The HEALTHGRID association (http://www.HEALTHGRID.org) was founded to bring the necessary long term continuity between the projects addressing the deployment of Grid technology for healthcare. Over the last three to four years, a community of researchers working on Grid and High Performance Computing technologies started discussing the barriers and opportunities that Grid technologies must face and exploit for the development of Health-related applications. This interest led to the first HEALTHGRID conference, held in Lyon, France on January 16th-17th, 2003, with the focus of creating increased awareness about the possibilities and advantages linked to the deployment of Grid technologies in health, ultimately targeting the creation of a European/International Grid infrastructure for health. The first HEALTHGRID conference lead to the creation of the HEALTHGRID association, a non-profit research association legally located in France but formed from a wide community of European researchers and institutions sharing expertise in Health Grids. After the second HEALTHGRID conference, held in Clermont-Ferrand on January 29th-30th, 2004, a "white paper" on the current status and prospective of Health Grids was prepared by 40 experts from different areas of Grid technologies, eHealth applications and the medical world. The HEALTHGRID association is already identified at a world level as a key actor of the Grid deployment in healthcare. This international dimension has been strengthened by the edition of the HEALTHGRID White Paper in 2004 with contributions from more than 40 experts from Europe, Asia and North America as well as by the setup of the HEALTHGRID.US Alliance (www.HEALTHGRID.us ) early in 2007. HEALTHGRID will rely on its international participants' network to disseminate the ACTION-Grid results
Yannick Legré is one of the co-founders and current president of the International HEALTHGRID Association. He works in the domain of Grid technologies (network grids for healthcare application and contexts, application integration, service-oriented architectures and software engineering research and development projects involving health service providers and the software industry) since August 2000, in particular within the European Project named DataGrid and now within EGEE, as well as several others.