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Novartis launches first large-scale smartphone-based study in multiple sclerosis

Published on 23/08/17 at 09:55am

Novartis has launched what it claims is the first large-scale mobile research study which will gather data on multiple sclerosis (MS) from patients via their smartphones, removing the need for them to visit a medical professional at the clinic.

The study, known as ‘Evaluation of evidence from smart phone sensors and patient-reported outcomes in participants with multiple sclerosis’, or elevateMS, is designed to gather data on the challenges faced by sufferers of MS on a daily basis, in order to develop more effective gauges of treatment effectiveness.  

The study was built together with Sage Bionetworks using an app constructed using Apple’s ResearchKit platform and incorporating feedback from patient, neurologists and advocates on its user interface, as well as what it should be measuring and how it should be measuring it. The app can gather information from patients and their environment in real-time, anywhere where they have access to their phone.

"As physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe," said Stanley Cohan, Medical Director, Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Oregon and a scientific advisor to the study. "With the elevateMS app, study participants can frequently document their symptoms in a personal health story. In turn, this data may provide researchers with new ways to look at disease progression and treatment effectiveness."

MS is a chronic and debilitating disease which affects 400,000 in the US alone. To download the app and enrol in the study, please click here.

Matt Fellows

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