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TAVIE™: a concept and an innovative platform

TAVIE™ is an acronym derived from Traitement Assistance Virtuelle Infirmière et Enseignement (French acronym for Treatment Virtual Nurse Assistance and Teaching), the virtual nurse concept informed by the past ten years of research. TAVIE translates in English as YOURLIFE.

Based on theories of behaviour change, TAVIE™ targets the development and consolidation of skills to empower the individual to action. The aim is to provide individuals with real-time tailored support in managing the challenges inherent to their health conditions. To this end, various interventions have been developed by researchers in the team that I lead and by practitioners from clinical or community settings, as the case may be. Once their content validated, these interventions are then transposed in the form of a web application with the help of a team of media arts and computer experts. These interventions are driven by a decision tree, making them web applications markedly different from more typical static websites.

These web applications consist of one to five interactive computer sessions, depending on the type of intervention, with each session lasting 10 to 30 minutes. The sessions are hosted by a virtual nurse who engages the user in a self-management skills-learning process. In addition to providing customized teaching, the virtual nurse refers to the experiences of others who have successfully managed similar situations.

TAVIE™: different applications

The TAVIE™ concept of the virtual nurse makes it possible to offer people living with chronic illness personalized support for managing their condition by targeting their ability to act (empowerment). The French acronym "TAVIE™" derives from Traitement Assistance Virtuelle Infirmière et Enseignement (Treatment Virtual Nurse Assistance and Teaching). 


VIH-TAVIE™ was developed in collaboration with CHUM clinical practitioners and community organizations to provide support with self-management of antiretroviral medication, associated side-effects, and viral progression. The development projects were financed by several organizations, including FRQS Réseau Sidami, Bureau de la Recherche, Développement et Valorisation de l’Université de Montréal, Bourse établissement de jeunes chercheurs FRQS, the CHUM Research Center, and the Research Chair in Innovative Nursing Practices (2004-2008). In 2012, VIH-TAVIE was awarded the Sanofi “Care Challenge” International Prize in the “Helping Hand” category (for research) and was runner-up in the “IT Serving Society” category of the OCTAS competition held by the Quebec IT Action Network.

TAVIE en santé

TAVIE en santé takes into account the user's risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It helps the user develop healthy behaviours such as healthy eating, physical activity, and smoking cessation (CIHR grant, catalysis, HIV-comorbidities, 2011-2012). TAVIE en santé will be evaluated in a Canada-wide online randomized control trial beginning in the spring of 2015. 


TAVIE-Women is an adaptation of VIH-TAVIE. It aims to better meet the needs of women living with HIV. It targets the unique reality of these women to optimize their health, but also to prevent the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.


TAVIE@COEUR is for people with heart and other problems on multi-drug treatment. It was funded by the Quebec Nursing Intervention Research Network (RRISIQ) and by the Research Chair in Innovative Nursing Practices. Evaluation is ongoing at the Montreal Heart Institute. 


TRANSPLANT-TAVIE helps transplant recipients self-manage their anti-rejection drugs. This project was financed by CIHR (2012-2013) and the Kidney Foundation of Canada (2012-2015) and was developed in collaboration with the CHUM’s renal transplant team. Evaluation is ongoing. 


SOULAGE-TAVIE is meant to support patients awaiting surgery self-manage their post-op analgesic medication. It was developed in 2009 as a doctoral studies project (Martorella, G.). A randomized, controlled pilot study was carried out in 2010-2011. The doctorate pursued the project at McGill University in the course of post-doc studies (Research Chair in Innovative Nursing Practices, 2009).


LYMPHEDUC-TAVIE™ is for women with genital cancer at risk of developing lymphedema of the lower limbs. The aim of this application is to better inform oncology patients about lymphedema. A randomized, controlled pilot study was conducted in 2012-2013.