Scientific MOOCs follower. Author of Airpocalypse, a techno-medical thriller (Out Summer 2017)

Welcome to the digital era of biology (and to this modest blog I started in early 2005).

To cure many diseases, like cancer or cystic fibrosis, we will need to target genes (mutations, for ex.), not organs! I am convinced that the future of replacement medicine (organ transplant) is genomics (the science of the human genome). In 10 years we will be replacing (modifying) genes; not organs!

Anticipating the $100 genome era and the P4™ medicine revolution. P4 Medicine (Predictive, Personalized, Preventive, & Participatory): Catalyzing a Revolution from Reactive to Proactive Medicine.

I am an early adopter of scientific MOOCs. I've earned myself four MIT digital diplomas: 7.00x, 7.28x1, 7.28.x2 and 7QBWx. Instructor of 7.00x: Eric Lander PhD.

Upcoming books: Airpocalypse, a medical thriller (action taking place in Beijing) 2017; Jesus CRISPR Superstar, a sci-fi -- French title: La Passion du CRISPR (2018).

I love Genomics. Would you rather donate your data, or... your vital organs? Imagine all the people sharing their data...

Audio files on this blog are Windows files ; if you have a Mac, you might want to use VLC ( to read them.

Concernant les fichiers son ou audio (audio files) sur ce blog : ce sont des fichiers Windows ; pour les lire sur Mac, il faut les ouvrir avec VLC (

Son of leg amputee patient: healthcare system works in silos where it should work across the silo

Amputated patient is trying to engage emergency care in digital age (or will die trying)

AUDIO VERSION (download audio file). This is a success story: listen to how a leg amputated patient is engaging emergency care in digital age!

Audio files on this blog are Windows files ; if you have a Mac, you might want to use VLC ( to read them. 

Son of leg amputee patient: healthcare system works in silos where it should work across the silo: (video in French)

Nicolas from Jean Michel Billaut on Vimeo.

About four years ago, my friend, a French digital economist (actually one of the top social media influencers in his country), felt a violent and sudden pain in his knee and the back of his leg, as he was playing with his three-year old grandson. Turns out it was his popliteal artery that was ailing. My friend had been experiencing what you might call the equivalent of a cerebrovascular accident, but instead of happening in his brain, the bad news was happening at the back of his left leg.

His son, a physician, calls 911 – or rather, the French equivalent of 911, as this is all happening in France. The son happens to work at the exact same place where the father lives. How convenient and ideal for an emergent patient! Optimal reaction time, as you might say. Excellent! Except that no ambulance was sent, in spite of the accurate description of popliteal aneurysm symptoms made by his son on the phone. Yes, you hear me, on the phone. I know, this is digital age, but guess what? (Non-) emergent patients are being triaged… on the phone. The whole thing seems to run by fortuneteller rather than by scientific standards, if you want my opinion…Anyway, the person operating the triage system in this particular circumstance did not deem it necessary to require an ambulance, so much for optimal reaction time and care. When finally the ambulance came, they were not sure exactly where to go so they just drove my friend around, see if they could find some available OR, and some available surgeon, vascular surgical specialty. 

"Sorry, that OR is not equipped for vascular surgery," "- oh ok, I see, well, we’ll try some other place then," and so on and so forth. 
Four hours later – and this is happening near Paris, mind you, not in the middle of nowhere! – my friend finally sees a surgeon… said surgeon wears a frown: “Not sure you can keep your leg… It looks bad… You should have come earlier…”
I kid you not.

Guess what happened next? My friend had to undergo several painful surgical procedures AND vascular surgeon could not avoid leg amputation. They could not save my friend's limb. Pay AND suffer.

The saddest thing of all is that this is only the beginning of the nightmare… I’ve been listening to him telling his story on various occasions in the course of the past few years and months and each time he sounded like whenever he was trying to explain his situation to medical and admin staff, he got "put in his place". A few days ago, he told his story on his blog, using real names and wrote about conversations that actually took place – but he ended up receiving threat phone calls: "We’ll harm your family if you don’t take this off your blog." That kind of thing.

He pressed charges (delayed treatment) and lost the trial. Dismissed case.

The point he wants to make? Our healthcare system works in silos where it should work across the silo. How about using telemedicine for patient triage?

"72% of Consumers Are Willing to See a Doctor Via Telehealth Video Conferencing in the US."(just about the same in France, I would guess)...

Now, how about some smartphone app that would signal which OR is available, in which surgical specialty, so that ambulances don’t have to drive a patient around for hours, trying to guess where they should drop him… Is emergency care bound to be like a shot in the dark – in digital age, when we have a 'killer app' for just about anything? Anything but health? How ironic!
Yet in the course of four years, we saw a lot of engineers, they offered their eager and friendly and expert help and advice to make appropriate apps and promote telemedicine. Now I'm thinking back at all the efforts we have deployed, and looking back at all the meetings we’ve held… but to little avail. We could have saved time. We could have saved energy. Why? Because, you know what? 

It is not in the best interest of those occupying a privileged or strategic position to listen to my friend and his embarrassing futuristic technological mood.

Click on the pic to view it full size

Whenever I listen to what my internet and futuristic minded friend has to say about digital economy in general and its disruptive aspects in particular, though, the "futuristic-technological-mood" thing just makes perfect sense!

FUTURE 2.0? Generations, myths, beliefs, religions, philosophies, technology and its use, added value and its distribution... by Homo Sapiens.

This presentation has been held at the Paris offices of  L'Oreal, in April 2012. It explains major shifts of paradigm happening right here and right now in medicine, business, economy, communication. Genomics and digital care combine for healthcare ... The global digital economy is getting in gear, reorganizing our entire economic system ... Open source technologies, wireless medicine, robotics ... Let's take a look at the facts ... How to survive and thrive?  Be on the lookout for information, as "the general who wins a battle is the best informed" (Sun Tzu, "The Art of War").

What happened to my friend could happen to me, it could happen to you, in fact it could happen to just anybody. Forget about France. Forget about the U.S. Because it's just the same story. Medicine is sick. How can we heal it? We don’t need lonesome cowboys, we need pit crews. Now saying this is as disruptive as it gets. Will surgeons let the patients hold the scalpel? I, for one, know the answer.

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