IPhone App Heads Large-Scale Research Study in Multiple Sclerosis

Newly launched mobile research study uses real-time data collection in MS.

Today, it seems there is an app for everything, with new ones created each day.

The latest to join the Apple App Store is elevateMS, an application designed to collect sensor-based data from physical tasks and symptoms as part of a large scale mobile research study.

The elevateMS study was developed via a collaborative effort between Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the non-profit research organization Sage Bionetworks, according to a press release.

It aims to gain a better understanding of daily challenges patients with MS may struggle with, as well as to uncover measurements for treatment efficacy through real-time data collection.

The mobile application was built using the Apple ResearchKit platform—–an emerging digital smartphone research platform in which study participants can contribute to research from anywhere, according to the release. Additionally, it provides researchers the ability to collect data 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,” Stanley Cohan, MD, PhD, scientific advisor to the study, said in the release. “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.”

The app, released on August 14, 2017, includes brief activities, questionnaires about health and wellness, and brainteasers. The sensors on the cell phone are used to measure changes.

To be eligible for the study, participants much be a resident of the United States, be 18 years or older, and have a personal iPhone that is a model 4s or newer.

Individuals are not required to have MS to participate. To download the app and enroll in the study click here.

“Living with MS is an ever-changing story,” writes the elevateMS website. “Multiple sclerosis can bring on symptoms and relapses unexpectedly. Some days are easy, while on other days your MS symptoms consume your story.

“... The elevate MS study is an effort to better understand what may trigger flare up of MS symptoms. In research, every experience counts. Whether you have MS, are touched by someone who has or has had MS, or you simply want to help, we invite you to participate in this study. Life with MS isn’t a one size fits all. Everyone has unique experiences even though there are common symptoms. elevateMS is a tool to understand your MS triggers, specific MS symptoms, and your overall wellness. It is about you in real life. “

MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system that affects approximately 400,000 individuals in the United States.