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Glenmark launches India’s first Whatsapp based chatbot ‘Hello Skin’ to help fungal infection patients

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. announced on Tuesday that it has developed a digital patient education tool, ‘Hello Skin’ in collaboration with the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists (IADVL), to help patients suffering from skin conditions like Ringworm or Tinea in India. “Hello skin’ is the first Whatsapp-based chatbot, which helps patients in not only improving adherence to topical/systemic recommended therapy with daily pill reminders, but also in creating disease awareness and provides skincare tips to patients suffering from Ringworm. This platform is patient-friendly and will be available in 6 different regional languages including Hindi and English, enabling better patient compliance with the technology,” the company stated in its press statement on Tuesday.

“Digital patient inclusion for better disease management is the way forward in healthcare. ‘Hello Skin’ is an initiative in this direction and will help improve disease education and patient adherence to fungal therapy. IADVL’s collaboration with Glenmark for developing this innovative solution, further adds to its credibility amongst dermatologists and patients,” Alok Malik, Group Vice President, and Head, India Formulations, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said in a statement.  

“Fostering treatment adherence is a priority objective, especially in the management of fungal infections. ‘Hello Skin’ will be one such digital initiative to partner with patients in their treatment journey to improve clinical outcomes in patients suffering from fungal infections,” Supporting the novel initiative, Dr. Rashmi Sarkar, President, IADVL said in a statement.  

According to the company, the recent prevalence of Dermatophytosis often called Ring Worm in India has reached up to 78.4 percent. Additionally, it has become one of the most difficult infections to treat in recent times with patients reporting feelings of depression and isolation due to the social taboo associated with it.

“Creating awareness about Dermatophytosis, often referred to as Ring Worm, is critical since this fungal infection can spread easily from one person to another, and it is easy for the patients to fall into a state of despair. It requires patients to adhere to the recommended therapy in a timely manner, for successful treatment. I think this chatbot is a new way to help patients in times where digitalization has become an integral part of our lives,” Dr Lalit Gupta, Chairperson, IADVL Academy said in a statement.

Although there are multiple oral and topical treatment options available, dermatologists are stressing the importance of patients’ adherence to treatment and avoidance of steroid abuse are essential to successful treatment of the disease. “However, despite these warnings, patients more often discontinue the therapy upon relief from itching. Glenmark has introduced this platform to dermatologists across the country, who can recommend it to their patients for effectively dealing with Ringworm. The “Hello skin” chatbot will support patient adherence throughout the recommended duration of the therapy,” the company stated.

Fungal infection is a highly contagious infection of the skin or scalp and is characterized by ring-like rashes anywhere on the body or the face. It spreads through direct contact with infected skin or fungal spores. 

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