Software Aims to Find Patterns in Outcomes for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Published in Insight - Insight July/Aug 2019

The way a medical intervention or lifestyle change influences a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) can vary from one person to the next. To help clinicians and MS patients see the effects over time, the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center and the Johns Hopkins Technology Innovation Center developed MS visualization software.

The effort began with a Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence grant. The grant allowed neurologists Peter Calabresi and Ellen Mowry, co-directors of the MS center, to work with their team to find better ways to collect, align and display historical and current data. Their goal was to improve the monitoring of how interventions and lifestyle influence individual patients with MS.

“To try to piece together all the data in your head and show that relationally ... is sort of impossible by just having a table with 700 data points,” says Mowry.

To assist with the task, Calabresi and Mowry brought in experts from the Technology Innovation Center. Together, they developed MS visualization software to see patterns over time from data including medical scans, information about prescription medications and relapses, and more.

“I hope it will help people, as they come to the clinic, have a better understanding of what their course has been like and what changes they made that have the largest impact,” says Mowry. She also says the tool allows her and other clinicians at the center to quickly identify good candidates for clinical trials of new treatments.

Read the full story, “MS Visualization: Helping Patients See Patterns in Their Disease,” and others in the Technology Innovation Center’s annual report: “Impact at Scale.”

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