Improving outcomes for people with MS through digital technologies

Professor Ingrid van der Mei

Menzies Institute for Medical Research

| Better treatments | Social And Applied Research | Fellowship | 2022 | Investigator Led Research |


The health-related quality of life in people with MS is substantially lower than the general Australian population. The vision of Professor Ingrid van der Mei’s research is to harness digital health technologies with the aim of improving both clinical care and self-care for people with MS.

Professor van der Mei and her team are developing a digital patient-centred health care system (called InforMS), an online intervention (called MS  WorkSmart), and a symptom tracker app (called My SymptoMS). In addition, four short new specialist Massive Open Online Courses (called MOOCs), will be developed and delivered, including content on mental health, social isolation, healthy ageing, choosing disease modifying therapies and supporting and caring for someone living with MS. The study will also assess the impacts of these systems and courses on behaviour change, health outcomes and clinical care for people with MS.

Progress to Date

Professor Ingrid van der Mei has made significant progress in advancing four crucial projects for this senior fellowship in the last year.

For the InforMS project, despite initial setbacks caused by changes in IT providers, there has been notable acceleration in development. Emphasising end-user engagement, the team is actively enhancing the project in all phases of its evolution.

MS WorkSmart, another key initiative, has reached its full development stage. Ethics approval for research materials was successfully secured from the University of Tasmania's Ethics Committee. The recruitment of a project manager and two clinical psychologists has bolstered the team.

The My SymptoMS App, has now also completed its development phase, marking a crucial step forward for the project.

Significant progress has been made for the specialised MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), with two MOOCs now fully developed, and another to be completed shortly.

Throughout this project, end-user involvement has proven invaluable in refining digital products. Leveraging the expertise of the MS Consumer and Community Involvement Manager, access to end-users has greatly contributed to the projects' advancements.

Updated: 31 March 2023

Updated: 14 February, 2022

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years

Grant Awarded

  • Senior Fellowship

Total Funding

  • $650,000


  • 5 years

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Improving outcomes for people with MS through digital technologies