Admitting blessed “amazed by the positive impact of the blockchain”, the founders of the Belgian start-up Gratiago want to offer its technological virtues to our healthcare system. Christian Mutuality seems to believe it enough to try.
“The blockchain is not just a speculative tool that will aggravate climate change. The technology really defends good causes: social, environmental and health”, immediately praises Alexandre Pirson, councilor for mobility and digital transition at Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. Speaker at the first Brussels Blockchain Week which took place last week (read the “Trends-Tendances” of June 16), the representative of the Engagés spoke there as an entrepreneur. More precisely as co-founder and CEO of Gratiago, a Brussels start-up that claims an innovative e-coaching solution for patients. Formed in February of this year, the young shooters also aim to perfect the excellent social security that Belgians enjoy. With the tightening of the blockchain, it goes without saying.
“The blockchain is not just a speculative tool that will aggravate climate change. The technology really defends good causes: social, environmental and health”, immediately praises Alexandre Pirson, councilor for mobility and digital transition at Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. Speaker at the first Brussels Blockchain Week which took place last week (read the “Trends-Tendances” of June 16), the representative of the Engagés spoke there as an entrepreneur. More precisely as co-founder and CEO of Gratiago, a Brussels start-up that claims an innovative e-coaching solution for patients. Formed in February of this year, the young shooters also aim to perfect the excellent social security that Belgians enjoy. With the tightening of the blockchain, it goes without saying. Inspired by the personal experience of a shareholder and challenged by alarming compliance statistics, that is, compliance with medical prescriptions while taking care, the founders of Gratiago are developing a therapeutic companion app. “Our method aims to help patient-consumers become patient-actors in their health,” says the CEO, listing multiple potential benefits: increasing patient compliance, reducing the risk of side effects, optimizing drug use and preserve our health system. Just that. The start-up technically addresses the nocebo effect (the psychological and physiological impact of negative drug-related information) with a positive data environment. To overcome the frequency of forgetting to take pills, the app offers a reminder. To dispel doubts, a messaging service that allows you to share your fears with your doctor. To inspire, an audio guide with step-by-step advice. To offer some lightness, playful elements. “And finally, the heart of our method, the reward. Why is it so important? Because it is part of two social phenomena. Gamification, on the one hand, especially among young people who, precisely in public health, suffer «a significant lack of respect. And, on the other hand, positive remuneration “, explains Alexandre Pirson, denouncing a counterproductive tendency of the system to punish improper behavior rather than preferring a dynamic of encouragement to positive acts. The blockchain in all this? Technology is fundamental for the start- up of Brussels, underlines Sevan Holemans, who also juggles between a double hat, that of CFO of Gratiago and that of CEO of Solifin, the Belgian network of Impact Investment Player. “Most of our members, ranging from funds of impact investment to crowdfunding platforms, they remain very fearful and pessimistic towards the blockchain. Although they are aware that technology will disrupt their markets, they think it will be bad. With our app, we want to show them that they are wrong to worry. “Without going into the technical details of the computer protocols used, Gratiago then uses the blockchain to issue a token. In its initial phase, this digital currency evolves in a closed circuit. The patient connects to the app that will reward responsible behavior. The user stores his tokens in an embedded wallet. This gives him access to goods and services in an entire ecosystem of partners. Discounts on healthy food, gift cards for spas, etc. . To monetize its solution, Gratiago intends to turn to two customers. First of all the health insurance companies, to which the young company simply wants to sell a version of its app, customized for example for a certain type of chronic disease, in order to help these organizations make their members more diligent with care, reduce costs and, a fortiori, overall social spending. In this case, the start-up intends to commission the reward in tokens, with transaction fees. “The value proposition is cost savings, but we will push mutuals to the forefront of digitization, which will allow them to retain their members even more,” aspires Sevan Holemans. According to commercial target, Gratiago is looking at pharmaceutical laboratories, assuming that this sector invests billions of euros in clinical trials. “We believe that through our method we could really increase the compliance rate of patients during these studies,” assures the CFO of Gratiago, extrapolating the fact that this would improve the results at the end of these studies. Having developed a profitable minimum product, Gratiago recently received funding from Innoviris, the Brussels-Capital Region’s innovation institute, the amount of which was not disclosed. But the start-up has also signed a partnership agreement with Christian Mutuality, one of the largest social action organizations in the country. Sufficiently interested in its crypto reward system, the MC decided to test the app with its members. “We are moving on to the first phase, which is clinical validation, for which we are focusing on hypertension and diabetes. But we are also testing the reward system,” says Sevan Holemans. In the near future, the entrepreneurs behind Gratiago are naturally hoping to generalize their premium network to other health insurance funds, to encourage people to use the app and thereby develop the best behaviors in therapy. But it would be equally appropriate to attract health actors such as doctors, nurses, who could support (and promote) the solution. “Later, on a second layer of our blockchain, we will allow all users to convert their tokens into a larger digital token, the Gratiago token, which will surely one day be a highly valued listed token”, predicts the chief financial officer. of the start. Almost everything remains to be done for Gratiago. A trajectory with major obstacles already identified to overcome, such as fundraising, the European certification of medical equipment necessary to access new markets, new use cases. Especially since a coordinated opposition movement of international experts is emerging, citing the absence of use cases in which the blockchain would have solved a concrete problem better than another technology.