Meeting with the director of PEP 18 and reflections on the place of digital technology in the medical-social sector
Published: 06 October 2023
What role do you see for digital technology in the medical-social sector?
The place of digital technology in our organizations today is insufficient, especially in terms of the response it could provide in terms of autonomy and inclusion, which is what attracted me to your startup in the first place.
For me, it’s insufficient in relation to the ambitions it can take us to, and I think this is partly true for many managing bodies. For me, the place of digital technology today is emerging in a small area.
For me it’s a strategic issue, it brings us back to this paradigm shift that everyone’s talking about and the digital transition, digital is part of it, the evolution of society, and I think our organizations, at least for the PEP18we were a little late.
It’s going to grow, and it’s a strategic area, because a research and development area is something that has no end, no fixed duration, it’s something that’s going to be constantly evolving, and above all it’s going to take on a growing role based on the needs of the user.
It’s a new way of responding to users’ needs in an inclusive way, because fundamentally it’s about bringing users the digital universe that is part of today’s society.
What do you think are the fundamentals for embarking on a digital project?
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a subject I’ve been giving a lot of thought to for 2-3 years, and when I took over as CEO of PEP18 almost 4 years ago now, I realized that we had a rather disharmonious approach, that we weren’t on a strategic and associative level. At the time, everyone in their own area had different digital initiatives, and for me, to make this digital transition a success, you have to look at it from a global point of view first.
To do this, we need to integrate it into the association’s project, as part of a general social transition.
In fact, it started out as an associative project, then developed into a user-driven development and research program. Your concept is an inclusive tool and fits in well with my conception of such a project.
If we want to make a success of this transition, at this level, and make it part of our future, I don’t think it can be any other way. We can’t go in half-heartedly, we’ll go in gradually, but for the whole association and at all levels of the association.
This experimental approach is also a prerequisite for success.
The digital transition is one of the association’s objectives, and the user is at the heart of our project, so it obviously affects everyone. By choosing to work with players such as yourselves, who are experts in a scientific approach to the medical-social sector, we are integrating this research and development approach into our organizations, based on the subject of digital technology at the service of the user.
Why did you choose Auticiel over other digital solutions on the market?
The first reason is your approach. You’re not here to sell us accessories with which we can get by, it’s an approach based on the needs of the user and how the digital becomes a tool for developing autonomy and therefore an inclusive tool integrated at all levels from the personalized project to the association’s strategic project.
Secondly, your guarantees and scientific robustness were very important to me. You provide guarantees at this level, and not just with engineers, but also with neuropsychologists, neuroscience specialists, project development specialists, and of course technicians, as these are inevitably needed.
Since it’s a project that starts with the user, there’s no such thing as a standard project – everything is made-to-measure.
Thanks to your R&D approach, you have a product that is constantly evolving in line with your research work. But also in terms of valuing the work you do with all the associations and your partners, these are extremely important criteria for us.
There’s also a 3rd level of guarantee, which is notably that of your research program with Adapei 44, which is how I dreamed it would be, it’s a project like that that we want to approach.
What advice would you give to associations interested in doing a project with Auticiel? What are the prerequisites for professional teams and beneficiaries?
The digital transition is a systemic transition, and if we don’t tackle it as such, we’re taking a huge risk.
If we want to live up to the ambitions proposed by the digital transition on this type of project, I think the condition is to be ready to commit your association globally, I don’t think it can be done in a piecemeal fashion. We run the risk of not going as far as our ambitions.
The issue of digital transition is that a person’s support project is no longer up for discussion, it’s part of our change management, it’s systemic.
It’s not necessarily advice, but if there’s one thing I’d do again, it’s this one, because I can see that it’s already mobilizing everyone.
In the steering committee for this project, we will also be mobilizing users and legal representatives, and with this new way of working we are bringing about a profound change in practice.
Time is also essential, as is method. In our case, it all started with a diagnosis. I asked each school what was being done in terms of digital transition, and what I saw was a patchwork of small initiatives and trials, but nothing on a large scale.
What positive benefits do you expect for beneficiaries and their families?
I’m going to put it very simply: the less they depend on us, the better. A specialized educator said that, and it struck me! The idea is to use the digital tool as a means of compensating for disability in everyday life, in the person’s life path, and that’s what makes it so interesting. In other words, tomorrow we’ll be defending at the MDPH the fact that a child or adult with an intellectual disability will be able to claim the price of a license and a tablet as part of his or her compensation rights, because it’s part of a highly personalized tool for autonomy, social participation and disability compensation that will enable him or her to be in this inclusive trajectory, i.e. not to be systematically dependent on a professional in his or her daily life, but also at work.
That’s how I see it, it’s fundamentally an inclusive, personalized compensation tool, and that’s the whole point of digital technology.
The aim is inclusion, autonomy, participation, the fact that if I’m a person with a disability, I depend on others as little as possible, and that I have a tool adapted to my needs, which are constantly evolving, every day, depending on where I live, where I work, what my situation is at any given moment, and that I can integrate it into my lifestyle, and that’s fundamentally innovative.