#CMSC17 – Genentech Starts Site to Connect MS Patients and Caregivers with Resources
Genentech created GatherMS to respond to a need that more than 800 people with MS and the caregivers identified in the national MS Mindset survey. It revealed that nearly 80 percent of patients and caregivers wanted help with everyday tasks and activities, but couldn’t the resources they needed.
Eighty-five percent of those with MS miss out on summer activities and sports events, and 60 percent refrain from making social or long-term commitments, the survey showed. In addition, one of three caregivers reported limiting their own social commitments out of concern that the person with MS whom they are helping would need them on a given day.
To help fill the resource knowledge gap, Genentech partnered with MS experts and advocacy groups to develop GatherMS. The goal was to create an easy-to-use platform that would showcase resources, including support services, that people could use to help navigate the everyday unpredictability of MS.
As the name suggests, GatherMS gathers resources that can help with the volatility of the disease. The site lists six types of services that the survey takers indicated they needed: daily tasks, health and wellness, emotional support, work and life planning, community support, and events.
The website offers lists of national services, plus local services for select cities. Users may create their own account to bookmark and share services.
GatherMS also provides a comprehensive list of MS-related events, including those from the Accelerated Cure Project, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National MS Society, the National Organization for Rare Disorders and the World MS Day.
The ultimate goal of GatherMS is to make it easier for patients and caregivers to find what they need, giving them more time to do what’s most important, such as being with family and friends.