Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, chronic inflammatory skin disease, and management is largely dependent on long-term adherence to over-the-counter and prescription treatments, as well as the avoidance of environmental triggers and lifestyle stressors. Medications typically prescribed for AD address only the physical discomfort and appearance of the condition despite the fact that there are numerous comorbidities and/or triggers that lead to exacerbations. Sleep, stress, mental health status, fitness and nutrition all contribute meaningfully to patient outcomes and quality of life.
Goals in the management of AD include improving skin condition, minimizing exacerbations, and reducing comorbidities and symptom burden (i.e. sleep deprivation, the itch-scratch cycle, and mental distress). Interventions aimed at educating patients on avoiding triggers, improving the skin barrier, and reducing inflammation are central to meeting these goals.
Sidekick Health is exploring new ways to improve lifestyle and treatment adherence, and has published a protocol for a non-randomized, single arm, interventional trial assessing the feasibility and efficacy of an AD digital therapeutic and lifestyle program delivered via a mobile app. Results of this pilot study will be published at the Revolutionizing Atopic Dermatitis Conference in April 2022.
Sidekick’s AD Program Design
Sidekick’s holistic digital therapeutic program is patient-centric by design and aims to empower adults to manage and ultimately improve their mild to severe AD symptoms. Our patent-pending Adaptive CarePath™means that patients can choose their program pathway giving them a tailored, dynamic journey that supports their treatment of AD as well as other conditions they may have. Patients are empowered through education and positive habit creation to reduce symptoms and enhance their quality of life. The primary goals of the program are as follows:
Symptom Monitoring and Treatment Adherence
Because treatment adherence is the single-most important factor in reducing symptoms of AD, Sidekick’s AD program uses education and behavior-change techniques to help patients understand the importance of treatment care, as well as the connection between triggers and symptoms. The program offers treatment and medication reminders, as well as education on how critical treatment and medication adherence is.
Patients are also given the opportunity to track their day-to-day symptoms through patient-reported outcomes and a symptom tracker built into the program. Collected data can be shared with their healthcare professional, facilitating a deeper understanding of how the patient is responding to treatment in real time and in their home environment.
Atopic Dermatitis has a powerful effect on the quality of life and mental health of our patients, and psychological and lifestyle factors can also strongly influence the condition. The optimal care of Atopic Dermatitis is therefore holistic in nature, but the limited time available makes this difficult to achieve in standard clinics. The Sidekick app helps to address all of these important, wider aspects of care and so will complement and enhance medical treatments. The programme is enjoyable to use and full of useful information, and I believe it will be hugely beneficial for patients.
Dr. Natasha Harper MBChB (Hons) MRCP (Derm) (UK)