NOVARTIS LAUNCHES APP FOR PSORIASIS, PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS AND ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS PATIENTS
AUG 14, 2019 @ 8.45PM
Patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can now better manage their disease with 'Let's Be Clear' mobile application.
Launched by Novartis Malaysia today, the app provides a user-friendly platform for patients to manage their disease right in the palm of their hands. It offers a variety of handy features including a QR code scanner for easy tracking of medication and a redemption feature that rewards the patient’s compliance to medication.
Reminders of their next injection, doctor’s appointment and other important information can also be added to the Home page for patients’ easy reference. Additionally, patients can track their disease progression through daily journal entries while taking tests related to their disease at monthly or quarterly intervals to help analyse and track their symptoms.
The Let’s Be Clear app is also supported by a dashboard for physicians which gives them access to their patient’s reports, thus enabling them to monitor their patients’ progress and treatment journey.
Patrik Grande, president for Novartis Malaysia & Brunei said, “For psoriasis patients who feel that they have gone years without noticing improvements in their skin condition, by tracking with the app, these positive changes will not go unnoticed any longer. Similarly, those who suffer from chronic pain due to psoriatic arthritis and AS will be able to better communicate the severity of their condition to their treating physicians in order to improve their treatment regimes.”
Patients suffering from psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and AS can speak to their doctors to find out more.
500,000 patients suffer from psoriasis in Malaysia
Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and AS can have detrimental effects on the quality of life of thousands of patients.
“Over 10% of dermatology patients in Malaysia suffer from psoriasis, a chronic, incurable disease that causes rapid turnover of skin cells leading to the formation of scales and red patches. While our registry has reported about 12,000 cases of psoriasis in Malaysia, it is estimated that the true number is much higher, hovering around 500,000 patients, of which an estimated 30% go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. We cannot take our registry’s data at face value as it does not account for the thousands of patients who are currently living with the disease and have yet to seek treatment. More robust research to reflect the true burden of the disease in our country among is definitely needed,” said Dr Peter Ch’ng, consultant Dermatologist.
Psoriatic arthritis can result in joint deformities
The severity of psoriasis varies from patient to patient, with symptoms including dry, cracked skin, nail pitting and swollen and stiff joints. While primarily considered a skin condition, psoriasis has multi-system implications putting these patients at risk for developing obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. In Malaysia, as many as 23.6% of psoriasis patients are obese, 26.3% have hypertension and 17.4% are known diabetics.
“Every day feels like a game of chance. Will I have another flare up today? Will the itching keep me up tonight? Will I be able to leave the house without being stared at? Will I even be able to walk out of the house pain free? Some days are definitely better than others, but there is never any certainty,” shared Roshazma Che Hamid - a psoriasis patient.
A disease characterized by joint pain, stiffness and swelling, psoriatic arthritis can leave those affected in debilitating pain and with a feeling of hopelessness. Repeated flares and worsening of psoriatic arthritis can also result in joint deformities. The joints between the vertebrae can be affected, resulting in lower back pain. As with psoriasis itself, controlling symptoms in order to prevent damage to the joints is the mainstay of treatment.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
On the other hand, AS affects approximately 76,000 Malaysians (24 cases per 10,000 people). AS is an inflammatory disease that, over time can cause the bones in the spine to fuse.
This results in pain, stiffness and loss of flexibility. Fusion of these spinal bones can have dire consequences including restricting lung function which causes difficulty in breathing.
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