Digital Medicine Society Rallies Global Healthcare Leaders to Collaborate on Digital Measurement for Alzheimer's Disease
BOSTON, March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) announced today a new collaboration with Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, Biogen, Boston University, Eisai, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck, and Oregon Health & Science University to build a set of core digital clinical measures for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Globally, ADRD affects 47 million people and the expected growth is staggering, with cases expected to double every 20 years. The collaboration aims to tackle one of the greatest challenges in advancing therapies for ADRD: a lack of measures that can actually determine whether new potential treatments are working.
Increasingly, digital tools such as wearable sensors are being used to provide complete and precise information about the impact of disease on patients' lives. These technologies and the data they generate help quantify the disease in a patient-centered way, resulting in digital indicators that can be used to speed the successful development of new treatments and better manage disease during routine care.
"Rapid advances in digital technologies present unparalleled opportunities to transform the way neurodegenerative diseases can be predicted, diagnosed, prevented and treated," says Nadeem Sarwar, Global Head of Digital Therapeutics (DTx) Strategies & Genomic Strategies at Eisai. "We are excited to collaborate with DiME in accelerating this transformation, especially given their track-record in delivering impactful insights to help realize digital medicines."
"Digital measures offer enormous promise to bolster collective understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias," says Jian Yang, Associate Vice President of Digital Health at Eli Lilly and Company. "These measures can deepen our knowledge of disease progression, define new disease phenotypes, and support earlier diagnosis – all critically important insights for a condition where inaccurate and delayed diagnosis is common and current standard of care does not target the underlying plaque pathology."
Progress to advance digital measures in ADRD has been limited for many reasons – from the progressive nature of the disease to different cultural perceptions of health and illness – and very little work is focused on understanding meaningful aspects of health in ADRD beyond cognitive features. To address these challenges, DiMe convened a group of leading organizations from around the world to develop a core digital measure set to bring consensus, consistency, and effectiveness to how we measure the symptoms of ADRD to improve drug development and clinical care.
"As pioneers in neuroscience, we are firm believers that now, more than ever, biology and technology are ready to walk hand-in-hand to better meet patient needs.", says Martin Dubuc, Head of Biogen Digital Health. "Objective, sensitive and validated digital biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease) hold the substantial promise of speeding up development and improving care management. We believe pre-competitive collaboration is essential and are looking forward to working with like-minded innovators within DiMe to accelerate this important work in the fight against Alzheimer's disease and related dementias public health epidemic."
"Our collaboration begins by asking 'What Alzheimer's symptoms are important to patients, carepartners, and clinicians around the world, transcending language, cultural, and regulatory differences?'" says Jennifer Goldsack, CEO of DiMe. "We are also engaging global regulators and payers to ensure that all stakeholders identify value in this core digital measures set. Through this holistic lens, the collaboration will be able to identify where digital solutions can best help in developing new treatments, define meaningful clinical concepts to measure, and focus innovation and investment on advances that can best help combat this devastating disease."
The core digital measure set that results from this collaboration will become the focus of digital measure development efforts in ADRD, preventing disparate and siloed efforts that yield limited progress. This, in turn, will support innovation and competition that places the patient voice at the heart of drug development in ADRD and fuels progress for patient care and treatment.
"Curtailing the growing burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related dementia will only be possible with concerted, collaborative effort across the healthcare industry and beyond. We at the World Economic Forum are proud to see an effort that began on our platform come to fruition under the leadership of the Digital Medicine Society" says Shyam Bishen, Head of Health & Healthcare at the World Economic Forum.
Today marks the second digital measure development project for DiMe as the non-profit continues to lead digital measure development in the pre-competitive space. DiMe announced the first project, a collaboration to advance nocturnal scratch as a digital endpoint for atopic dermatitis, in November 2021.
Collaborative partners for this project are still being considered prior to the project launch in early April, and DiMe has additional core measures projects coming later this year. Please share your interest in participating in these efforts.
About the Digital Medicine Society: The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) is the professional society serving the digital medicine community, driving scientific progress and broad acceptance of digital medicine to enhance public health. At DiMe, our commitment to fully integrating experts from all of the disciplines comprising digital medicine is unwavering. From regulators to white-hat hackers, ethicists to engineers, and clinicians to citizen scientists, we are proud to welcome all experts committed to ensuring that digital medicine realizes its full potential to improve human health. Join us!
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