Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that affects more than 200,000 people in Germany, mostly young adults. In order to improve the care of MS patients, a consortium including the BKK Dachverband and led by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has launched the research project "Power@MS". This project aims to strengthen empowerment of MS patient.
The 42-month project receives funding from the Innovation Fund. It includes two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using complex digital interventions at various disease states of MS. The interventions are designed to improve patient autonomy in treatment decisions, lifestyle changes, and relapse management and reduce disease activity. On the one hand this should be achieved through behavioral intervention and decision support in immunotherapy in the early stage of the disease via an internet platform. On the other hand, interactive and digital relapse training and decision support should lead to a more cost-effective use of steroid therapies in MS.
In addition to the UKE and the BKK Dachverband, the project consortium includes the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Universities of Lübeck and Düsseldorf, the University Medical Center Göttingen as well as the German Multiple Sclerosis Society and the company Gaia. If Power@MS proves to be a success, the Internet platform will allow MS patients an independent access to current evidence-based and neutral information regardless of residence. This could help to use available resources more effectively and to improve the quality of life of patients through balanced immunotherapy decisions, the reflected use of relapse therapies and a preventive lifestyle.