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Bringing Awareness to Psoriasis: Interview with Nia Health

August marks Psoriasis Awareness Month, a time to spread information about the disease and its treatment options.

Psoriasis and psoriatic disease affect millions of people across the world and every August the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) hosts #PsoriasisActionMonth, a campaign designed to spur advocacy on behalf of those suffering from the emotional and physical burden of psoriasis, and increase awareness of psoriasis. Nia Health, an EIT Health Headstart winner, is helping patients with chronic skin conditions, one of them being psoriasis. On the occasion of #PsoriasisActionMonth, we talked with Dr Reem Alneebari, Co-founder, dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer at Nia Health.

 

1. More than 100 million people worldwide suffer from psoriasis, but psoriasis still remains largely underestimated and undertreated by health professionals. Why? 

I must disagree with that statement because psoriasis is a well-known chronic disease in healthcare where clear management protocols are available for medical professionals. Systemic therapy has come a long way in the treatment of psoriasis. Nowadays, even very severe courses of the disease can be managed well. However, we have observed that psoriasis is often underestimated/misinterpreted by society. Many people who are not directly affected by the disease often still lack an understanding of how immense the limitations and challenges are in the everyday lives of those affected. More education – starting in childhood – would certainly do our society a lot of good and lead to more thoughtfulness and tolerance.

 

2. With Nia Health you have developed Soreaa digital companion for psoriasis patients. What are the main functions of the Sorea App?

 On the one hand, patients can document their health progress via clinically validated scores and photos. This helps those affected to objectify their disease. In addition, important data can be shared for a possible consultation with a doctor, if necessary. On the other hand, we help those affected with our App Sorea, the first ever registered medical device for psoriasis patients, to learn more about the disease. With clinically validated content, patients are empowered to better manage their disease in everyday life. Our own section for parents of affected children is certainly unique: For them, we have exclusively prepared the well-established curriculum of the Fachklinik Sylt in multimedia form so that patients/parents can work through it together with themselves/their children on a mobile device (this feature will be available soon). For the first time, independent of time and space.

 

3. Sorea was launched in 2020. How is the traction so far?

 We already had several thousand users on our platform during the beta phase.

 

4. The negative impact of psoriasis on patients’ lives can surely be reduced. What can be done?

 As already mentioned, we consider education and patient empowerment to be major factors. However, it is important to always ensure the highest medical quality of the content. For many patients, it is often difficult to distinguish between good and bad information, given the flood of information that can be found on the internet today. With the Sorea App, we, therefore, want to establish a digital and trustworthy source of information that psoriasis patients can rely on.

 

5. What are the next steps for Nia Health? What milestones are you currently tackling?

 For us as a company, the BfArM listing as DiGA is certainly a big milestone. We are very optimistic that we will soon be able to report initial successes with our first medical device, the atopic dermatitis app Nia.

 

6. What is your personal message for psoriasis month?

Be respectful to one another. If you have affected people in your circle of friends or acquaintances, think about how you can do something good for them.

 

Interested in the App? You can find more information and the Download-options on: www.sorea-health.de