Interview with Benjamin Rivalland of D-Data Santé

This article is part of our series on the Dataconnexions candidates who chose Exalead to partner with them on their projects.

Today the spotlight is on Benjamin Rivalland, project manager and developer, who is one of the two founders of the D-Data Santé project, the citizens’ public health guide.

Alex Lepriol                                                                                       Benjamin Rivalland

• Please tell us a little about yourself and your team.
The members of the team we put together for the D-Data Santé project have a wide range of skills and were recruited through the Décision Publique consulting company and its partners. Because of the make-up of our team, we’re well equipped to carry out software development, establish relationships with sources of public health and social data, create a visual identity, and devise a sustainable business model built around the re-use of public data.

• Tell us about your project.
D-Data santé is positioning itself as the Guide that aggregates and geolocates all public health services in order to inform the general public of services that are available and aid in decision-making. On a single site, D-Data Santé offers previously unpublished health sector information that will help people make healthcare decisions based on current official data:

  • A healthcare GPS feature in the form of interactive mapped directories to help people locate healthcare services, professionals, or organizations. Soon they will also be able to search for healthcare options by specific medical problem.
  • A customizable “health quality” dashboard displaying demographic and environmental indicators and public health alerts (flu epidemic, presence of allergens, etc.).
For the first time, the public will have a platform where they can exchange information about their preferred providers and their opinions about healthcare services (the reception received, waiting time, follow-up, etc.). In addition, they will have access to verified information related to topics they specify.
  • Contextualized comparison of healthcare services by city, administrative department, or region.
  • Secure personal space where users can manage and store their “healthcare favorites.”


The D-Data Santé project also has the following objectives:

  • To support the public at a time when individuals are increasingly involved in decisions regarding their own health or illnesses. Approximately 10% of French citizens consult a health-related site several times a week.
  • To help the next generation of doctors and communities deal with the changing medical demography, and to address the unequal distribution of healthcare professionals in the country.
  • To contribute to improved healthcare and cost control throughout the healthcare process by offering a service that clarifies the specific areas of expertise of different healthcare professionals and helps users distinguish among the different levels of medical services.


• Where did you get the idea for D-Data Santé?
In the course of our work as consultants to healthcare professionals and communities, we saw that healthcare services in France lacked visibility. To make the best use of our diagnostics, we had already created a mapping feature for all healthcare professionals in the country using information drawn from a variety of data sources (yellow pages,, etc.). But the data had to be regularly corrected to reflect changes. That’s when we got the idea to create a service for the public that provided up-to-date and comprehensive information on healthcare throughout the country.

• How do you plan to deliver this new service to the public and other users?
We’ll have a dedicated website complemented by mobile applications. Communities will have a module designed specifically for their use, which they can integrate into their existing websites. Institutional users will be able to add their own data sets in order to cross-reference them with the public data used by our platform.

• Why Dataconnexions?
Our team saw Dataconnexions as a real opportunity. By this I mean that there is a strong trend towards re-using public data. We wanted to embrace this trend and be part of it. Dataconnexions is a good way to meet those who produce and use open data and open access data, which we need in order to proceed with our project.

• Why did you choose Exalead ?
A project like ours needs a reliable and powerful search engine. We plan to aggregate a great deal of data from a variety of sources. Since our very first exchanges with Eric Cervantes during Dataconnexions, we saw the potential for bringing more credibility to our project and taking it as far as we had hoped we could.

• What’s it like working with Exalead teams?
Exalead is providing step-by-step support as we work with CloudView.  I also attended a training session during which expert consultants gave us guidance with regard to data indexing.

• So what’s next?
Next we’re going to focus on further developing our network of institutions that produce and re-use public health and social data in order to ensure a continuous flow of reliable and current data. And we still have one remaining development phase to complete before we can make our module available to local communities.

Want to know more about this project? Watch the video introduction to D-Data Santé and keep track of the project’s progress on these social networks:

Twitter: @ddatasante (!/ddatasante)

Facebook: /ddatasante (