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With a registry of more than 10,000 individuals and participation from every state, the DiSCover Program is the largest nationwide study of chronic pain

SAN MATEO, Calif., April 3, 2019 Evidation Health, a health and measurement company that helps life sciences and health care companies understand how everyday behaviors and health interact, today announced the completion of initial enrollment for the groundbreaking DiSCover Program (Digital Signals in Chronic Pain) and released early findings.

Now, one year since the study was announced and after an enrollment period of nine months, more than 10,000 individuals from all 50 U.S. states have opted to participate in DiSCover, making it the largest nationwide study of chronic pain ever undertaken.

Evidation initiated and funded the DiSCover Program to bring new understanding to chronic pain—an epidemic that cuts across every demographic and many serious medical conditions, ranging from arthritis to migraines to multiple sclerosis to cancer. Participants complete daily surveys about their pain and overall health; nearly 90 percent are tracking physical activity, sleep, or heart rate; and many have opted to have their voice and speech, blood, and genetics analyzed so that Evidation can examine the relationship between everyday behavior data and chronic pain-related symptoms and burden.

“An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain—more than one in five adults—yet the chronic pain space remains in desperate need of innovation,” said Evidation Health co-founder and president Christine Lemke. “These millions of silent sufferers require breakthroughs in the way chronic pain is measured, diagnosed, and treated and we welcome collaboration in this research effort.”  

Study participants are helping to create a novel set of data that provides visibility into the day-to-day life of individuals living with chronic pain, utilizing smartphones, wearables, connected sensors, health apps, voice and speech, genetics, traditional blood-based biomarkers, direct patient reports, and more. Evidation’s primary research objective is to develop novel digital measures that quantify chronic pain severity, flares, and quality of life.

Initial findings from DiSCover will be presented in May at the annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, and include:

  • Chronic pain has a quantifiable impact on physical function: Eighty-three percent of participants use activity trackers, including Fitbit, Apple Watch, Withings, Under Armour, and Garmin. On average, individuals with chronic pain are about 25 percent less active, walking 5,670 steps daily compared to 7,490 steps for individuals without chronic pain.
  • Chronic pain manifests across many conditions: Participants with chronic pain reported medical diagnoses of headaches including migraines (51 percent), osteoarthritis (34 percent), fibromyalgia (32 percent), peripheral neuropathic pain (20 percent), rheumatoid arthritis (10 percent), cancer (4 percent), and multiple sclerosis (2 percent).
  • Sufferers use a wide range of treatment approaches for chronic pain: Seventy percent of participants with chronic pain reported currently taking over-the-counter pain medications, 42 percent use non-opioid prescription medications for pain, 26 percent use prescription opioid medications, 20 percent use an app for meditation or mindfulness, 17 percent use medical marijuana for pain, and 7 percent receive acupuncture treatment.
  • Research engagement is high: On average, participants have taken more than 70 percent of their monthly surveys. For a subset of those who were eligible, 73 percent have completed genetic testing, 76 percent have completed inflammation blood testing, and in a migraine sub-study, 70 percent submitted multiple voice samples over a 10 day period.

“Instead of just being told to deal with it or medicate the pain, it’s nice that someone is trying to understand the why and everything that surrounds that,” said Wendy B., a DiSCover participant from Oregon. Emilee M. from Kentucky adds, “This study has helped me to recognize new triggers and how they affect me.”

DiSCover is enabled by a full-scale smart registry that collects uniform data on a defined and engaged population with a particular disease, condition, or exposure. Evidation is uniquely positioned to build smart registries because of the ongoing, two-way trusted relationship between the company and the more than 2 million individuals using its health app, Achievement. Achievement members control how their data is used, and consent to share behavior and health data to give a full picture of day-to-day experiences, making Achievement the largest virtual research site in the country.

As a longitudinal observational study, the DiSCover registry is collecting data from cohorts of individuals who report moderate to severe chronic pain as well as those who do not report chronic pain, some of whom have self-reported other similar conditions. DiSCover further includes subgroups focused on specific conditions, such as migraines and osteoarthritis. The initial overall study will conclude by the end of 2019, with interim results anticipated later this year and in 2020.

About Evidation

Evidation Health is a new kind of health and measurement company that provides the world’s most innovative life sciences and health care companies the technology and expertise they need to understand how everyday behavior and health interact. The volume of behavior data generated from smartphones and connected sensors — including wearables and medical devices — has opened up new ways to analyze individuals’ behavior and health in real time, unlocking insights into what medicines and treatments work best and spotting significant changes in health earlier. The scale and utility of everyday behavior data has the potential to be one of the most transformative forces in medicine, and Evidation Health is leading the way.

Over the years, Evidation has built the largest, most diverse virtual pool of research participants through its proprietary and popular app, Achievement. With a direct and trusted relationship with more than 2 million individuals, its deep research expertise, and its data platform, Evidation can undertake real world research for life sciences and health care companies — and, ultimately, transform how health is measured and how diseases are identified, treated, and monitored. Founded in 2012, Evidation Health is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., with additional offices in San Francisco and Santa Barbara, Calif. To learn more, visit evidation.com, or follow us on Twitter @evidation.

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