If you’ve been diagnosed with Lupus, you know that your health requires frequent monitoring. That means costly and time-consuming trips to the doctor that can leave you feeling frustrated. There’s got to be a better way.
What if you could monitor the status of your disease from home? At-home monitoring kits have changed how patients with diabetes manage their health, and a variety of conditions such as kidney disease, high cholesterol, and fertility also have home monitoring options. Why not autoimmune?
The at-home advantage
The potential benefits of at-home testing are two-fold. First, home testing kits could mean fewer trips to the doctor in the future. That means you can manage your health on your own schedule with fewer costs and logistical headaches. More importantly, at-home test kits could help you check in on the status of your health even more frequently than you do now.
In the future, at-home testing could be used to:
- Discover how lifestyle changes correlate with flare-ups to prevent them before they happen
- Identify when flare-ups are likely and take mitigating steps
- Monitor disease progression and adjust doctor visits accordingly
There’s still a lot of research that needs to happen to make this kind of real-time disease response a reality, but the first step is developing test kits that help monitor your unique disease status from home.
Bringing at-home testing to autoimmune disease
DxTerity, a genomics research company, has developed a kit that could make at-home testing for autoimmune disease a reality in the future. In a recent clinical study, called LIFT, hundreds of SLE patients volunteered to try DxTerity’s at-home collection kit. With a few pricks of their fingers, they proved that it’s possible to measure an important biomarker for Lupus from home.
The LIFT study focused on IFN-1, a biomarker that has been correlated with increased risk of progression to Lupus Nephritis1, cutaneous lupus2, and premature cardiovascular disease.3 The next phase of clinical studies, called ELEVATE, is expected to assess IFN-1, advanced genomic markers, and simpler ways of measuring more common blood proteins. Clinical information collected via ELEVATE may help obtain insurance reimbursement for at-home collection kits, validate convenient health monitoring web portals, and demonstrate the value of additional genomic markers related to drug response, disease prognosis, and disease progression.
- Arriens C et al, Increased Risk of Progression to Lupus Nephritis for Lupus Patients with Elevated Interferon Signature [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019; 71 (suppl 10).
- Hile G A, Kahlenberg JM. Immunopathogenesis of skin injury in systemic lupus erythematosus. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2021;33(2):173-180.
- Casey KA, Smith MA, Sinibaldi D, et al. Modulation of Cardiometabolic Disease Markers by Type I Interferon Inhibition in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021;73(3):459-471.