Novartis is partnering with German digital health company smartpatient to launch a new app feature on the MyTherapy app for patients with wet macular degeneration (AMD). Called “See What’s Next,” the new feature is designed to encourage people living with this condition to improve their treatment adherence, which is crucial to reducing the risk of vision loss.
“Non-adherence is a challenge in most health conditions, but in few are consequences as direct and severe as in wet AMD,” says Sebastian Gaede, chief executive officer of smartpatient. “I was truly impressed seeing Novartis and us working as one team, with every single team member highly motivated by our shared goal of supporting patients in avoiding complications and reducing the risk of vision loss,” he added.
Patients are able to tap into a personalized app that will show them the tools most applicable to their needs. Ophthalmologists can provide patients with access to the system, reports MobiHealthNews.
Novartis initially reached out to smartpatient when it noticed a pattern of patients who would come in for one or two injections of its anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy treatment Beovu, but not return.
Wet AMD affects more than 20 million people worldwide, and is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65 in the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula of the eye. These vessels leak blood or fluid which leads to scarring of the macula and rapid loss of central vision.
Early symptoms include distorted vision and as the disease progresses, cell damage increases, resulting in a further reduction in vision quality.
Big pharma companies like Novartis are increasingly turning towards the digital health space to support adherence measures, drug discovery and digital therapeutics.
“See What’s Next” is currently available in Italy and Spain, with other markets to follow.