Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Glenmark), an innovation-led global pharmaceutical company, has developed a digital patient education tool, ‘Hello Skin’ in collaboration with the IADVL (Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists), to help patients suffering from Dermatophytosis (Ring Worm or Tinea) in India, to adhere to the recommended treatment duration.
‘Hello Skin’ is the first Whatsapp based chatbot, which helps patients in not only improving adherence to topical/systemic recommended therapy with daily pill reminders, but also in creating disease awareness and provides skincare tips to patients suffering from Ring Worm. This platform is patient friendly and will be available in 6 different regional languages including Hindi and English, enabling better patient compliance to the technology.
On this development, Alok Malik, Group Vice President and Head, India Formulations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said, “Digital patient inclusion for better disease management is the way forward in healthcare. ‘Hello Skin’ is an initiative in this direction and will help improve disease education and patient adherence to fungal therapy. IADVL’s collaboration with Glenmark for developing this innovative solution, further adds to its credibility amongst dermatologists and patients.”
Supporting the novel initiative, Dr. Rashmi Sarkar, President, IADVL said, “Fostering treatment adherence is a priority objective especially in management of fungal infections. ‘Hello Skin’ will be one such digital initiative to partner patients in their treatment journey to improve clinical outcomes in patients suffering from fungal infections.”
The recent prevalence of Dermatophytosis (often called Ring Worm) in India has reached up to 78.4%1. Additionally, it has become one of the most difficult infections to treat in recent times with patients reporting feelings of depression and isolation due to the social taboo associated with it.
Dr Lalit Gupta, Chairperson, IADVL Academy said, “Creating awareness about Dermatophytosis, often referred to as Ring Worm, is critical since this fungal infection can spread easily from one person to another, and it is easy for the patients to fall into a state of despair. It requires patients to adhere to the recommended therapy in a timely manner, for successful treatment. I think this chatbot is a new way to help patients in times where digitalization has become an integral part of our lives.”
Dermatologists say, they are perplexed with the recurring nature of the disease. Although there are multiple oral and topical treatment options available, dermatologists are stressing on the importance of patients’ adherence to treatment and avoidance of steroid abuse are essential to successful treatment of the disease. However, despite these warnings, patients more often discontinue the therapy upon relief from itching. Glenmark has introduced this platform to dermatologists across the country, who can recommend it to their patients for effectively dealing with Ring Worm. The ‘Hello Skin’ chatbot will support patient adherence throughout the recommended duration of the therapy.
Fungal infection is a highly contagious infection of the skin or scalp and is characterized by ring-like rashes anywhere on the body or the face. It spreads through direct contact with infected skin or fungal spores. The spores can live on fabrics, including clothing, couch cushions, bedding, and other porous surfaces. They also thrive in damp environments, such as public showers and locker rooms2.