‘Don’t fall in love with your project’: five minutes with Luxembourg’s Frédéric Markus

By on 03/10/2022 | Updated on 03/10/2022

In this sister series to our ‘Five minutes with’ interviews, we share insights from the civil and public service leaders speaking at our free AccelerateGov conference on all things digital transformation, taking place in Ottawa, Canada, this Wednesday.

In this interview – the last of the series – Frédéric Markus, the deputy chief operating officer of Living Lab within Luxembourg’s Agence eSante explains why he thinks the opt-in deployment of the French electronic health record was the “worst idea ever”, why you shouldn’t fall in love with your project, and why his cat is his most treasured possession.

Keep your eyes peeled for our coverage of the AccelerateGov conference – which includes speakers such as the Canadian government CIO Catherine Luelo.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your working life?

Don’t fall in love with your project. A project can potentially be stopped the day before it goes into production so too strong a link to it can lead to frustration. You can be passionate about it, yes, but in love? No.

What would you like to see change before you retire?   

I wish paper and fax were old memories.

Can you name one challenge from abroad that you and your colleagues learnt from?

The opt-in deployment of the French electronic health record – which is called the Dossier Médical Partagé (DMP) or Shared Medical Record in English – was the worst idea ever.

Its deployment required the patient to proactively request that their record be opened as well as the intervention of a health professional. Health professionals’ time is increasingly precious so spending 15 minutes per patient on this was not an option. In an opt-out deployment, the patient resumes a central role and becomes the main actor, without unnecessarily mobilising healthcare professionals. I have to admit that GDPR is very useful in this context.

Are there any projects in Luxembourg that might be valuable to your peers overseas?

eConsent. The eConsent project was conducted within the framework of the European ESSIF-lab project. The idea is to offer the patient a centralised system that would allow him or her to manage all of the consents related to their health data. These consents can be given for treatment as well as for data sharing in the context of clinical research, for example.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’m not materialistic at all, so I would say my cat Taverne. He is 18 years old and starting to be grumpy but I still love him!

What was your first car?

A Peugeot 307.

What was the first piece of music you bought?  

Prodigy – The Fat of the Land.

Find out more about the AccelerateGov conference organised by Global Government Forum and hosted by the Government of Canada – including the agenda and list of speakers – here. The event is free to attend.

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About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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