GoToHealth Radio’s Jonathan Marx recently interviewed BeCare Link’s Chief Medical Officer Charisse D. Litchman, exploring the features and benefits of the remote patient monitoring enabled by the BeCare MS Link. The weekly show features in-depth interviews with health experts from around the world, educating its viewers and listeners on relevant health topics. Distributed on VoiceAmerica, the largest internet radio network, eight podcasts, and on YouTube, the telecast reaches a worldwide audience.
In her interview, Dr. Litchman details how BeCare Link addresses the challenges that many MS patients face in monitoring the progress of their chronic disease. The ability for patients to have objective measurements of their neurologic function and to monitor their symptoms from home will improve patient outcomes. BeCare Link’s award-winning app delivers a needed remote monitoring for patients – and their healthcare professionals – who are managing multiple sclerosis symptoms.
The Challenge for MS Patients
At the beginning of the discussion, Dr. Litchman provides an overview of multiple sclerosis. She describes the changes in the treatment that she has seen in the decades due to a “bountiful supply of new treatments.” However, the need to tracking progress of the disease is paramount in order for physicians to administer the most effective medicine.
As Dr. Litchman explains, multiple sclerosis presents in many ways; the manifestations and progression vary for different patients. While there are many effective medications available, the best treatment requires objective monitoring for disease progression to determine the need to make medication changes. Improved healthcare outcomes depend on accurate monitoring.
Ideally, MS patients have access to a MS clinical center. When seen by a MS specialist, usually on an annual visit, the patient’s MS status is evaluated by calculating the MS disability score called an EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) rating. EDSS testing takes time, is expensive and requires significant resources and staff availability. As compared to the BeCare Link app which takes quantitative measurements on a mobile device and calculates an EDSS through AI and Machine Learning, the clinical EDSS scoring can be variable. Different clinicians produce different scores. Regardless, the MS neurologist relies on the clinician’s diagnosis to guide treatment. (Watch video About MS here).
Because of a lack of access due to location and cost, most MS patients instead visit general neurologists or family practitioners. Neither administer EDSS tests. For these patients, their disease prognosis depends on self-reporting and a general neurological exam, which are not as sensitive or standardized as the EDSS.
BeCare Link’s Solution: Remote Patient Monitoring
In her discussion with Marx, Dr. Litchman outlines the benefits of remote patient monitoring enabled by the BeCare Link app. Patients take control of their own monitoring by engaging in 13 interactive activities on their smart phone at least once per month. The activities quantitatively measure different neurological functions. In addition, patients answer questions that give insight into their mood, diet, and other important lifestyle factors. Plus, the platform captures data about the patient’s medications, family history and, importantly, the frequency and nature of MS flares ups. The result: objective, sensitive measurements of patients’ neurologic function, cognition, and mood. (Watch The BeCare Link Solution and How the App Works)
The real value of the app is realized when the data is delivered to patients’ selected physicians. The physician portal provides all the tools for the physician to easily track and visualize the progress of their patients’ disease. Built-in explanations of what the numbers mean facilitate utilization of the scores to manage patient care. (Watch The App and Your Doctor).
Back Story of BeCare Link
Dr. Litchman describes BeCare Link’s backstory. She reveals a personal story that gives insight into the inspiration for the novel app. A close personal loss years ago instilled a drive in both Dr. Litchman and BeCare Link co-founder Larry Rubin to empower patients to take control of and track their health condition. In addition, Dr. Litchman’s professional background is perfectly crafted to develop the neurological app. The list of her relevant experience is long:
- Twenty-plus years practicing as a general neurologist
- A specialty in treating migraines and multiple sclerosis
- A member of Yale School of Medicine faculty where she was enriched by colleagues who were specialist in other neurological disorders including ALS and Alzheimer’s disease
- Her participation in Contract Research Organization (CRO) drug trials
- Development of a telehealth service line for migraines.
Dr. Litchman’s personal story sheds light on the motivating factors and experience driving BeCare Link. Look for yourself. (Dr. Litchman’s Personal Story).
To learn more about what BeCare Link offers MS patients and their doctors – all in the words of BeCare Link’s Chief Medical Officer Charisse Litchman, click here.