By Pat Anson, PNN Editor
A digital therapeutics company is looking for volunteers to participate in a clinical trial to see if smartphone-based therapy can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Swing Therapeutics recently announced that its acceptance and commitment therapy program (ACT), a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), has received Breakthrough Device Designation from the Food and Drug Administration. CBT is a form of psychotherapy, in which patients are encouraged to reduce unhelpful thinking and behavior.
“Currently, most people living with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia are offered medications and some suggestions for modifying their lifestyle. Behavioral therapies have evidence supporting their effectiveness for pain management, but are not widely available or easily accessed by the average individual,” said David Williams, PhD, Associate Director of Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, who is an advisor to Swing Therapeutics.
The company says a pilot study of its online therapy program has shown promise in managing fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by widespread body pain, fatigue, poor sleep and depression. The self-guided daily program includes interactive lessons and exercises designed to help fibromyalgia sufferers understand, accept and manage their symptoms. The core program lasts 12 weeks, followed by a maintenance phase for extended use.
Swing is looking for 500 participants in the U.S. who are at least 22 years of age and have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The digital therapy program can be conducted at home, with no in-person medical visits or medications required. Participants will receive compensation after completing surveys at the end of the 12-week program. Click here to learn more about the study.
“Our team is committed to creating valuable digital therapies and demonstrating strong clinical evidence to support their use. The results of our initial studies are encouraging, and with the support of the FDA, we look forward to optimizing the product as we advance through our pivotal trial,” said Mike Rosenbluth, PhD, founder and CEO of Swing Therapeutics.
The FDA has approved only three drugs to treat fibromyalgia: the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella), and the anti-seizure medication pregabalin (Lyrica). Many patients say the drugs are ineffective and have side effects. A recent analysis found little evidence to support the long-term use of any medication or therapy to treat fibromyalgia.