Fatigue management health app tested with MS patients

The University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital have launched a pilot study to test a digital health app for fatigue management in patients with multiple sclerosis. The aim is to provide patients with a self-management tool to help them manage their energy better. The study is part of a digital therapy solution programme funded by Sitra. Participants will use the app for two months and report on their experiences throughout the study.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that affects more than 12,000 Finns and nearly three million people worldwide. People with multiple sclerosis suffer from a wide range of symptoms. Fatigue is the most common and often invisible symptom, but it is severely paralysing and detrimental to ability to work and function.

“Fatigue is a very common and significant symptom of multiple sclerosis, and there are no good drug therapies available for it. We are interested in finding new ways to improve the lives of people suffering from fatigue,” says Mervi Ryytty, Specialist in Neurology at Oulu University Hospital.

The More Stamina app is a self-management tool designed to help MS patients regulate their energy levels and prevent fatigue. The app utilises wearable sensors to provide customised recommendations to help users cope with fatigue and improve their quality of life.

The app was developed by a team of experts in medicine, information technology and electrical engineering at the University of Oulu. People with multiple sclerosis and their families also participated in the development process.

“Various digital solutions are becoming more common in healthcare, but there is still little research evidence of their effectiveness,” notes Johanna Krüger, Specialist in Neurology and Clinical Lecturer at Oulu University Hospital. The researchers emphasise the need for thorough testing before conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of apps.

“With the pilot we are now starting and the experiences gained from it, we can potentially improve the implementation of mobile health more widely and optimise the care pathways,” says Minna Isomursu, Professor at the University of Oulu.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to test More Stamina with patients at Oulu University Hospital,” says Guido Giunti, leader of the project at the University of Oulu. “Our goal is to create sustainable solutions that can be integrated into the healthcare system, giving people more effective ways to manage their own illnesses and symptoms.”

In addition to Sitra, More Stamina has received funding from Business Finland and the Riitta and Jorma J. Takanen Foundation.

Last updated: 17.3.2023