January 4, 2022

Sage Bionetworks and PPACMAN release Psorcast app to support patients with psoriatic disease and health researchers

Sage Bionetworks and PPACMAN release Psorcast app to support patients with psoriatic disease and health researchers

First-of-its kind non-profit psoriatic disease study app launches, allowing patients to monitor their skin and joint health


SEATTLE, Jan. 4, 2022 –The Psorcast app launches today, allowing patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to measure and monitor changes in their skin and joints over time.

Developed by Sage Bionetworks and the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Clinics Multi-center Advancement Network (PPACMAN), Psorcast is a new non-profit research study that aims to learn more about the progress of psoriatic disease outside of clinical visits. This study is the result of the pre-competitive public/private partnership known as the Psorcast Digital Biomarker Consortium, consisting of Sage Bionetworks, PPACMAN, Novartis, UCB, Pfizer and Janssen.

Eight million Americans live with psoriasis, and roughly a third of them will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis, an immune system disease that can damage bones and joints. Researchers and clinicians hope that improving early detection and intervention while optimizing disease management over time can reduce the impact of psoriatic disease on patients and assist their doctors in diagnosing and treating them.

Anyone in the U.S. living with psoriatic disease can download the first-of-its-kind Psorcast app, developed by Sage Bionetworks, which allows patients to monitor and measure skin and joint health through their smartphone. Photo and motion data collected through the app is turned into images and short movies that help patients visualize their symptoms and how they change over time.

Data collected through the app is also anonymized (disconnected from personally identifiable information) and shared openly with researchers studying the disease.

“The Psorcast app and associated research study is the result of our cross-disciplinary team working together in an open and collaborative approach,” said Dan Webster, PhD, Principal Investigator of the study at Sage Bionetworks. “We’re hoping our research will improve health outcomes for people living with psoriatic disease, and demonstrate that participant-involved research using innovative digital tools can speed the translation of science into medicine.”

“Psorcast is the foundation of a long-term, observational study that we hope will put more information in the hands of patients and their doctors, while simultaneously helping researchers forecast outcomes like which drugs might work best for certain people, who is at greatest risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, and when flare/remission cycles may occur,” said Principal Investigators Jose Scher, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center and Joseph F. Merola, MD, MMSc, Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School, both founding board members of PPACMAN.

Digital health research via remote device monitoring, with the direct participation of patients, is an important and growing area of biomedicine. The ability to measure symptom changes that take place between clinical visits can provide key insights into the mechanisms that drive psoriatic disease and other immune-mediated diseases.  

“Researchers are using remote device monitoring in ways that will revolutionize our understanding of disease and treatments. Reliable science depends on access to trustworthy digital tools and methods, as well as direct integration of patients in the research lifecycle” said Lara Mangravite, PhD, President of Sage Bionetworks. “Sage aims to be a trusted partner to researchers by developing innovative technology like the Psorcast app and, even more importantly, working collaboratively with the research community to benchmark reliable methods for collecting and interpreting data.”

The Psorcast app is available to download at the Apple Store and more information about the project is available at Psorcast.org.

The Psorcast Study (psorcast.org) is a remote, nationwide observational study to collect multidimensional, high-resolution time-series data from psoriasis patients’ smartphone sensors. The Psorcast app measures symptoms, disease-influencing factors, and outcomes as a foundational dataset for creating personalized forecasts of disease activity.

Sage Bionetworks (sagebionetworks.org) is a non-profit health research organization based in Seattle, Washington. Sage uses open practices that increase the reliability of scientific claims to speed the translation of science to medicine. Through its work, Sage supports responsible data sharing, objective evaluation of methods and results across researchers, and the empowerment of participants to be active partners in research.

The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Clinics Multi-center Advancement Network (ppacman.org) is a network of clinics dedicated to optimizing the clinical care of patients with psoriatic disease through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and innovative research.