Ampersand Health and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has announced a joint initiative to enable people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) to take an active role in managing their health.
My Arthritis is an app developed by Ampersand drawing on the expertise of patients and clinicians from King’s College Hospital. It helps people manage their Arthritis day-to-day, bringing together a personal health record, daily tracking, help and support from NRAS. Hospitals that sign up can use the app to manage their patients remotely.
Nader Alaghband, founder of Ampersand Health said: “We know that the patient’s journey is often long and lonely and a model of care based on infrequent outpatient appointments (which rarely coincide with a clinical need) can be significantly improved, through better communication and increased patient engagement. We’re delighted to be working with NRAS to support patients with RA on that journey.”
Inflammatory autoimmune conditions are characterised by periods of relapse and remission or low disease and impact people of any age. In addition to the physical symptoms of pain, fatigue, swollen joints, anxiety, depression and other factors impact emotional wellbeing and can severely affect quality of life. At times of relapse, when help with flare-management is needed, rapid access to specialist advice can lead to better outcomes.
James Galloway, consultant rheumatologist at Kings College Hospital, said: “There is a growing body of evidence that self-management works for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Equally, the burden that long term conditions such as RA place on the NHS is unsustainable and the time is right to develop and advocate for new, digitally-enabled models of care that could drive savings and quality improvement.”
The app – which is free for patients – is currently being used by many people living with RA and several hospitals are either using or about to start using the platform to manage their patients remotely when appropriate.
Clare Jacklin, CEO of NRAS said: “RA can impact on every aspect of an individual’s life so being more engaged in one’s own care and treatment and learning good self-management techniques is essential for improving quality of life. We believe that apps such as ‘My Arthritis’ will provide timely access to quality information on managing flares, thus improving adherence to treatment. Improving the health of the RA population in this way will also result in more efficient use of stretched NHS services. NRAS is pleased to be working with Ampersand on the development of such an innovation for today’s contemporary RA patients.”