Merck Serono has launched its updated electronic injection device, the RebiSmart, for the self-administration of Rebif (interferon beta-1a).
It is designed to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The company also launched its web-based software platform, MSdialog.
Rebif is the company's disease-modifying drug designed for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS.
Initially launched in May in 14 countries, MSdialog and the RebiSmart device are now available to people with MS and their healthcare team in Spain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Chile and Colombia.
The company said that people with MS can self-inject Rebif with RebiSmart, place the device in its transmitter and wirelessly send treatment data to the secure MSdialog server, where it is stored and available for review by people with MS and their health care providers.
Patients who use MSdialog can choose to receive email or SMS reminders to take their medication, along with their nurses.
Patients can also use MSdialog software in between visits with their physician, in order to track adherence and report health related outcomes.
University of Erlangen head of the Neurology Department at Bamberg Academic Hospital Dr Peter Rieckmann said: "People with MS often cite a lack of adequate technology tools to help them effectively engage with their healthcare team, in between and during consultations.
"In my own practice, I've seen firsthand the need for tools to help capture important information that could influence care decisions.
"The launch of MSdialog along with the new RebiSmart can address these key unmet needs by allowing people with MS to easily and securely share not only their adherence information, but also how they feel by answering simple health questionnaires such as the validated MusiQoL, thus leading to more effective consultations and the opportunity to deliver the drug treatment more reliably."
According to the company, MSdialog also provides people with MS an opportunity to engage in the management of their disease by asking them to complete periodic health report questionnaires, based on short forms of published instruments and standard scales.
These standard scales include the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI) and the Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life (MusiQoL) questionnaires.
RebiSmart records the date, time and dosage of each injection so that an accurate dosing history can be discussed with a patient, allowing physicians to monitor and improve patient adherence to therapy.