Novartis (NYSE:NVS) said today that it is launching a research study to better understand the daily challenges facing people with multiple sclerosis. The study is designed to collect data from physical tasks and symptoms using participants’ smartphones.
The company said it hopes to find new potential ways to measure treatment effectiveness.
The elevateMS study, developed with Sage Bionetworks, uses a mobile app built on the Apple ResearchKit platform. The app was designed with input from patients, who provided feedback on the app’s user interface and helped determine what the study should measure, according to Novartis.
The app records participant responses to questionnaires and monitors movement data and task performance. Study participants will be able to track their data over time, the company said.
“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, said in prepared remarks. “With the elevateMS app, study participants can frequently document their symptoms in a personal health story. In turn, this data may provide researchers with new ways to look at disease progression and treatment effectiveness.”
Cohan is a scientific advisor to the elevateMS study.
Novartis has three medications that are approved to treat MS, as well as investigational therapies at various stages of development.