ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSCompleted

Objectives of the service

The objectives of the Colibri service include:

  • To allow people living in rural areas to access a medical teleconsultation even if they are in a white zone (by ensuring internet coverage) or in an area considered as a medical desert.

  • To follow up chronically ill patients who have difficulties to travel. Thanks to telemonitoring stations (using the Consultobus, a medically equipped van regularly driving across an area), or by going directly to a designated place in a village (in the "Relais de Télémédecine"), patients are able to have regular and specialized follow-ups of their health condition.

  • To exploit the advantages of broadband satellite communication to deliver a full set of telemedicine services in rural zones both for nurses and doctors from teleconsultation to tele-expertise and tele-regulation.

  • To provide assistance services for isolated people as well as efficient tele-monitoring services for isolated patient with special pathologies that needs a real-time supervision.

External view of the Consultobus

Users and their needs

The users and beneficiaries of the Colibri service include:

  • Isolated people (either geographically or in a medical desert or in a connectivity white area): senior people are the most penalised patients as they are not able to move easily. They also suffer from a very long waiting time before being able to get an appointment due to the lack of healthcare professionals in these areas. This is in particular the case for accessing specialized medical consultations (e.g. Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Dermatology) where the shortage of medical expertise is even greater.

  • Healthcare professionals working in rural areas: the number of doctors in rural areas is strongly decreasing creating a lot of medical deserts. The solution to face this evolution is to develop telemedicine services involving all medics professionals including nurses and pharmacists.

  • The medical deserts are also often white area zones. So the development of E-health services needs both performant and cost-effective telemedicine platforms and telecommunication solutions to provide efficient access to the services such as satellite broadband technologies.

  • Local communities (Villages or “Communauté de communes”) facing the cases presented above situation are looking for sustainable solutions to offer proximity healthcare services. This need has been reinforced by the Covid Crisis.

Service/ system concept

The Colibri (COmmunication LIBRe Intelligente) service offers an end-to-end solution tailored to the user needs in order to support areas with limited or no internet connectivity and/or missing easy access to health services close to patients’ homes. This service is possible thanks to the combination of all health resources available locally or remotely, and the coordination of actions between political, medical and social services. 
In addition, Colibri is an opportunity for the population to access many digital services and optimise the bandwidth made available. 

Illustration of the Colibri service concept

The different building blocks of the Colibri service include:

  • The Telemedicine Station (RTM): 

    The RTM is a location selected by the authorities of a small village / city (e.g. mayor). It includes a medical consultation room, where easy access is to (tele)medical services can be provided. It is equipped with digital devices (connected medical objects) and satellite telecommunication technologies, to ensure the transmission of health data in real time and in a secure way. The RTM can be positioned in order to serve up to a few villages.

  • The Consultobus: 

    The Consultobus is a vehicle equipped with a satellite antenna and a 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connection system) and medical devices able to provide the same level of service as those of an RTM. It regularly visits small villages that are not equipped with a RTM. 

  • Tablet and Telemedicine connected devices for isolated places

    These products are delivered to isolated people to allow them to have permanent access to various services (instant messaging with relatives, access to personalised services and 24-hour medical advice) as well as to monitor special pathologies.

colibri architecture

The Colibri service offers a portfolio of telemedicine solutions tailored to different user needs and allows to deliver full operational solutions both with the telemedicine products, broadband satellite telecommunication and medical teams trained to use the solutions. These medical teams are composed of Liberal Nurses, digital advisors for telemedicine services named “BOSS” and “Doctors of Tomorrow”.

Space Added Value

Colibri relies on the following space assets:

  • Satellite-based broadband Internet - 30 and 50 Mb/s services are provided using SES Network solutions for the RTM and Isolated sites and Ka-Sat for the Consultobus. Some connections can be pooled and aggregated to provide services of 100 Mb/s and even higher.

  • Satellite navigation services are used to locate Consultobus vehicles and home devices.

Current Status

The Colibri project has been concluded in April 2024. During the activity, two telemedical stations have been deployed in some medical deserts in France (one prototype and one in actual use). One fixed telemedical service is up and running since February 2023 (Dordogne Telemedical Station, France).
This concept of telemedical station was awarded with the 2023 National "Innovative Territory" Label under the Health category (second place). This innovative E-Health Telemedical model is now a product developed by project team at a national level.
The Consultobus technical and organisational model was presented to and studied by the French Ministry of Health and local political authorities. After several months of discussions, they presented the "France Ruralités" plan, with the aim of funding "100 MEDICOBUS" (modelled on the results of the Colibri experiment). The activity succeeded in positively impacting the health landscape for what concerns the access to care in rural areas. The Consultobus, and the associated telemedicine model have been validated by the French Government and have the potential to become a national reference in the field of eHealth.
The Colibri service is now fully ready to be commercialized and rolled out across France.

Picture of the ConsultobusPicture of a telemedicine-station installed in a French villagePicture of a telemedicine-station installed in a French village



Status Date

Updated: 04 April 2024