World Multiple Sclerosis Day on May 30: New app and targeted information for MS patients | FOPI

Vienna (OTS) Around 2.8 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis (MS), and in Austria more than 13,500 people are affected. Despite intensive research, it is not yet known what causes this chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Accordingly, MS cannot yet be cured.

However, MS patients have a number of medications and additional therapeutic options available that can alleviate acute symptoms and positively influence the course of MS in the long term. In addition, research-based pharmaceutical companies such as Roche or Janssen try to support those affected with targeted information and practical tools.

Help Through Information – Strong with MS

“We know that those affected who have just found out about the disease have a completely different need for information than MS patients and their families who have been living with the disease for a long time,” says Alexander Hecht, Medical Manager Neuroscience at Roche Austria. “That’s why we have 2018 Platform ‘Strong with MS’ was launched – to create a broad information base for MS patients, relatives and interested parties.” Tailor-made videos and articles provide information on a variety of topics – from everyday life to work to travel and therapy – a lot is covered that affects those affected . “The aim of the exchange with MS patients is that what we do brings a real benefit for them. With the help of their experiences, we can learn where the special challenges lie and what role innovative therapies, diagnostics and tools play in this context. Patient advocacy is therefore very important to Roche. ‘Strong with MS’ makes a significant contribution here,” adds Marlene Hausleitner, Patient Community Partner at Roche Austria MS InfoService who, after registering, provides those affected with selected contributions that are specially tailored to their life situation.

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Novel app helps those affected to express themselves

An innovative tool that Janssen is presenting on World MS Day also provides concrete help in everyday life: The „ExpressMS“ Tastatur-App supports MS patients in being able to express how they feel in a nutshell.

“How are you today? This is a question that we often give little importance to answering. For people who suffer from multiple sclerosis and have to live with the associated symptoms, this question is often a major challenge,” says Michaela Hagenhofer, Commercial Director Immunology, Neuroscience, Pulmonary Hypertension at Janssen Austria. “MS has a diverse appearance with different clinical symptoms in the areas of motor, sensory and cognition. Many symptoms cannot be seen by those affected, they are virtually ‘invisible’. MS patients sometimes find it difficult to find the right words and to express how they feel in a way that others can understand. An enormous burden, because the invisible remains invisible and barriers arise in dialogue.”

This is where the app comes in, which was created together with patients and patient organizations. ExpressMS keyboard app is intended to help MS patients to tell their conversation partners the extent of their invisible symptoms – so that the personal environment can better respond to the current condition.

The app is available free of charge in German and English. Download for Apple and Android.

Press photos for download

Questions & contact:

FOPI – Forum of the researching pharmaceutical industry
Cornelia Moser
+43 676 884 84 225



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