MS patients contribute to research via smartphone app

A new research study in multiple sclerosis (MS)┬ápatients collects data from participants’ smartphones, without the need for clinic visits.

Known as elevateMS, the study uses an iPhone app which will capture passive and active sensor-based movement data, as well as participant responses to questionnaires, and functional performance tasks completed by the participants.

The app was designed with input from patients, neurologists and advocates.

Participants will be able to use the app to view how their data changes over time, while researchers will use the data to better understand what it is like to live with MS and what may trigger flare-up of MS symptoms. Names of participants will be replaced with a random code, so the researchers and study sponsor Novartis won’t know the identity of individuals.

According to Novartis, the research aims to improve understanding of the daily challenges patients with MS can have and to uncover new potential measurements of treatment effectiveness through real-time data collection from participants in their everyday life.

“As physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe” explained Dr Stanley Cohan, Medical Director at Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Portland, Oregon, who serves as 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.

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