Multiple Sclerosis Management and Care: How a Tele-Monitoring Tool May Help

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Presented at CMSC 2021, researchers sought to develop a tele-monitoring tool that allows patients with multiple sclerosis to follow-up on their disease with help from their care team.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held October 25-28 2021, in Orlando, Florida. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from the 2021 CMSC Annual Meeting.

Icompanion, a tele-monitoring tool that allows patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to track and assume a more active role in the management of the demyelinating disease, may help provide health care providers a more comprehensive assessment of the disease progression and facilitate clinical decisions, according to study results presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held October 25-28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Tele-monitoring solutions may have a key role in the efforts to improve access and management of MS, a disease characterized by significant fluctuations over time and often difficulties visiting care. The researchers’ goal was to develop a tool that will provide patients with insights into the disease and will provide the MS care team quantitative insights into the disease course.

Using multiple focus groups with patients with MS, nurses, and neurologists, the need and priorities of each group were defined and were used to develop a mobile app and web portal for patients with MS, and a web portal for health care professionals.

The icompanion may help patients with MS to better monitor their symptoms, physical disability, fatigue, and cognition using clinically validated patient-reported outcomes. The mobile app and web portal also allows patients to record their treatments and set reminders, upload and view imaging on their smartphone, and to read about their disease in a knowledge center.

For health care professionals, the web portal provides clinical and subclinical information, including quantitative volumetric measurements extracted from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can be used to monitor the disease process.

The icompanion was launched in May 2020 and over 2357 patients with MS worldwide have used the mobile app and web portal to monitor their disease.

“Technological advancements like icompanion are an answer to the growing demand for more patient involvement and more data-driven clinical decisions in the care of PwMS [patients with MS],” concluded the researchers.

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 

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Costers L, Descamps A, De Backer S, et al. Remote monitoring in multiple sclerosis: initial experience with medical device icompanion. Presented at: CMSC 2021 Annual Meeting; October 25-28, 2021; Orlando, Florida. Abstract MOC06.