Helmsley Trust Awards $1.7 Million for Crohn's Disease Research

Helmsley Trust Awards $1.7 Million for Crohn's Disease Research

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in New York City has announced a $1.7 million grant to 4YouandMe to explore how wearable devices can assist in predicting symptoms of Crohn's disease.

The grant will enable 4YouandMe, a nonprofit organization that is exploring the use of digital tools in health management, to track physiological stress signals using smartwatches, smart rings, smart scales, and smartphones in a cohort of more than two hundred people with Crohn's disease and correlate the signals to patient-reported symptoms and clinical outcomes. Because measures of stress are subjective, it is difficult to use patient's self-reported symptoms as a guide treatment. Using data from the study, 4YouandMe plans to develop a forecasting algorithm for symptoms that helps patients better manage their condition.

"We are very pleased to be able to study the feasibility of employing wearables to follow stress and how this might be a factor in the flares seen among patients with Crohn's disease," said 4YouandMe founder Stephen H. Friend. "With our coalition partners at Mount Sinai, Oxford University, Evidation Health, and the Vector Institute, we hope to take the common appreciation that stress plays some role in symptoms of this disease and develop objective measures that individuals might eventually use smartphones and wearables to better co-pilot their own conditions."

"Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Effort to Understand the Role of Stress in Managing Crohn's Disease." Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Press Release 06/26/2019.