neighborhoods to detect needs and refer people to easy care or early detection services.
This approach of “reaching out to people” is also applied to oral health.

“Only people who see a dentist have access to the information needed to understand dental health. Therefore, for others to also have access, the only solution is to go out and meet them,” explains Nicolas Giraudeau, a dental surgeon at the Montpellier University Hospital (CHU) and coordinator of the Montpellier Santé Orale (Oral Health) program, in which both Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole are involved.

The Montpellier CHU is also the hospital that offers “the most oral telemedicine consultations in the world” for the benefit of people who have difficulty accessing care, adds Nicolas Giraudeau.
It is a question of culture. Indeed, the university hospital has even created its own innovation extraction program. The goal is to harness the best ideas generated by CHU teams and to help them become reality, whether they are start-up projects or practical and organizational innovations.

“Innovation is the ongoing adaptation of our activities to improve patient care,” says Thomas Le Ludec, director of the Montpellier CHU. In early 2022, his institution set up an organizational innovation program focused on individual patients.

Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole share the same philosophy and are also focusing on helping seniors age well. After receiving the Ville Aidante Alzheimer (Alzheimer’s Caregiver City) label, Montpellier is now applying for the Ville Amie des Seniors (City of Friendship with the Elderly) label, highlights Élodie Brun-Mandon. Montpellier will also host one of the Center de Santé de Ma Région (My Region’s Health Centers) “most likely in 2023,” confirms Vincent Bounes, vice-president of the Occitanie Region, in charge of health.
Last but not least, global health is not possible without quality food. This is where Occitanum is involved, mobilizing digital technologies in the Occitanie region, based in Montpellier, to make them accessible for agroecological transitions and food systems.

“We go out to meet users – farmers, consumers, local authorities – to see how we can work together to develop a transition that will allow us to produce food in a more sustainable manner, with greater respect for the environment and in a more desirable way for farmers,” observes Véronique Bellon-Maurel, coordinator of Occitanum, researcher at INRAE, and director of #Digitag, the only French Convergence Institute focusing on connected agriculture.

In other words, issues shared by Montpellier and Montpellier Métropole are being addressed. With MedVallée, Montpellier Métropole is becoming a demonstration territory* in Global Health.
*The “Demonstration City and Territory” objective is an integral part of the action plan presented during the meeting held on June 27, namely with the MedVallée 2022-2026 strategy adopted by the Metropolitan Council on July 26. This roadmap highlights five strategic areas divided into 30 operational actions, 19 of which will take place in 2022 thanks to the involvement of more than 250 stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.