Motto Launches App to Help Manage Sjögren’s, Other Autoimmune Diseases

New virtual clinic offered via app to patients in Texas and California

Vanda Pinto, PhD avatar

by Vanda Pinto, PhD |

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Motto Health has launched a type of virtual clinic — with rheumatologists and healthcare professionals — for people with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions, including Sjögren’s syndrome, the startup announced.

Through an online application, the platform allows patients to schedule virtual appointments with specialists, manage and track symptoms, and receive personalized treatment plans.

Billing itself as “a clinically-based online coordinated care program,” Motto is available in Texas and California, and accepts major in-network insurers.

“We created Motto because the status-quo forces patients to wait months, if not years, to get adequate treatment from a rheumatologist. In the meantime, they carry the added burden of managing medications and making difficult diet and lifestyle changes all on their own,” Anuj Patel, CEO and founder of Motto, said in a press release.

“We believe our coordinated care model will help improve access and close important diagnostic gaps for primary care providers, improve quality of life and patient experience, and ultimately result in better outcomes for patients, providers, and the health system,” Patel said.

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Creating a virtual clinic for autoimmune patients

Sjögren’s is a chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells. Tear and salivary glands are the most common targets, leading to the condition’s hallmark symptoms of dry eyes and mouth. However, patients can experience a number of other symptoms, including joint pain, skin rashes, and fatigue.

Diagnosing Sjögren’s and other autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases is difficult because symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. For some autoimmune disorders, diagnostic delays can last as long as five years. Additionally, there are only 4,600 rheumatologists nationwide, which makes it challenging for patients to access adequate care.

Motto has developed a virtual program, consists of three main elements, to improve patient care.

The first is a virtual medical clinic through which patients can schedule telehealth appointments with rheumatologists and get quick access to their treatment plans. According to Motto, a consultation with a rheumatologist would be possible within days, instead of the typical wait time of more than two months.

The second element is a personalized lifestyle plan for managing symptoms. This includes recommendations from healthcare professionals on diet, stress, sleep management, and exercise.

Condition management is the third component, with Motto providing a digital flare tracker so patients can pinpoint what triggers their flares thus and try to prevent them. The aim is “to increase awareness of personal triggers by capturing clinically validated longitudinal data,” or information over time, the company stated.

Motto also will aim to manage other chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and ankylosing spondylitis. The startup was founded by Redesign Health, a firm that develops healthcare companies.

“Autoimmune conditions are complex and often require more time than traditional practices provide to get to the heart of the issue,” said Elizabeth Ortiz, MD, medical director of Motto and board-certified rheumatologist.

“Motto supports primary care providers with a holistic care plan that meets the needs of this patient population so that they can feel better faster and effectively manage their condition over the long term,” she added.