Healthcare costs are skyrocketing and are having a significant impact on society. People who are not feeling well, but do not know why, tend to seek medical care more often. It may take several visits and many imaging studies to arrive at the right diagnosis. This is also a burden on the patients for whom access to timely and quality care is difficult to find.
Studies have shown that patients with “pre-MS” or possible MS have a greater utilization of healthcare resources in the year leading up to diagnosis than in the three years prior. This is important in a number of ways.
First, it reflects that MS can present differently from person to person. Abnormalities on a neurologic exam can be very subtle, and more often than not, patients with prodromal MS may take a while to find their way to a neurologist’s waiting room.
Second, it suggests that perhaps patients are not being heard-it should be a red flag to a provider if a patient repeatedly shows up in the ER that the correct diagnosis has not yet been made.
Finally, it may also suggest that the diagnosis is being delayed, and in MS patients such a delay is correlated with greater disability down the road.
BeCareLink is a mobile app that uses quantitative measurements to assess the neurologic system. We have both a general screener and a MS-specific app. BeCareLink can bridge the accessibility gap so that a patient with possible MS can measure and monitor their neurologic function to get the correct care sooner.