#CMSC17 – MS Mobile Apps Link Clinicians and Patients, Improving Disease Management, Study Says

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by Patricia Inacio PhD |

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MS mobile apps

The use of multiple sclerosis (MS) mobile apps by patients and their clinicians encourages shared decision-making and helps patients improve their outcomes, finds a study presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), taking place May 24-27 in New Orleans.

The study, “Shared Decision Making: Connecting Clinicians and Patients to Improve Patient Outcomes,” notes the increasing use of mobile apps for healthcare. Among apps for MS patients and their clinicians: the Multiple Sclerosis @Point of Care clinician app with the Watson’s tool, paired with the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) patient app – My MS Manager. This allows patients to track and share disease data with their clinicians, strengthening a communications network for shared decision-making.

The IBM Watson supercomputer is a cognitive tool that combines artificial intelligence and sophisticated analytical software to work as a “question answering” machine. In the study, researchers asked “how patients and specialists use these mobile apps in shared decision-making, and how they can improve patient care.”

To understand how patients and clinicians use mobile health apps and share data, Projects In Knowledge — a continuing medical education provider — analyzed data collected from 9,910 patients using MSAA’s My MS Manager patient app and 12,234 clinicians using the Multiple Sclerosis @Point of Care clinician app.

Such health apps encouraged the exchange of information, the analysis showed, culminating in shared decision-making with improved outcomes. Accordingly, an increasing number of MS patients use the patient app to share data with their clinicians and track their disease management.

The analysis also highlighted the need to remind patients to adhere to their treatment regimen, with up to 58 percent of patients saying they sometimes forget to take their medicines or follow treatment plans. In addition, patients who use the app are less likely to be fatigued or disabled.

Management of MS is evolving rapidly, and the findings of this analysis show that the Multiple Sclerosis @ Point of Care dashboard and MSAA patient app, My MS Manager, respectively, allow for clinicians and patients to collaborate in shared decision-making that supports strategies for interventions, practice change and improved patient outcomes through point of care accessibility,” the study concluded.

 

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