Digital therapy platform AmalgamRX has just announced the upcoming launch of its new app, Beyond, which aims to help patients living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis providing them resources to manage stress.
For the 3 million patients living with psoriasis, stress can be a trigger for symptoms. Stress can increase inflammation and make symptoms worsen or cause new flare-ups for patients living with either psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, according to the company. Psoriasis is also linked to depression and anxiety.
“The way that we have designed [Beyond] is by thinking of it as a curriculum or journey,” Ryan Sysko, founder and CEO of AmalgamRX told MobiHealthNews. “We start to gauge an interest of the type of things people would be interested in… and then direct them to a series of activities.”
Based on cognitive behavioral strategies, the app is specifically designed to help patients with the stress that can cause flare-ups. Through activities and resources, it gives user techniques for reducing their stress and increasing their optimism level.
“It started with the science, which we think is always important when building a digital therapeutic,” Sysko said.
The app gives resources to users about their conditions and the progression of the disease. For example, a patient with psoriasis can track their changing plaques over time and see what it means for their health and wellbeing.
Patients may have visible plaques, which can be a traumatic experience, said Sysko. Therefore, giving coping mechanisms is key, he said.
Part of the goal is for patients to improve resilience while living and dealing with the psychological burden of the disease, he said. This will link patients to sources and peer support.
The app is currently going through clinical testing with patients but is expected to launch in 2018.
“Living with psoriasis is a stressful and isolating experience for people. They feel embarrassed and self-conscious about their very visible and often misunderstood disease,” Dr. Andrew Blauvel, president and investigator at Oregon Medical Research Center, said in a statement. “Psychological factors can be as big a determinant of disability in patients as can skin disease severity and location, which is why it is so important to address the emotional and social problems patients are experiencing. In fact, research has found that stress makes psoriasis worse. All patients with psoriasis deserve to be treated with the best available therapies and receive the emotional support they need.”
Earlier this year AmalgamRX launched its first app called iSage, a prescription-only patient-facing iOS and Android app that works in conjunction with a web portal used by doctors.
Sysko has a long history of working in digital health; he and AmalgamRX cofounder Dr. Suzanne Clough founded WellDoc, another digital therapeutic.