Reliability and acceptance of dreaMS, a software application for people with multiple sclerosis: a feasibility study

J Neurol. 2023 Jan;270(1):262-271. doi: 10.1007/s00415-022-11306-5. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


Background: There is an unmet need for reliable and sensitive measures for better monitoring people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) to detect disease progression early and adapt therapeutic measures accordingly.

Objective: To assess reliability of extracted features and meaningfulness of 11 tests applied through a smartphone application ("dreaMS").

Methods: PwMS (age 18-70 and EDSS ≤ 6.5) and matched healthy volunteers (HV) were asked to perform tests installed on their smartphone once or twice weekly for 5 weeks. Primary outcomes were test-retest reliability of test features (target: intraclass correlation [ICC] ≥ 0.6 or median coefficient of variation [mCV] < 0.2) and reported meaningfulness of the tests by PwMS. Meaningfulness was self-assessed for each test on a 5-point Likert scale (target: mean score of > 3) and by a structured interview.

Clinicaltrials: gov Identifier: NCT04413032.

Results: We included 31 PwMS (21 [68%] female, mean age 43.4 ± 12.0 years, median EDSS 3.0 [range 1.0-6.0]) and 31 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. Out of 133 features extracted from 11 tests, 89 met the preset reliability criteria. All 11 tests were perceived as highly meaningful to PwMS.

Conclusion: The dreaMS app reliably assessed features reflecting key functional domains meaningful to PwMS. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to prove validity of these measures as digital biomarkers in PwMS.

Keywords: Digital biomarkers; Mobile health; Multiple sclerosis; Smartphone; Smartwatch.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smartphone
  • Young Adult

Associated data