Next IT Healthcare Launches Research Study to Test Virtual Health Coach in Treatment of MS

Study Will Determine the Utility of Application Based on Patient Usage, Engagement

SPOKANE, Wash.--()--Next IT Healthcare, the leader in patient engagement, today announced the launch of a research study to test the impact of its Virtual Health Coach in the treatment of patients with relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (commonly referred to as “MS”). Quorum Review IRB, one of the largest independent institutional review boards worldwide, conducted an independent ethics review and approved the study.

“Treatment of chronic diseases accounts for 86% of US healthcare costs, yet we’ve only scratched the surface of how technology can assist in those treatments”

Researchers will conduct a multi-center, open-label, single cohort, observational study lasting 90 days across approximately 20 patients. The goal is to determine if Next IT Healthcare’s Virtual Health Coach garners sufficient usage and engagement from patients to warrant a clinical trial comparing treatment with and without the Virtual Health Coach. The study will measure critical application engagement and usage metrics including user retention and churn, session length and frequency, user behavior and flow, feedback and reviews, conversation flow with the Virtual Health Coach, and more.

“Treatment of chronic diseases accounts for 86% of US healthcare costs, yet we’ve only scratched the surface of how technology can assist in those treatments,” said Next IT Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Morrow. “This study is the first step in our efforts to demonstrate to the world the impact that virtual assistants can have in the treatment and management of chronic diseases. Whether it’s reducing costs or improving outcomes for people with MS, we’re proud of our evidence-based approach to solving some of our biggest healthcare challenges.”

Next IT Healthcare’s award-winning Virtual Health Coach was launched in October 2014. The mobile solution is purpose-built for clinical patient engagement, and has achieved engagement and active usage rates 10 times the industry average in real-world deployments. The product includes a human-emulated virtual health assistant that guides patients during their time between doctor visits—encouraging them, through coaching and tracking, to adhere to their health management plan.

Each year 10,000 new cases of MS are diagnosed in the US alone. While there is no known cure for the disease, innovative new treatments have helped patients manage the disease and live happy, fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, rates of patient adherence to DMTs (disease modifying therapies) for MS are estimated to range from 61% to 87% depending on the study. Adherence has therefore become a critical issue in treatment of MS, and an important design principle of Next IT’s Virtual Health Coach.

“Innovative digital health solutions, such as the Virtual Health Coach, hold the potential to benefit society through improved health outcomes,” said Quorum Review IRB’s CEO & Chairman, Cami Gearhart. “Helping cutting-edge companies like Next IT Healthcare evaluate this potential, while protecting study participants, is where Quorum finds the joy in clinical research.”

The research study of Next IT’s Virtual Health Coach in the treatment of MS will begin in November of 2015 and results will be published following completion at the end of the 2016 calendar year.

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About Next IT Healthcare

Next IT Healthcare is the leader in patient engagement. We help healthcare organizations drive lasting behavior change and improved outcomes.

Next IT Healthcare launched in 2014 with the debut of Alme Health Coach, a revolutionary solution that delivers advanced virtual assistant capabilities to healthcare-specific environments across mobile, web and chat interfaces. Our mission is to pave the way to a radically healthier population.

Next IT Healthcare is proudly based in Spokane, Washington. Learn more at


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Brittany Solano, 972-809-6832