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Leveraging on Digital Technology for Clinical Evaluation of Pain

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and digital therapeutics company, Biofourmis announced a new partnership for the development of a digital solution to objectively evaluate pain associated with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is the growth and subsequent shedding of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Symptoms typically include dysmenorrhea – severe pain accompanied with menstruation – as well as chronic lower abdominal pain. This painful disorder affects one in ten women aged 20 to 40 and is cause of infertility.

Pain as one of the main symptoms of endometriosis makes it therapeutically crucial. However, the severity of pain is relative and can be subjective to the patient’s tolerance for pain. This often presents difficulty in quantifying the level of pain when communicating with their doctor or care takers.

With this in mind, Chugai and Biofourmis have announced a partnership to leverage on each individual company’s expertise to co-develop a novel digital technology for the objective assessment of pain. This digital platform will tap on biosensors and artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to formulate a solution. It will then be validated in a global, multi-center observational study enrolling more than 120 patients with endometriosis.

The digital solution for managing patients with endometriosis in an ambulatory setting will include a wearable, clinical-grade biosensor to capture physiology biomarkers and a patient-facing mobile app to monitor symptoms, with a gamification engine for patient engagement. The AI-based technology will provide a continuous quantification of pain by applying analytics to physiology biomarker. It will also include a clinician-facing web dashboard for remote review and intervention.

“Through the partnership with Biofourmis, a leading company in research, development and commercialization of digital therapeutics, Chugai will set out to objectively assess pain associated with endometriosis and better understand its pathology,” said Satoko Shisai, Chugai’s Vice President, Head of Digital & IT Supervisory Division.

“Chugai hopes to demonstrate its commitment to applying the most advanced digital technologies to better understand the real-life needs of patients and to develop innovative solutions for society, as outlined in the CHUGAI DIGITAL VISION 2030.” Added Satoko Shisai.

Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO and founder of Biofourmis, said, “Chugai aims to become a top innovator by utilizing digital technologies, and we are thrilled to partner with them.”

He added that, “This unique collaboration with Chugai is another indicator of the growing consensus in the healthcare industry that combining digital solutions with therapeutic developments—from discovery to patient care—is a powerful way to augment efficiency. Digital solutions can deliver faster, more reliable insights to clinicians to aid interventions, while increasing engagement and improving outcomes for patients and lowering healthcare costs for all stakeholders.” [APBN]