Building and Expanding Wearable Devices to Alleviate MS Symptoms: Valerie J. Block, PT, DPTSc

Video

The adjunct instructor at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences provided perspective on the next steps in research for potential wearable devices focused on treating issues of multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

"I would love a device that measures everything rather than having to get my patients to wear multiple different devices. As for clinical trials, because our measures are snapshots of function, we have patient reported outcomes, which are great, but also rely on memory and recall bias depending on when they’re completed."

Bladder dysfunction (BD), a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), can have several negative impacts on physical activity, social interactions, and quality of life. An effort led by Valerie J. Block, PT, DPTSc, engaged several stakeholders to assemble a “wearables for the bladder” (WeB) kit to improve evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of BD symptoms. Of them included 4 patients with MS with varying levels of BD, a neurourologist, an MS neurologist, an MS physical therapist, a pelvic floor physical therapist, a women’s health expert, and a health literacy expert.

After 4 virtual stakeholder meetings, 4 devices were selected for the 8 stakeholders to trial at home and provide feedback. Presented at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado, the 2 highest scoring devices evaluated were selected for the WeB device validation pilot. One device measures urine level number and frequency of voids/leaks, while the other guides pelvic floor exercises by pairing games on an app with biofeedback from intravaginal sensors.

Block, an adjunct instructor at the University of California San Francisco Weill Institute for Neurosciences, believes these WeB tools can fill an important gap in the ability to measure BD treatment in patients with MS. At CMSC 2023, Block sat down to discuss the need for research like this, and continued expansion of wearable devices for patients with MS. Additionally, she provided a complete overview on what is currently used today and where improvements could be made.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

REFERENCE
1. Block VJ, Suskind AM, Bove R. Wearables for the bladder: stakeholders perspectives on moving MS bladder dysfunction into the 21st century. Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; held May 31 to June 3; Aurora, CO. Abstract DMX03
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