The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) is teaming up with pharma giants AbbVie, Janssen Research and Development, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB to make nocturnal scratch an endpoint for atopic dermatitis. 

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, can lead to nighttime itches and scratching, which impact the quality of a patient’s sleep. Recent studies have outlined wearable sensors’ role in helping to track and monitor the condition digitally. 

DiMe is positioning this new initiative, and using digital endpoints in general, as a way to help reduce time and cost in research and development of new therapies. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

Atopic dermatitis impacts roughly 9.6 million children and 16.5 million adults in America, according to the National Eczema Association. The association reports that 15-30% of individuals with the condition experience sleep-related issues. 

But nighttime itching could be just the beginning of using digital endpoints in research and development, according to DiMe. 

“This initiative aspires to be a blueprint for the development and deployment of digital endpoints in medical product development,” Jennifer Goldsack, CEO of DiMe, said in a statement.

“We applaud our collaboration partners for coming together with a common goal, to establish digitally measured nocturnal scratch as a broadly accepted endpoint for use in registrational trials. Together, we will work to set the industry standard and position those involved to lead the field in global best practice as they translate this work in a single context of use to other therapeutic areas and other measures.”

THE LARGER TREND 

Digital biomarkers have increasingly been incorporated into care. For example, Sonde is looking to use vocal biomarkers to help evaluate mental wellness with its API Sonde Mental Fitness. The company has previously rolled out a vocal screening tool for respiratory illness symptoms.

Even major tech companies are looking into the space. Apple is reportedly looking to use digital biomarkers to help detect depression and early-stage cognitive decline.

 



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