moveUP is a Belgian scale-up company with offices in Brussels and Ghent, founded in 2015. Starting as a rehabilitation app for patients after hip or knee surgery, moveUP has by now evolved into a platform to follow up patients remotely, monitor their care and provide data driven, semi-automated rehabilitation. In short, moveUP improves the efficiency and predictability of care pathways and ultimately improves outcomes. moveUP achieves this by completely or partially replacing the non-essential physical follow-up with ongoing remote monitoring, based on data provided by the patient. This allows healthcare professionals to focus their time and attention on the patients who need it the most.
Strong support from Europe
In order to further finance its development, in March 2020, moveUP submitted an application to the European Innovation Council (EIC), Accelerator Pilot of the European Commission, which released funds totalling 314 million euros. This fund is part of the Horizon 2020 research and development program. The aim is to support innovative start-ups and SMEs of the highest quality with the potential to scale up internationally.
4,000 applications were submitted, and the winners were announced at the beginning of June: 70 companies from 16 countries will receive funding. moveUP is the only Belgian company in the category of 'projects that were selected for their specific added value in the post-COVID era’.
moveUP received 2.7 million euros, 63% of which is a grant and 27% that comes in the form of shares. This is special, as it was only possible as a result of strict due diligence. This fresh capital now enables the execution of their internationalisation plans, and should allow to accelerate expansion in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. In addition, R&D efforts to automate treatment protocols based on patient data are also receiving a boost. The development of other care pathways can now be accelerated, such as the follow-up of patients after bariatric surgery and other orthopaedic procedures such as back, shoulder, foot and cruciate ligament surgeries. These will be launched later this year.
Recognition in Belgium
moveUp is one of the first two medical apps on the mHealthBelgium platform to reach the M2 level. Last year, moveUP was nominated for the Galenus Prize 2019.
Looking forward towards structural reimbursement
The final step in this process is general funding for validated health apps. In concrete terms, this means that the national health insurer (RIZIV/INAMI) will develop a formal framework for the financing of health apps for level M3.
moveUP is hopeful that this last crucial step will soon be taken. A lot of work has already been done to make this happen and all stakeholders are supportive: RIZIV/INAMI, but also the professional federations of orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists, as well as beMedtech, the federation of medical devices manufacturers.
With funding in place, the amount charged to the patient will become negligible, and the costs to hospitals and physiotherapists for guiding patients and using the platform will be reimbursed.
Until now, most hospital insurance policies have provided a contribution to the amount that is still charged to the patient.
Ward Servaes, CEO: "We are grateful to the government for the many initiatives they have taken in recent years to emphasize the credibility and value of mhealth. This has given a boost to the mhealth microcosm, to fully exploit the potential of mhealth. The recognition we now receive from Europe will allow us to grow further and to deploy our Belgian expertise in other countries."