MonARC Bionetworks has launched the monARC app, which enables patients with eczema to track symptoms between doctor visits and assess the impact of their condition on daily activities.
“To assist with the app design, we created a board from a group of patients with eczema to determine what was lacking with other tools and available resources — to fill those gaps for our users with monARC,” Saranpreet Nagra, PharmD, chief product officer at monARC Bionetworks, said in an interview with Healio Dermatology.
Patients are encouraged to discuss health insights from the app with their health care providers, leading to more informed treatment decisions.
The flare tracking tool enables patients to record eczema flare-up severity, take a picture of the area and track flare-up data over time, Nagra said.
This type of data collection “allows patients to have more informed conversations with their dermatologist,” he said.
Additionally, patients can use the app to further understand the impact of their condition on daily activities via connected wearable devices that track sleep and activity.
“If patients are using other wearable tools like Fitbit, Apple Watch and other wearable tracking sensors, the data can be connected. We are integrative and collaborative with other tools,” Komathi Stem, MS, founder and CEO of monARC Bionetworks, said in the interview.
MonARC continues to learn from users to improve its design and capability, Stem said.
The app also assesses environmental data such as weather, air quality and temperature, which may contribute to symptom exacerbation in patients.
By downloading the free app, patients become a member of the monARC Patient Research Network, which securely shares de-identified information with researchers and, if interested, patients can be matched to relevant clinical trials. Membership services are provided at no charge to patients.
“When patients use the app it doesn’t just help them, within their own care, but aids researchers in learning more about eczema, facilitates getting treatments to market faster and increases our understanding of how eczema affects patients in the real world,” Nagra said.
The app currently supports the monARC Patient Research Network for interstitial lung disease and atopic dermatitis, and the company plans to expand to more conditions.
MonARC is a health data collection and analytics company committed to improving collaboration with patients and providers to accelerate research, according to the company.
The company also offers webinars for patients to learn how to better manage their disease.
“We bring in key opinion leaders to talk about different ways to manage diseases using the latest research and patients can interact directly,” Stem said.
“All of the tools we provide, all are geared around how to push research forward, not just for research, but patients and caregivers as well,” Nagra added. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosures: Nagra and Stem are employed by monARC Bionetworks. The company’s core business connects patients to clinical trials.