Sutter Health, a California-based healthcare group, has partnered with the biotechnology company Roche to test a new mobile app that aims to improve monitoring of symptoms in people who have multiple sclerosis (MS).
The app, called Floodlight, “may give neurologists access to meaningful, actionable patient data to help them provide more precise, personalized treatment to MS patients with different subtypes of the illness,” J. B. Jones, PhD, principal investigator at Sutter Health, said in a press release.
Since every case of MS is unique in how it presents and progresses, it is important for neurologists to understand, as precisely as possible, what is occurring in a given person so they can be treated accordingly. However, that kind of detailed understanding is not possible to obtain from relatively infrequent patient visits.
“Typically, neurologists see their MS patients once every 6 to 12 months. In each visit, it’s unlikely patients can convey a summary of their daily mobility experience and secondary symptoms with the precision needed to guide treatment decision making. So, neurologists lack a complete ‘picture’ of their patients’ illness and are limited in their ability to deliver precise care,” said Joanna Cooper, MD, a neurologist at Sutter Health.
Floodlight is a digital application developed with the goal of assessing important features of the disease, such as cognitive performance and motor function, on a daily basis, thus providing a more complete picture of disease progression.
The hope is that making such information available to neurologists will improve their ability to make informed decisions regarding patient care. Furthermore, giving patients a way to monitor this information also may help educate them about their own disease, allowing them to actively engage with caregivers and healthcare professionals about treatment strategies.
“The novel use of mobile applications for MS symptom monitoring meets an unmet clinical need to capture patient data between visits and share this data with their neurologist and other care providers,” Jones said.
The Floodlight app was developed by Roche, and is now being pilot-tested at Sutter Health.
Approximately 100 MS patients at Sutter Health are expected to be recruited to test Floodlight. According to Jones, this testing period will determine not only how useful the app is, but also allow for modifications to be made.
“Ongoing refinements over the next several months will help validate [Floodlight’s] use in neurology clinics,” Jones said.
Last year, Multiple Sclerosis News Today discussed the Floodlight app with Laura Julian, PhD, principal medical science director at Genentech, from the Roche group. To read the interview visit this link.