We’re delighted to be working with Arthritis Research UK to improve care for rheumatoid arthritis patients

X-ray of arthritic hands.

In partnership with Arthritis Research UK, we will design, implement and evaluate a system for remote data collection from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The key outcome of the project will be the information to inform investment in a sustainable system for remote monitoring, integrated into both clinical and research systems, to improve care for patients with RA.

RA is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK, causing joint inflammation that leads to joint pain and swelling. Clinical assessment relies on patients describing their symptoms since their last appointment (which can be influenced by recall, eloquence, mood, available time and current disease severity), supported by clinical examination.

This project is novel because it will collect regular information from patients with RA between clinic visits using smartphones, and will securely transfer this patient data into a hospital electronic patient record and a research database. The information sent to the clinical record will show how symptoms have changed over time since the last appointment, improving the efficiency of consultations and improving communication with the hospital multidisciplinary team.

The patient-held record will support self-management and communication about disease severity with friends, family and other healthcare professionals such as GPs. In the future, data sent to the hospital could enable triaging of outpatient visits according to clinical need, allowing less frequent follow-up appointments for stable patients and earlier access for patients in need. The same information sent to a research database will allow researchers to study questions that have been difficult to answer to date, especially when the research requires information about short-term changes in health (for example, how treatments affect the frequency and severity of flares).

Read more about the project, including its background and development, objectives and predicted outcomes.