Starting from 1 October, a new procedure for reimbursement of medical apps is in effect in Belgium.
Inspired by the previous ‘mobile health pyramid’, the new procedure concentrates on integrating medical mobile health apps into the healthcare process.
Key updates include:
- a stronger emphasis on integrating the app into a care pathway
- public reimbursement of mobile health apps after a successful new procedure is guaranteed
- enabling hospital applications
- providing a temporary application option for faster processing: start with reimbursment for 3 years
- a commitment from RIZIV/INAMI (the federal public reimbursement administration) to reimburse similar solutions in the care pathway (‘me too-applications’) for all Belgians.
RIZIV’s vision for this new procedure is to integrate more digital apps into the public health system.
Here’s what we think about it:
it’s not obvious for Belgian startups and scale-ups that would have the ambition to see their solution reimbursed. We expect to see more medical apps via business models with private payers.
sick funds and HC-professional organisations will require a lot of expertise to assess health innovations and to decide upon reimbursement.
there’s an opportunity at a regional level (Flanders, Brussels, Wallonia) to support digital health apps focusing on prevention. Because prevention is not included in the federal reimbursement focus.
The new procedure and reimbursement will be evaluated by October 2024.