Why go for the Digital Buddy?
What can I do? This is a question healthcare providers often get from people diagnosed with MS. One such physicians was Dr Leo Visser,* who decided to go in search of answers, together with the target group, the Dutch MS Fund (Nationaal MS Fonds) and other healthcare professionals. Scientific research into MS patient perspectives formed the basis for the Digital Buddy. Its purpose: to improve the quality of life of people with a chronic illness and their partners.
For instance, the Digital Buddy was developed to provide guidance throughout all facets of life with MS, stimulating people take charge and push their own boundaries.
*Professor Leo Visser, neurologist and member of the Board of Advisors of Better Today.
As a scientist, I utilise the Digital Buddy for research into quality of life and lifestyle data for the propose of improving the self-sufficiency of people living with MS.
What is the Digital Buddy
The Digital Buddy gives shape to three of our convictions:
1. A person diagnosed with MS may be left with a lot of questions. Not only about treatment, but about all aspects involved in living with MS. Peer-to-peer contact, in combination with high-quality information, can help provide some answers.
2.Lifestyle interventions are no cure for MS. They may, however, improve quality of life. Working on nutrition, sufficient exercise, a healthy brain and social interaction can help you reclaim agency over your life with MS.
3. Active and passive monitoring of a life with MS can provide valuable (personal) insights. At-home monitoring is easier and can be performed more frequently than hospital check-ins.
The Digital Buddy provides users with science-based knowledge. Stories of how users cope with their MS diagnosis are detailed in articles or exchanged personally on the community platform. The various integrated monitoring tools, and Movement and Nutrition Programmes generate personalised advice and insights. The Digital Buddy encourages people living with MS to reclaim agency over their lives by working on their lifestyle step by step.
This is not only beneficial for the people diagnosed with MS, but also serves as valuable preparation and subject matter for check-ins, providing health care professionals with insights into the individual’s disease progression.
The Digital Buddy aids and accelerates scientific research through questionnaires, monitoring tools and by collecting data on quality of life and MS.
Start recommending the Digital Buddy to patients today. Try it out for yourself by downloading it at www.bettertoday.nl. Log on as ‘Healthcare provider’ and see what added value the Digital Buddy provide for your patients.
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Collaboration and research
We have developed the Digital Buddy together with people living with MS – their experiences and needs take centre stage. This collaboration is realised through a large-scale network of patient groups, scientists and pharmacists. This intensive collaboration with various parties allows us to occupy the position of an independent trusted hub. From this trust, we can generate valuable data and bring about new insights for people with MS and their caregivers as well as healthcare providers. We also work together with universities such as Wageningen University & Research on research into MS and nutrition.
This extensive and engaged collaborative network has provided us with the opportunity to develop a unique solution in eHealth that is truly developed in consultation with patients, and by grace of their trust. It is therefore essential that users are able to decide for themselves which data they want to make available for analysis.