MS Patients Can Use Smartphone to Take Part in Novartis Study of Movement Performance and Symptoms

Patricia Inacio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inacio, PhD |

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MS study to use smartphones

A multiple sclerosis study will collect information about patients’ movement performance and symptoms from their smartphones, Novartis has reported.

The study is aimed at evaluating in real time the daily challenges of people living with MS. The results may help researchers develop new ways to measure treatments’ effectiveness, the company said. The title of the study is “Evaluation of Evidence from Smart Phone Sensors and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Participants with Multiple Sclerosis (elevateMS).”

Novartis is partnering with Sage Bionetworks on what it has dubbed the elevateMS study. The non-profit research organization is developing new predictors of disease to accelerate health research.

A cellphone application will allow MS patients to send information about their situation from anywhere.

The elevateMS app allows a smartphone user to register important features of their disease. It includes a symptom tracker tool that allows users to record their overall wellness.

They can also get an overview of what’s been happening to them on an activity dashboard.

The app will use sensors to gather information on their movements. It will also assess functional performance tasks that participants engage in. Patients can fill out questionnaires with the app as well.

A division of Apple called the Apple ResearchKit platform developed the app. Those interested in participating in the study can download it here.

Patients, neurologists and disease advocates gave Apple’s app team input that helped with the design.

“As physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe,” Dr. Stanley Cohan, medical director of the Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Portland, Oregon, said in a press release.

“With the elevateMS app, study participants can frequently document their symptoms in a personal health story,” said Cohan, one of the scientific advisors to the study. “In turn, this data may provide researchers with new ways to look at disease progression and treatment effectiveness.”

The elevateMS study is open to MS patients 18 years old or older in the United States who own a smartphone.

Additional information about it is available at

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