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Walter Stewart, PhD, MPH, Vice President and Chief Research & Development Officer, Sutter Health
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects the brain and spinal cord when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. MS usually starts between 20 to 40 years of age. Patients may face decades of physical disability and uncertainty around how the disease will progress.
While precision medicine holds the promise of being able to predict and slow the course of MS, these advances in MS care have not yet made it to every doctor’s office. Sutter Health and UCSF are partnering with patients and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to develop an interactive app that builds on technology created and tested at UCSF. Patient outcomes are expected to improve for several reasons, including the doctor’s ready access to predictions of outcomes based on patient features and treatment options.
In this project, Sutter Health’s Research & Development team will develop the interactive app, called Neuro-SHARE, which will instantly combine the latest precision medicine data with real-time data from the patient’s electronic health record, and with information that patients report about their symptoms between medical appointments.
Doctors and patients will be able to view the app together during appointments to see how a patient’s unique characteristics compare to other patients like them. Knowing how MS may develop over time for a patient can help the doctor and patient select the treatments most likely to slow disease progression and meet patient needs.
The team will implement Neuro-SHARE in multiple Sutter general neurology practices and measure use and patient experience as first steps toward getting precision medicine into everyday care. This partnership holds the promise of bringing precision medicine – precise treatment decisions to address needs of individual patients– directly to the diverse populations living with MS in Northern California.