PatientsLikeMe and Biogen reveal positive data from wearable device study for MS

Fitbit One--Courtesy of Fitbit

PatientsLikeMe and Biogen ($BIIB) revealed promising results from a new study that shows wearable devices can help monitor individuals with multiple sclerosis over time, providing additional information to clinicians and potentially increasing adherence among patients.

As part of the study, 248 PatientsLikeMe members received Fitbit One activity trackers and used the company's health tools to track physical activity levels and connect with other MS patients over a three-week period. Individuals in the study then completed a survey, offering feedback on their experiences with the device.

Biogen and PatientsLikeMe collected positive data from the study, with a majority of individuals activating and engaging with the device over 21 days. Patients synced an average of 18.21 days of data during the three-week study, an 87% adherence rate. And the study had a "lasting impact" on participants, as most individuals who answered a poststudy survey reported that the device was easy to use and incorporate into their daily routine. A majority of patients, or 83%, said they would continue to use the device after the study and more than two-thirds of individuals said the tool would be useful in managing their condition.

The companies will present the data April 18 to 25 at the American Academy of Neurology's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Biogen VP Richard Rudick

"Consumer devices can measure number of steps, distance walked, and sleep quality on a continuous basis in a person's home environment. These data could provide potentially important information to supplement office visit exams," Richard Rudick, vice president of Biogen's Value Based Medicine, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, PatientsLikeMe continues to expand its business by inking R&D deals with biopharma giants. Last April, the company struck a 5-year deal with Genentech to provide its patient-focused data and research tools for research purposes. In August, PatientsLikeMe kept the R&D ball rolling through a new collaboration with Actelion, giving the company access to its community to create a new health outcome measure for a rare cancer.

Earlier this week, PatientsLikeMe said it would partner with AstraZeneca ($AZN), allowing the biotech titan to cull data from its network of 250,000 patients to guide drug development. AstraZeneca said it plans to use the patient-reported data to improve outcomes, with an initial focus on respiratory disease, lupus, diabetes and oncology.

- read the release

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