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Glenmark launches Whatsapp-based chatbot to help patients with fungal infections

Glenmark launches Whatsapp-based chatbot to help patients with fungal infections

The company said that “Hello Skin” is the first Whatsapp-based chatbot, which helps patients in not only improving adherence to recommended therapy with daily pill reminders, but also in creating disease awareness and provides skincare tips to patients suffering from ring worm.

Glenmark launches Whatsapp-based chatbot to help patients with fungal infections Glenmark launches Whatsapp-based chatbot to help patients with fungal infections

Indian multinational pharmaceutical company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd has developed a digital patient education tool, “Hello Skin” in collaboration with the IADVL (Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists), aimed at helping patients suffering from dermatophytosis (also known as ring worm or tinea) in India.  

The tool will help patients to adhere to the recommended treatment duration. The company in a statement said that “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.  

“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,” said Alok Malik, Group Vice President and Head, India Formulations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

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, the company claimed in a statement.  

“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 patient suffering from fungal infections,” said Rashmi Sarkar, President, IADVL, adding that 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.  

Public health experts hold that creating awareness about dermatophytosis 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.  

“Dermatologists say they are perplexed with the recurring nature of the disease. Although there are multiple oral and topical treatments 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,” Dr Lalit Gupta, Chairperson, IADVL Academy said.

He also cautioned that despite these warnings, patients more often discontinue the therapy upon relief from itching. Glenmark has introduced this platform to the dermatologists across the country, who can recommend it to their patients for effectively dealing with ring worm, Gupta said.

The company further said that “Hello Skin” chatbot will support patient adherence throughout the recommended duration of the therapy.

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Published on: May 24, 2022, 12:43 PM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, May 24, 2022, 12:36 PM IST