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Meet Aline Herbinet and V@SI, the first interactive platform for adapted physical activities

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), "Good health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Since its inception in November 2012, V@si, a young innovative enterprise, combines brilliantly entrepreneurial dynamic and societal commitment, working for sustainable health by fighting against the 4th plague of public health: inactivity - the first cause of preventable death.

Social Innovation Europe interviewed Aline Herbinet, founder and president of this first innovative digital APA center, as part of our Women in Social Innovation series

Why is your project one of the most innovative in the sector of health and social services in Europe from your point of view? 

V@Si created the first interactive and collaborative platform on Adapted Physical Activities (APA), S.A.P.A.T.I.C. (Santé Activités Physiques Adaptées) using information& communication technologies, designed to remotely monitor chronically ill or people at risk from 4 to over 90 years old.

The heart of our innovation lies indeed in the offer of local services throughout the whole national territory to any sedentary person: valid people willing to take care of their health, sick people regardless of their disease, older people and people with disabilities. Real teaching and learning revolution, this service is adapted to isolation conditions with no equipment and small spaces, and meets every health problem thanks to this numerical method. Coupled with an educational approach adapted to these new conditions of life, it makes the APA practice accessible, fundamentally playful, relational, social and motivating in order to operate a change in attitude to preserve ONE’s health.

Non-drug therapies proposed by V@Si represent a new and complementary approach in the health path, developed through partnerships established with the research and medical sectors, and proposed in collaboration with doctors.

V@Si is the e-health solution for prevention and care, reinforcing the therapeutic partnership as well as controlling health budget: it allows in particular to reduce the frequency and the costs related to patients’ travel, to diminish the length of hospital stays by supporting the most vulnerable ones when they leave, and to improve therapeutic observance.

Hence, innovation lies both in our proposal of value, which improves the health and quality of life of people suffering from chronical diseases, as well as in the technical and financial solution which is adapted to precarious population and is contributing to maintaining social cohesion. 

How does your project fit into the current development of digital social innovations, in particular mobile apps in relation to health? 

One of the way out to reconcile the improvement of health care and the control of spending is to mainstream new technological health solutions (e-health, m-health), leading to more efficiency and rationality through therapeutic tele-support such as APAs.

  • More efficiently, by asking the patient to use products/programmes/services which are scientifically and clinically validated
  • More rationally, by requesting Evidence Based on Medicine/Prevention from medical prescribers, as well as a scrupulous and enlightened monitoring of therapeutic prescriptions from the patients. The funds providers shall make decision on the basis of the best quality/price ratio, the reduction of social and territorial inequalities in relation to health, and the promotion of a change of attitude (an incentive model to adopt a healthy behaviour which is less expensive for the patient, rather than a repressive one: a bonus instead of a malus)

The platform V@Si is one of these solutions, totally secure, designed to remotely monitor people suffering from chronical diseases or at risks, based on the principle of case management. It offers an integrated and human solution to physical activity, from prescription to programming, as well as advice and monitoring. The individualised and interactive services offered by V@Si are characterised by a strong know-how, ethics in terms of data protection, deontology and a vision of health for the future.

What do cities, regional and national authorities do to promote the fast dissemination of this type of innovation, and of your project in particular?

V@Si is supported by REALIS (Réseau Actif pour l’Innovation Sociale), a support network for social innovation, as one the "nugget" of the Languedoc Roussillon region in the field of e-health, and in particular in the area of telemedicine focusing on care and prevention for people suffering of chronical diseases on a booming market. We were the first enterprise to receive support from a new funding mechanism initiated by the Social Innovation Fund (FISO) in November 2015, allocated on the basis of a call for projects. The amount corresponds to the needs to develop SAPATIC-SEP34, a new project designed for patients suffering from with multiple sclerosis and their caregivers. This 2 years programme, with a cost of 266 00 €, is managed with the University Hospital from Nîmes.

I really appreciate this support, because until now, we exclusively developed ourselves on our own funds (equity?). Our equity capital has recently increased thanks to the support from France Active and the Comptoir de l'Innovation. The Region also supports us through the repayable advance PACTE for our development plan.

Any projects for the future?

V@si has already created a platform with specific characteristics depending on the pathology: schizophrenia, cystic fibrosis, hematology, Parkinson, cancer (children, teenagers, adults and seniors) etc., but the one dedicated to multiple sclerosis did not exist yet. The product is in a « concept proving » phase since January 2016. We will work with doctors, will determine the relevant programme and test it. We give ourselves two years to launch it on the market.

We also work with Montpellier University Hospital and the League against obesity.

We also developed tele-coaching for employees (“V@Si in car” or “V@Si behind your screen).

V@si is also engaged in a European programme on schizophrenia, financially supported by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). 

More information: V@SI

You may also be interested in reading the SIE report: Social Innovation in Health and Social Care

30 Mar 2016