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Utilizing Mobile Health Technology to Improve Migraine Care

Jaime Rosenberg
Through a smartphone app, SensorRx is utilizing patient-collected data and linking it to the patient’s electronic health record, allowing the physician to better understand a patient’s migraine trends and improve outcomes.
Recognizing the potential of digital health technology to advance migraine care, SensorRx is utilizing patient-generated health data that links to the physician in order to improve outcomes for the patient population.

The smartphone app, MigrnX allows users, with just 3 clicks, to document when a migraine episode is occurring, the intensity of the migraine, and what they are doing to treat it—whether it be an acute care medication or Advil. After filling in the information, the user is prompted to come back and document when the migraine ends so that the duration of the episode can be recorded.

Now, SensorRx will have an even more comprehensive understanding of migraines with its recent acquisition of the mobile health app “Migraine Coach” from Welltodo. The direct-to-consumer app works as an electronic diary, using algorithms to help users track all aspects of their migraine, such as the frequency, intensity, and duration. The acquisition, announced at the end of June, is integrating the 2 platforms immediately.

Currently, the data collected from the patient in the MigrnX app is linked to their electronic health record (EHR). From there, the physician is presented with detailed information on the patient’s migraines in the form of a monthly summary, which has not been the case in the past.

“What we identified as one of the biggest challenges in this space is the relationship between the neurologist and the patient,” explained Ed Kenney, chief marketing and revenue officer of SensorRx in an interview with The American Journal of Managed Care®. “There are a variety of different symptoms and triggers, and one of the biggest challenges is getting enough detailed an accurate information to the doctor to dial in the treatment protocol.”

Prior to this mobile health technology, patients documented their migraine episodes in a paper diary, which often led to a high level of inaccuracy and incomplete information on the migraines. Kenney added: “The thought process behind the origin of MigrnX was: can we use the smartphone technology that’s in everybody’s purse or pocket to better capture that information with a short series of clicks?”

In the background, MigrnX captures 36 atmospheric data points related to the GPS location of the user’s phone, such as weather conditions, barometric pressure, and the pollution index. These data, in combination with the patient-reported data, are compiled through machine learning to identify trends in the migraines.

Because the patient-reported data is fed to the physician as a monthly report through the EHR, the physician is able to monitor the patient without an appointment. If a patient was prescribed a treatment protocol in May, the doctor can look back in July and see how the treatment plan is working for the patient, explained Kenney.

More recently, with the introduction of calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors into the migraine space, SensorRx has an added purpose. Due to the high price tags of these inhibitors, insurers will want to see concrete data that a patient qualifies for the drug in order for them to approve it, said Kenney. And the MigrnX app does just that.

Looking ahead, Kenney indicated that the compilation of data will allow predictability of a patient’s migraine by recognizing the triggers they’ve experienced during previous migraine. The SensorRx team is also working on developing a wearable sensor device for patients.

 
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