Takeda and Cedars-Sinai have joined forces to develop an online tool that uses a marketing technique to create personalized profiles to help inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients sort through treatments that best suit their needs.
Takeda sponsored Cedars-Sinai’s effort to create the app IBD&ME, which guides patients through a series of questions to figure out the attributes of biologic drugs they would or wouldn’t prefer.
To develop the app, researchers relied on software often used in marketing that decides the next comparison to be shown to the patient, getting more and more specific after each answer, eventually narrowing it down to a patient’s preferences. The result is a profile that informs about the best treatment for that person.
“This is a technique that’s designed to help consumers make decisions about what product they want to buy, something a lot more trivial generally than what medicine you’re going to take. But (in that same way) it uses the patient’s preferences by giving them multiple choices between hypothetical products and attributes,” Brennan Spiegel, director of Cedars-Sinai health services research, said in a press release.
Right now, the app is still unbranded and there are no specific biologics recommended in the end result. Takeda and Cedars-Sinai published the original analysis that led to the development of the app in the January issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, under the title “Optimizing Selection of Biologics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Development of an Online Patient Decision Aid Using Conjoint Analysis.”
The article was published in a special “Putting Patients First” issue and details how Takeda and Cedars-Sinai researchers conducted the study in two phases. First, they analyzed social media to understand what factors influence how patients with IBD seek treatment. Then, they created an adaptive choice-based survey to give patients the opportunity to rank the importance of biologic attributes (e.g., effectiveness, side-effect profile, mode of administration, mechanism of action) in their treatment decision-making.
While averages showed slightly different responses between patients with Crohn’s disease and patients with ulcerative colitis, the results demonstrated that biologic decision-making is highly personalized, with close to 98 percent of the 640 patients surveyed expressing unique decision-making profiles.
The results informed the development of the IBD&ME app, now available for any IBD patients. The goal is to support shared decision-making when discussing treatment options with their doctor and to ultimately improve outcomes in IBD patients’ treatment and care.
Takeda is the maker of Entyvio (vedolizumab), approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease on May 20, 2014.