Medical applications now reimbursed by launching level 3

20/01/2021

 

The mHealthBelgium validation pyramid finalized

Brussels, January 20, 2021 - After the green light from the Insurance Committee, medical applications (mobile health applications or mHealth applications) can now be reimbursed by the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI). These mobile applications can be used at every stage of the patient journey; from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and follow-up. In addition, they can also play a role in online medical education. Today, applications already exist for epilepsy, cancer, sleep disorders, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias and rehabilitation therapy as well as various other diseases. "Medical applications and remote monitoring applications deserve a full place in the complete range of care and thanks to a new framework that makes funding possible it is now a done deal. These digital technologies have already shown - especially during the COVID-19 crisis - that they can contribute to faster and better health care. »Says Marnix Denys, general manager of beMedTech.

More effective care

MHealth applications are medical software applications that can collect health information via wearables, sensors or health monitoring applications in a secure and privacy-friendly manner and thus track the patient remotely, usually under the supervision of a health professional. For example, they allow remote diagnosis or monitoring of healthcare routes, which is an important advantage during this pandemic of
Covid-19.
An example of this is Bingli, an app that helps you prepare for a medical visit as efficiently as possible. The app collects medical data, assesses complaints, asks relevant questions and forwards this information to the healthcare provider beforehand. This saves valuable time and allows the general practitioner, specialist or other healthcare professional to focus more on personal interaction with the patient. New technologies like Bingli are helping to make healthcare more efficient for patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities.
"From today, the NIHDI has a framework to include this digital technology in the treatment path and to finance it", declares Marleen Louagie, General Advisor at the NIHDI. "This funding is very important in order to be able to provide the right patient care in the right way."

Validation pyramid for medical applications

The possibility of funding medical applications is an important step and constitutes the last element of the so-called mHealthBelgium validation pyramid, managed by beMedTech, the Belgian federation of the medical technology industry and Agoria, the Belgian federation of technological companies. This pyramid has three levels. The first M1 level (CE marking as an approved medical device) was put online last year. The second M2 level was deployed in May of this year. In addition to all M1 level requirements, mhealth M2 level applications meet high ITC requirements, among other things in terms of user identification and authentication and data protection. The third and highest M3 level of this validation pyramid is now also available, it regulates the funding of mHealth applications. The NIHDI has developed a regulatory framework for this purpose. Only mhealth applications which have passed through M1 and M2 are taken into account for funding by the NIHDI. “At present, 23 mhealth applications have already received the M1 seal of quality. Seven of them have also obtained a level 2 validation, ”says Bart Steukers, Context director at Agoria. “For years patients and healthcare providers have been asking for solutions for remote care. The funding opportunity was long overdue, but it was worth it. This digital care will have a significant social impact. We hope that many companies will register their applications on mHealthBelgium.be and thus help improve the quality of life of patients. »He concludes.

The MoveUp coach is already reimbursed

The MoveUp coach is an application which is integrated into a treatment path and which is already funded. The moveUP Coach application supports patients and caregivers after primary total hip or knee prosthesis through personalized coaching and exercises before and after the operation. This specific reimbursement is made through an agreement between the NIHDI and the healthcare providers (hospitals and physiotherapists). "This is the first time that compulsory health care insurance reimburses the use of a mobile health application in a care journey," says Bart Steukers of Agoria. Marnix Denys of beMedTech adds "This means a real breakthrough for digital healthcare for Belgium, which thereby joins the European pioneers in the field of digital healthcare. It will significantly improve access to these innovative technologies for patients and Belgian healthcare professionals ". Companies can notify their mobile application (s) for integration into the reimbursement system via the NIHDI web page.

 

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