Global Coalition on Aging Applauds Nestlé Skin Health for Groundbreaking New ‘Itch Tracker’

The new application, available for use with Apple Watch, holds important potential for improving care and treatment of those with dementia

NEW YORK (April 13, 2017) – The Global Coalition on Aging congratulates Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD on the release of its groundbreaking “Itch Tracker,” a new application that collects data on scratching during sleep. The Itch Tracker, which works in concert with the Apple Watch, bridges the gap between research and personalized care, and has the potential to significantly improve quality of life and future treatments for itch, particularly for older adults.

“Itch is a major symptom of common dermatological diseases in the senior population, such as atopic dermatitis and dry skin, as well as non-dermatological conditions. It often causes a vicious cycle of itch-scratch, and significantly impairs people’s quality of life,” said Dr. Akihiko Ikoma, Medical Director, SHIELD Asia Pacific at Nestlé Skin Health and Itch Tracker project leader.

“This new app is particularly exciting for its potential to improve care for patients with dementia,” said Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. “People with dementia or others with cognitive disorders may not know when to stop scratching or be able to describe the severity of their itchiness. The Itch Tracker provides a valuable tool for their families and caregivers to understand what is going on with them.”

“Until now, it has been difficult to evaluate itch objectively,” said Dr. Toshiya Ebata, Director of Chitofuna Dermatology Clinic, Tokyo, and Secretary of International Forum for the Study of Itch (IFSI). “The Itch Tracker is a new and exciting tool for its potential to provide a scratch measurement for everyone, as well as provide important data to researchers.“

In addition to its intended use by individuals to measure their scratching, the Itch Tracker application will be used by scientists to collect and analyze large quantities of data using ResearchKit, an open source framework for medical research introduced by Apple. The Itch Tracker application was developed by the innovation team of Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD (Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development), which is Nestlé Skin Health’s global innovation initiative to advance the future of skin health.

“At Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD, the convergence of technologies is at the center of our innovation approach focused on enhancing people’s quality of life”, said Didier Leclercq, Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD Managing Director. “The development of the Itch Tracker application is the perfect example of our capacity to advance the future of skin health by combining cutting-edge technology with our medical and scientific expertise in skin health. In doing so, we are able to meet and even anticipate consumer, patient, and healthcare professional needs in dermatology.”

The Itch Tracker application is now available at App Store (application-download service by Apple) for Apple Watch users as a ResearchKit study.

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

Women, Work, Wellness, and That Aging Thing…

The OECD Forum’s virtual event Women at The Frontline of the Recovery will presciently focus attention among policymakers and the public stakeholders alike on the unique relationship between the age demographic mega-trend and the essential policies needed for OECD economies to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Headlines of the Future Podcast: Decoding Healthy Aging

How can advancements in science and medicine make it possible for individuals to enjoy greater health and activity in their later years? For health leaders and organizations such as the Global Coalition on Aging, ensuring individuals can truly shine in their "Golden Years" is a matter of revisiting education and communication strategies, advancing digital health technologies and expanding access to healthcare innovation.

Longer Lifespans Require Secure Financial Futures

As many as half of 5-year-olds in the United States can now expect to live to 100, a population that is projected to swell in the decades ahead. Longer lifespans don’t guarantee a financially secure later life, however. If anything, in the absence of significant planning, extreme longevity may make financial security harder to attain.

Financial Times Letter to the Editor

The call by Messrs Mario Draghi and Emmanuel Macron for a new growth strategy under France’s EU presidency should be guided by three principles aligned with their point about “demographic evolutions changing the structure of our societies” (Opinion, December 24).

Health Equity and Innovation Are at Risk for All of Us

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines illustrates what’s possible when federal policy fosters innovation with a real public-private partnership, especially for the health challenges facing America’s more than 54 million older adults. Yet, a number of drug-pricing policy proposals now jeopardize this very model, threatening to limit access to prescription drugs, compromise health equity and slow progress on urgently needed new treatments for age-related chronic conditions.