Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal incurable neurodegenerative disease. It usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease.*
It leads to progressive paralysis and typically results in death within three to five years. ALS progression is highly variable between patients, a fact that complicates drug development and clinical testing of new candidate therapies.
The most common way to measure ALS progression today is by using a subjective questionnaire called the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALS-FRS). To complete the questionnaire, patients must reach a clinic with a trained ALS specialist and answer questions about their ability to speak, walk, breath, dress, and so on. Unfortunately, this method is limited due to infrequent measurements, a challenging clinic visit for patients who often have limited mobility, a subjective test, and the data not being stored in a single repository.
SAP architect Meirav Daniel and a team of volunteers from SAP Labs Israel wanted to make a difference: “We wanted to inspire people and show how mobile technology and cloud can revolutionize the course of a disease.”
Meirav and team worked with Prize4Life, a non-profit organization, and partner HP to develop an app on SAP Cloud Platform called the ALS Mobile Analyzer. This mobile app enables caregivers to monitor patients daily in their own environment then record and upload data on the patient’s condition. With the app, caregivers can immediately record how patients respond to stimuli. If there is any deterioration in their motor or mental skills, which are the main characteristics tracked as patients’ physical and mental conditions worsen gradually over time. The app also records reactions or changes that are triggered by certain conditions like changes in activities, foods, and more.
This valuable data is collected using sensors. In the future, this data will be analyzed by clinicians and doctors to monitor patients, respond quicker, and serve as a basis for future research and development of new treatments.
To learn more, visit ALS Analyzer
SAP and our partners. Improving lives. That is our purpose.
Ashley Tully is director of Global to Partner Marketing at SAP