Evidation launches digital migraine research platform and symptom tracker

The digital health developer Evidation plans to expand its symptom-logging platform into migraine headaches with the goal of better illustrating their impacts on a person’s daily life.

The MigraineSmart program, hosted within the company’s app, will collect patient-reported outcomes and survey responses, as well as data from wearable activity trackers—and combine them to chart the relationship between the two.

“Migraine experiences vary widely across individuals. Harnessing everyday health data holds tremendous promise for advancing deeper understanding of this condition,” Meg Dryer, general manager of Evidation’s consumer-facing business, said in a statement. “Our goal is to generate new disease models that will contribute to a deeper, real-world understanding of this condition that can make a difference for patients.”

That includes offering users rewards for opting into research studies and sharing additional information, such as pharmacy claims and electronic health records, to show how migraines are typically treated. 

According to Evidation, a pilot study for MigraineSmart found that only 43% of about 3,500 participants reported taking a prescription medication to help manage their symptoms. Meanwhile, a separate survey of about 21,700 people reported that 41% had not seen a healthcare provider for the condition within the previous year.

“The lived experience of migraine sufferers is not sufficiently characterized with claims or clinical data,” said Evidation’s senior director of product strategy, Abigail Levine. “MigraineSmart makes it possible to generate high resolution, research-grade data and insights on migraine that is actionable for patients and relevant for health researchers.”

Evidation’s pilot research also showed that participants typically logged half as many steps on days they reported having a migraine. The company estimates that the chronic condition affects as many as 40 million people in the U.S., and disproportionately women.

Previously, the former Fierce 15 winner took a similar approach to influenza, by using changes in activity data as an early warning sign of an oncoming infection. Evidation’s FluSmart initiative found that people lose about 4,400 steps on average when sick—a number that reaches over 255 billion steps when multiplied across a nationwide flu season.