Roche and UK University Team Up to Test Floodlight App Effectiveness

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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Roche is teaming up with the University of Plymouth in the U.K. to help develop Floodlight MS, the company’s app to monitor multiple sclerosis (MS).

“We were pleased to collaborate with Roche on an innovative project to validate the Floodlight MS app and, as with everything we do in research, we look forward to seeing the product help people who need it most,” Jon Marsden, PhD, said in a press release. Marsden leads the motor control lab at the University of Plymouth’s new Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC).

Floodlight MS is a phone app that administers five activities to collect data on hand function, walking ability, and cognition, all of which are commonly affected by MS and its symptoms. The app uses the collected data to create a record that clinicians can access, with the goal being that improved symptom tracking can better inform conversations about treatment and care.

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Under the new collaboration, research participants will use Floodlight MS on provided mobile phones to assess their symptoms, and researchers will test whether the measures the app recorded are comparable to ones recorded in the lab. The project, which takes advantage of cutting-edge technology available at the BRIC lab, is intended to ensure that the app is working as designed, making accurate and reliable measurements.

“Roche’s mission is to ‘do now what patients need next,’ so we’re looking to design, build, and test solutions to help people overcome some of the world’s biggest health challenges. To do this, we need state-of-the-art technology and science at our fingertips, so we were delighted to be introduced to Professor Marsden and his team at the Brain Research and Imaging Centre,” said Licinio Craveiro, principal global medical director for Roche.

“BRIC contains world-leading technology to understand human movement, behavior and neurological conditions, and the Motor Control Lab is all about understanding how we control movement and functional ability and how it is affected by pathology [disease processes],” Marsden said.

Prior research has indicated that Floodlight MS users generally report high satisfaction, and that the app can be reliably used to measure cognition, hand function, and walking abilities.

“We’re really looking forward to testing and moving Floodlight MS forward to help people with MS to manage their condition,” Craveiro said.