Novartis launches multiple sclerosis study using data collected from smartphones

Novartis announced the launch of the elevateMS trial, which will use a mobile application that allows researchers to collect sensor-based movement and symptom data from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) via their smartphones, without the need for clinic visits. The study aims to improve understanding of the daily challenges associated with MS and "to uncover new potential measurements of treatment effectiveness through real-time data collection from participants in their everyday life," Novartis said.

In the study, which Novartis developed in partnership with Sage Bionetworks, US participants will use the elevateMS app that was built on the Apple ResearchKit platform launched in 2015. The app "will capture participant responses to questionnaires, passive and active sensor-based movement data, and functional performance tasks completed by the participants," Novartis explained, adding it will also allow users to view how their data change over time.

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Stanley Cohan, a scientific advisor to the study, said "as physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe." He added that "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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