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Developing mobile technology to monitor Psoriasis


Health researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) are working to develop mobile technology which will monitor and measure the severity of Psoriasis.

Principal Investigator Dr Lesley DiackThe project is being conducted across Scotland by experts at the university’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing Research (IHWR).

Funding of more than £20,000 has been secured from leading research-based pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag Ltd and researchers are working to investigate how those with Psoriasis can use mobile technology to monitor, measure and manage its severity.

Principal Investigator, Dr Lesley Diack, who is also a senior lecturer in eLearning at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, is working with researcher Ewen Maclean to design an app which patients will find useful.

The team will hold a series of focus groups in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and need members of the public to engage with their work and inform the design of the app.

Dr Diack said: “At the moment Psoriasis is an incurable condition and those with the ailment are often left to self-manage treatments with little interaction with their GP.

“Through this research we hope to address some of the gaps in the health care system by providing a more person centred self-management of the condition.

“We are seeking the opinions and ideas of those with psoriasis to ultimately inform the design decisions in the creation of the app which could help with decision making about getting healthcare advice and for the wider longer term management of the condition.

“To do this we need members of the public who have psoriasis, and would be willing to participate in a focus group, to use and test apps designed for monitoring of the condition.”

Innovative mobile technology is being adopted across a wide range of health related pursuits and consumers are turning to mobile technology as a means to monitor their own health.

Previous studies have confirmed the usefulness of teledermatology approaches to skin diseases from skin cancer to wound treatment. It is a way to be cost effective and also reduce waiting times for patients. The diagnostic concordance rates and accuracy rates are high.

Researcher Ewen Maclean said: “Psoriasis can often be a chronic debilitating illness that has both physical and psychological consequences.

“While there has been an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the condition there appears to be a deficit between the aims of the healthcare system and what happens in practice.

“Mobile technology is increasingly being used to monitor long term conditions and this is a unique opportunity to help make informed design decisions for the app which will be developed based on these focus groups.

“Anything that can help with the long term management of the illness will hopefully be of use to those with psoriasis and associated conditions.

“We are seeking to identify what works best when it comes to the use of mobile technology by those that would use it on a daily basis. Rather than designing an app and then hope it will be used, our focus groups will provide the basis for the design. It’s an exciting opportunity and I hope people choose to get involved.”

Psoriasis focus groups will be held in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh in November and December. For more information and to participate, please contact the research team via: psoriasis.research@rgu.ac.uk

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport