Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS) which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Somehow the autoimmune system sees the myelin, which is the fatty insulation around the nerves, as a foreign body or enemy and begins to attack it.
Novartis has recently launched a new app to help people with MS track symptoms and relapses. By allowing users to keep track of their general wellbeing and MS symptoms over time they will getter a better picture of their health and this will also facilitate interactions between the patient and the healthcare team.
All patients with multiple sclerosis, whether receiving medication or not, can use the new app, called the SymTrac. It has been designed by people that have MS in association with healthcare professionals in order to improve the treatment of MS. The app records a patient’s MS symptoms, general wellbeing, their medications and other potential influences, such as the weather.
The information recorded can help the patient’s healthcare team ensure that they are fully up-to-date in terms of monitoring any changes in the patient’s condition. Building up a clear picture of changing symptoms is particularly important for people with MS as this is a long-term fluctuating condition which often includes periods of relapse and remission.
The reporting of relapses is therefore key for making the right decisions about lifestyle and treatment changes. This will also help people get access to the right medications.