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The EHTEL team is sorry to announce the recent death of Mr Hervé Doaré. A graduate of France’s École Polytechnique, Mr Doaré was EHTEL’s first Executive Director.


Hervé Doaré in 2009 at the EHTEL Symposium tenth anniversary dinner

Alongside its first President and Treasurer, Mr Doaré took EHTEL from being a two-year European funded feasibility study to becoming a fully self-funded organisation. The association’s constitution was published in the Moniteur Belge on 2 November 1999. Established in Erlangen, Germany in the same year, the association’s first conference was held in 2000 in Lille, France. It focused on the still very topical challenge of “e-health for everybody and everywhere”.

The principles that lay behind EHTEL’s foundation are still completely valid today and are widely recognised throughout the whole of Europe, especially multi-stakeholder engagement. Still highly pertinent in 2021 are several of the topics identified for work by stakeholders at the association’s foundation: interoperability; legal, ethical, and security issues; and market analysis. Over the past two decades, the association got very involved in a variety of relevant European initiatives and projects (today, close to 30).

The association’s aim was to cast a light on key important digital health (then, eHealth) topics. The benefits of focusing on such important topics still holds today. Today, it still builds on the foundation of, in Mr Doaré’s words, “mak[ing] our voice heard and our view considered”.


In 1999, the EHTEL lighthouse idea is launched

On the 20th anniversary of EHTEL in 2019, a video which celebrates the organisation’s achievements was created. The video ends with the insight that a club is as good as its members. Starting out, it was certainly as good as its first Executive Director: that heritage remains today even though Mr Doaré has left us.

Mr Doaré’s funeral took place on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, in Kerfeunteun, a suburb of the city of Quimper in Brittany in France. He leaves behind his wife, Florence; their two children; and wider family members.


EHTEL’s floral tribute to Mr Hervé Doaré

EHTEL members tributes to and memories of Mr Hervé Doaré

EHTEL’s many original members ranged over healthcare authorities, healthcare providers, healthcare insurers, commercial and industrial companies, research institutions, and a patient organisation.

Among current members of EHTEL there are several individuals who remember Mr Doaré well. Their many tributes to him follow.


“I had the opportunity to meet Hervé Doaré several times, including on the occasion of the creation of EHTEL 21 years ago (at that time, I was only an observer, managing information technology projects across borders on social security). I remember Hervé as a very energetic and creative person. I consider him to be the actual father of EHTEL, although EHTEL officially had 25 founding members.”

Marc Lange, General Secretary, EHTEL


“Already in the mid-1990s, Hervé Doaré saw the need for a common European platform for users, providers and innovators – all stakeholders – in the field of health telematics. His determination to see that vision materialise led to the European Union-supported action, ProEHTEL, which brought together key persons from all over the Union. I was fortunate to be a member of that group, and enjoyed Hervé’s very gentle, yet powerful and determined, leadership and his never-failing ambition to reach the goal. At meetings in charming mansions, conference hotels or historic places, he managed to unite the various interests and lead towards a successful conclusion – namely the foundation of EHTEL. I must as well pay tribute to two other people: Hervé’s charming wife, Florence, who always helped him at conferences to promote the ‘true message’ and stood by him solid as a rock, and his daughter who drew the first editions of the trademark EHTEL beacon/lighthouse. Together, they were the first beacon of EHTEL. To them, I convey my sincere condolences.”

Niels Rossing, EHTEL honorary member and former representative of MEDCOM in EHTEL.


“Hervé was the initial driving force behind the establishment of EHTEL – an initiative ahead of its time, and not without difficulties in its early years. It is a testament to Hervé as well as the people and organisations with which he engaged that EHTEL continues to flourish.”

Andrew Ruck, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Synsana


“I had the honour and the luck to meet, collaborate, and become friends with Hervé Doaré.  Hervé, a proud Breton and European citizen, sincerely thought that technological development could contribute in a positive manner to the integration of the European Union and to the facilitation of the citizens’ cohesion process, starting from Health and Social Affairs politics. We first worked together in several projects funded by the European Commission. Then, thanks to Hervé's enthusiasm and stubbornness, to the birth of EHTEL, in which I participated for its first six years of activity – that became his entire professional life. Meeting and being with his family was a blessing, and in these hard times I'm virtually close to them and to their loss.  I will always remember the image of Hervé taking off his jacket, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt, and finally declaring, ‘Let's get to work, we will be successful!’ Ciao Hervé!”

Giancarlo Ruscitti, General Director for Health Care and Social Affairs, Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Italy


“In Hervé Doaré, Europe and EHTEL have lost a strong and successful networker: he set up his own multi-stakeholder platform! Jointly with many high-ranking professionals, Hervé spread the word about the EHTEL lighthouse. I joined this train in September 1999 in Erlangen – just in time to become one of the founding fathers. Hervé’s ambitions were also to be seen in the early 2000s in Pro-EHTEL, an European Union-funded project (which I was part of with EHTEL). Today, with 20+ years perspective, the workstreams of that period act as kind of a prophecy about the key enablers of digital health. So, I am looking back with gratitude on Herve’s initiative and achievements …”

Stephan Schug, EHTEL founding and honorary member.


“Hervé was a man who was unique in the breadth and far-reachingness of his gaze. He was aware that we take important steps in the development of European healthcare informatics only if we stakeholders in healthcare are well connected and if everyone contributes their own innovative proposals and ideas. I met Hervé when Slovenia was not yet a member of the European Union. This was not an obstacle for him, but rather an opportunity to share his knowledge, ideas, and acquaintances with the new and upcoming members of the European family. Hervé was like a lighthouse that you simply had to follow. I am proud and honoured to have been able to work with him, and grateful that his light continues to encourage and guide the work of EHTEL.”

Marjan Suselj, Senior advisor, Institute of Health Insurance of Slovenia (HIIS), Slovenia


“I had the pleasure to be the only female founder of EHTEL, and later to serve as President of the association. Hervé was instrumental to convincing many motivated Europeans to join EHTEL, one of the first organisations  able  – at that time  – to gather together effectively all kinds of (cross-border) stakeholders for the benefit of all in the field of eHealth. In Brittany (France), E(h)TEL (Étel) is the name of a river, and  a city with a lighthouse, that shows sailors the right path to navigate among the dangerous small inlets along the Breton coast.  Hervé, who was a very strong, persuasive person, will stay in our memory as a European eHealth ‘lighthouse’.”

Mrs Michèle Thonnet, former Executive Director, eHealth European & International Affairs, French Ministry of Health

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