Re-imagining Multiple Sclerosis, templates for real-time follow-up
"Quantifying the status and progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a challenge when it comes to tackling the disease, especially if real-time data are not available. With these words, Dr. Guillermo Izquierdo, director of the Research and Treatment Unit of the Vithas Foundation, advocates for the need to improve the lives of people suffering with this illness.
However, from now on, measuring how disability progressively affects the real-time mobility of MS patients without interfering with their daily lives will be possible thanks to an R&D project that we are developing in collaboration with a specialist intelligent medical device and digital biomarker firm, FeetMe2, and the Vithas Hospital Foundation in Seville. And its goal? To design intelligent templates to improve the assessment of MS patients in real time.
This pioneering research facilitates immediate detection of biological and behavioural changes, thanks to an emerging digital technology based on R&D, the coordination of pressure and motion sensors and the use of reinforced learning algorithms. "The intelligent template allows both the patient and the physician to manage and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments, in order to tailor them more accurately," explains Alexis Mathieu, founder and CEO of FeetMe.
MS is a chronic autoimmune illness which affects the central nervous system (CNS), and which is estimated to affect 47,000 people in Spain3. The disease, associated with a cumulative loss of physical and cognitive function, is diagnosed in 70% of cases between the ages of 20 and 40, being the most common disease in young adults and the second most common cause of disability in Spain.
Dr. Izquierdo, who is also the coordinator of the project, explains that "at present, there are only subjective tools such as clinical scales to qualify mobility, with a notable lack of sensitivity to help adapt therapeutic treatments correctly". He goes on to add: "For this reason, we believe in this trial and its real potential to improve the lives of MS sufferers throughout the world”. The project was presented as part of the 70th Annual Meeting of the Spanish Neurology Society4 in Seville.
Committed to the quality of life of people with neurological illnesses, we are working to implement effective solutions that meet the needs of patients. "We’re collaborating with leaders in digital health to drive the next wave of medical innovation, and the launch of this project is helping us to continue re-imagining neurosciences," says Dr. Basilio Hernandez, head of the Neurosciences Department of Novartis Spain.
There is no doubt that the creation of new digital technologies will make it possible to strengthen existing therapies, complement MS diagnoses and improve the lifestyles of MS sufferers.