MS INFoRm (Multiple Sclerosis: An Interactive Fatigue Management Resource) is attempting to do nothing less than drastically improve the lives of people with the condition.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease affecting both the brain and spinal cord. It interferes with communication between your brain and the rest of your body, leading to issues with balance, vision, and muscle control, amongst others.
Nearly one million Americans live with the condition, and the worldwide number is estimated at 2.3 million individuals, with hundreds more diagnosed each week.
Those with MS commonly experience extreme fatigue that negatively impacts their ability to enjoy daily activities, a high quality of life, and employment. In fact, 80% list it as one of their symptoms, and 70% of them label it the worst symptom.
MS INFoRm is a radical new approach to actively learn about and manage their fatigue, incorporating the approaches identified as most effective in the management of MS-related fatigue.
Initially developed in 2012, it was originally a PowerPoint presentation that included embedded hyperlinks to various .PDF files and worksheets. The entire system was shared with patients via USB stick, and it included instructions on how to monitor fatigue, how to communicate with others about it, and where and when to get help. A 3-month pilot program demonstrated the overall effectiveness of MS INFoRm, with participants reporting better knowledge on the subject, increased self-confidence, and an improved quality of life.
With positive reviews, results, and feedback, the creators knew they had something useful and beneficial, but recognized the limitations of the USB format.
Having to physically deliver the system put serious constraints on serving the MS community regardless of location.
Would a web application eliminate those concerns and still prove as popular and useful?
And more importantly, how to make that a reality?
The MS INFoRm team was looking for a responsive design and the thoughtful digitization of their paper-based content that would allow them to collect critical data around how the content was used and how that impacted their patients.
They wanted a best-of-both-worlds balance between a professional medical tool and a user-friendly Fitbit-type application. Something that would impress medical specialists – so they’d feel confident recommending it – and their everyday target users.
Next, as this was also to be a research study, the system needed to auto-alert the team at Queen’s University with a participant log on and usage statistics.
Finally, as a healthcare resource containing confidential information, it all had to be AODA compliant.
A tall order? Perhaps. But at Troon, we thrive on that sort of creative problem solving and development. Challenge accepted.
Troon delivered a web-based solution that checked each box, and met or exceeded each requirement.
The research team at Queen’s was able to conduct a statistically relevant study to prove out their hypothesis, gather data in a manipulative form, and still maintain patient confidentiality.
And most importantly, the resource was the next step in helping MS patients manage the most difficult symptom of their disease.
At Troon, we’re proud of our collaborations and playing at least a small part in making lives easier. We approach each project with the same enthusiasm and commitment to value and quality that makes us more than just a resource.