Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Future Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases

New digital health tech targeted to fight autoimmune diseases or their symptoms are diverse and creative. These often completely different illnesses, like type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, indicate an immune system dysfunction. Immune cells and mechanisms target the body’s own cells and structures, deconstructing it bit by bit and inducing inflammation.

An estimated 24-50 million people in the US alone are living with autoimmune conditions. It affects their day-to-day life, but scientists suggest people living with chronic conditions could also be more susceptible to pathogens like the coronavirus. Reducing symptoms and helping the body to overcome chronic inflammation is the key to a healthier, safer life.

Treating autoimmune diseases or reducing symptoms: old symptoms, new tech

There are approximately a hundred different illnesses in this category and since all their underlying biological and molecular mechanisms are quite different, it’s hard to pinpoint only one technology to solve all issues. These different causes and mechanisms result in quite a broad spectrum of symptoms. There are a few that are present in many of the 100 diseases. We focused on digital health technologies to tackle these.


A very common manifestation of the autoreactive mechanisms of the body. Fatigue is an irritating and limiting factor everyone would be happy to bypass. At the Medical Futurist, we’re passionate about sleep hygiene and quality rest. Sleep trackers with smart alarms are the best way to wake up naturally a bit more refreshed every morning.

The Untire App is a great tool to reduce tiredness and give users insight and support when needed. It’s developed mostly for cancer patients at the moment, but a similar version for autoimmune patients with the daily tips, step-by-step program and online community would be of use for sure.

Chronic pain

Usually, we’re talking about joint and muscle pain. It can be sharp or dull but either way disables people to move or enjoy life to the fullest. This isn’t specific to autoimmunity so there’s a bigger market and thus more options to choose from.

Hinge Health, for example, is set to reduce joint and muscle pain during a 12-week program. Karuna uses VR to distract people and help alleviate pain not just at home but at hospitals as well. And Neurometrix’s FDA-cleared device, Quell, blocks pain using nerve stimulation.

Skin problems

Apps for skincare are hot now. There are so many great options to choose from for so many specific problems. From regular checkups to teleconsultations, from an atlas to a community. We’ve already written about the most important ones, but let me introduce to you again two great apps:

Eczema tracker helps users check pollen, mould, temperature, humidity levels for any location, track the flare-up of eczema, and get useful pieces of advice on how to control the condition. Cureskin can diagnose six types of common skin conditions – after the user takes a photo, the algorithm analyses the skin issues, the app’s chatbot asks a few questions and recommends an eight-week skincare regimen.

Abdominal symptoms

The main cause of this issue is usually inflammation – swelling, redness pain, discomfort accompanied by low-grade fever from time to time. Studies show that apps are great at complementing and improving the person-centred clinical care of patients.

Both Nori, the digital coach and the Oshi IBD tracking app are easy to use and provide support for people living with inflammatory bowel disease. Nori is an A.I.-driven chatbot working to improve the quality of life of patients. E-learning, monitoring symptoms and a Q&A section are integrated into Oshi to help manage Colitis and Crohn’s.

Other symptoms

Every disease has its unique symptoms. Among others, these could include trouble concentrating, numbness, hair loss, extreme thirst, anaemia, weight loss and diarrhoea. Psoriasis or RA are autoimmune diseases that flare up and then go to remission just to flare up again.

These symptoms may be a bit harder to keep under control, but chatbots, for example, are great at managing people daily and improving their quality of life with simple tips and conversation. Or just take a look at EmoGraphy: this will be a new stress management device by Philips. That’s great news for all living with chronic conditions, especially in the case of diabetes, since effectively managing stress can reduce the risk of high spikes in blood sugar levels. What’s more, there’s a study on using digital images of the eye to detect anaemia noninvasively and quickly. There are also apps for specific disorders like multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Future Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases

A quick diabetes break

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, but it’s a bit unfair to talk about it here. Diabetes management is popular and quite advanced in digital health and we’ve written about the past and future of this condition in more detail in other articles. It is autoimmune, so to quickly sum things up, diabetes is a truly technology-dependent condition: you need to monitor your blood glucose level, your blood pressure, your weight, follow a meal plan and test your blood every now and then. Luckily, there are so many digital health innovations for diabetes patients out there that diabetes management has been improving for years steadily – and it will significantly change in the coming years. Read more about it here.

Automatizing autoimmune care

Given our fast-paced lives, sometimes it can be challenging to stop for a moment to try to find balance. But listening to your body more and keeping an eye on its signals is a great way to be a bit more mindful every day. And being smart about and getting to know the triggers of your condition and preparing for the flare-ups is important and can make your life so much easier.

Using apps, gamification and devices which could help track your health on bad and good days alike feel a bit less like work by being more automatic, so you can focus more on the fun things in life. Treating autoimmune diseases or reducing symptoms with digital health technologies might not sound much – but it’s a whole new universe for patients.

The post Future Treatment For Autoimmune Diseases appeared first on The Medical Futurist.


By: szandra
Title: Future Treatment For Autoimmune Diseases
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Published Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0000

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