Belgian moveUP brings digital therapy to Dutch market
The workload can be very high for professionals in the healthcare sector. Because healthcare professionals often struggle with a lack of time, medical follow-up is increasingly automated via smart technologies.
Digital health company moveUP applies their expertise in medical data to optimize digital therapies. Through digital contact with patients on a daily basis, data is obtained that is essential for providing patient-focused (follow-up) care. When recovery does not go according to plan, care can be adjusted immediately. moveUP already works with twenty Belgian hospitals. Oost NL introduced moveUP in the Health ecosystem around Nijmegen and supported in finding the right location. Now they are broadening their international scope from Novio Tech Campus.
Digital data bridge
“We noticed a severe gap in today’s healthcare sector,” says Bob Moens, director sales & marketing at moveUP. “After a medical procedure, someone is in hospital for a few days and there is intensive contact between doctor and patient. As soon as the patient leaves the hospital, this contact diminishes, sometimes unintentionally. In orthopaedics, which is one of the areas we focus on, this can have all kinds of unpleasant consequences. Think of overburdening due to too fast rehabilitation. Data-based care can make a big difference in the patient’s recovery. This advantage has been recognized by the national insurance company in Belgium. moveUP is the first, and for the time being the only, digital health solution that is fully reimbursed by the health insurance company”.
“MoveUP creates a digital bridge between hospital and patient via data,” Moens explains. “A good example of this is a project that is now starting with a top clinical hospital in the Netherlands and a prominent insurer. Patients undergoing surgery for knee or hip replacement receive aftercare via moveUP. Patients are in daily contact with the app and their physical activity is tracked via a smart bracelet. This way, the patient is closely monitored, informed about his or her recovery and motivated. Based on the obtained data, the physical therapist can give patient-oriented instructions for fast and safe recovery.
In the project, the physical therapist can intervene directly and make patient-specific adjustments when something does not go as desired. “For example, by advising different exercises. Thus, the rehabilitation of the patient safe and truly tailored to the patient. This rehabilitation can be performed by any physiotherapist or a Dutch physiotherapist of the moveUP virtual clinic. When necessary, the physical therapist can digitally indicate when an intervention of the doctor is required. At a distance, the doctor can help the patient, for example, adjust the medication, assess the healing of the wound or view the gait analysis through a photo or video.
App against pandemic
Moens notices the increasing positive stance of the healthcare sector towards digital solutions. moveUP focuses primarily on follow-up in orthopaedic treatments. “We see the demand for our innovations also increasing in other medical sectors. Think of aftercare in case of bariatric surgery, a gastric bypass. Accurate follow-up is very important in this respect, as these people need to radically change their lifestyle. Eat differently, exercise differently. We are also developing a platform for oncologists that enables them to follow up cancer patients in a personalized way during the various treatments.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, it also became clear how data can be used to combat viruses. “MoveUP was asked to roll out the platform for corona patient follow-up and triage. This was then developed at short notice by general practitioners and several hospitals together.”
- >> Read more about the role of data in the fight against viruses in our interview with Diego Menchaca, founder of Teamscope.
International innovation hotspot
The international expansion plans are partly due to the achievement of an important milestone. “The European Commission awarded us a Horizon 2020 grant this year,” says Moens. “This was an important confirmation for us; we are working on something good and are contributing to the improvement of healthcare. Internationally, we are now expanding to the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Also because of the cooperation with Medscaler, we quickly got a good picture of the market in the Netherlands. We are now starting our activities here from our new location at Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen. We already have someone employed for the German market. For the Dutch market we are looking for a business development manager.
The Belgian company is looking forward to making new connections at and from the Nijmegen innovation campus. “Healthcare varies strongly between different countries. We hope to meet parties in Nijmegen and the Netherlands with whom we can collaborate organisationally and technologically. Nijmegen is internationally known as a hotspot for innovation in digital health. In addition, this region was already familiar to us thanks to the Health Valley Event, yearly taking place here. When we got in conversation with Oost NL and they had us acquainted with Novio Tech Campus, the decision was made pretty quickly. Despite the distance and complicating corona measures, we were guided perfectly by the teams of the campus and Kadans Science Partner. We are very much looking forward to continue working on our innovations in data, from the center of digital health: Nijmegen!