Eine der häufigsten entzündlichen Gelenkserkrankungen ist die rheumatoide Arthritis. Mit dem RheumaBuddy App werden die Krankheitssymptome erfasst und künftig soll diese App zur Nutzung aller entzündlichen Gelenkserkrankungen weiterentwickelt werden sowie Feedbackmechanismen für PatientInnen integrieren und dessen Wirksamkeit in einer multizentrischen Studie evaluieren.

Eingereicht von: Dr. Paul Studenic
Firma/Universität: Medizinische Universität Wien – Abteilung für Rheumatologie
Homepage: www.meduniwien.ac.at
Kooperationspartner: Daman; Medizinische Universität Wien – Outcomes Research

The scientific background is embedded in the field of outcomes in inflammatory arthritis, focusing on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Dr. Paul Studenic has so far put a major emphasize on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and response to treatment. In most cases these studies were conducted on an observational basis, using clinical, longitudinally designed datasets of patient cohorts with inflammatory arthritis. The field of mobile health and digital technologies is increasingly expanding which affects physicians, researchers, patients and the interaction between them. Responding to that emerging field, he was involved in studies evaluating the use of Social Media in young rheumatology researchers in Europe, which was published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, our leading journal in the field of Rheumatology. Additionally to that meanwhile Dr. Paul Studenic is the lead of the social media advisory board of this journal. The team has published a letter on the opportunities and pitfalls of twitter for medical education and knowledge transfer in regard to its open access to everyone, not only medical professionals. Over the last two years Dr. Paul Studenic was increasingly engaged in activities of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) and Young PARE. This defines his link to the company Daman and the health app “RheumaBuddy”. RheumaBuddy was dlife-science.eu - Foto: (c) Paul Studeniceveloped in cooperation with the Danish Patient Organisation of people with arthritis and rheumatism and was acknowledged by PARE for its efforts to improve the life of people with arthritis. The first data analysis and qualitative evaluation from Denmark indicates, that people using the app seems to have better mood than those not using the app.
In cooperation with the Austrian Rheumaleague (Austria’s largest patient organisation for people with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases – RMDs) this app was translated in German and the spread of the app is supported by the Rheumaleague and the Austrian Society of Rheumatology (ÖGR).

Currently this app allows to monitor symptoms relevant to people with RA and JIA, like pain (including a map of the human body to tag the points of pain), fatigue, mood, stiffness. Additionally, further health related items like special issues of the day and sleep and working hours can be captured, as well as a patient-patient community. This app may increase self-awareness of the disease, a better body perception and influence quality of life. The app has a huge potential to improve self-management of the disease. Currently it is targeting mainly patients with RA. There is a big segment of people with spondylarthritis (SpA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Usually onset of these diseases is about 10 to 20 life-years earlier than RA, so around the 30th birthday. There is a larger number of people with SpA and PsA actively involved in the labour market and there is a higher proportion of patients using smartphones and in particular smartphone apps.

The first goal within this collaboration would be to modify and further develop the app tailoring it to outcomes relevant to SpA and PsA patients in parallel to promoting their use among the patient community. To accomplish this aim, they will closely work together with European patient organisations and rheumatologists across Europe to develop this implementation on a broad basis.
Secondly the app aims for self-empowerment of the patient, also helping him prepare upfront before the consultation with the rheumatologist. The Research team will evaluate which kind of summary and reminders would be the best material upfront the consultation at the rheumatologist. These reports may in a next step be shared with the treating rheumatologist.
Thirdly evaluate impact on quality of life in patients using the app versus not in a multinational trial. All data are stored on a protected server in the Microsoft Cloud, and the provider Daman, is ensuring all regulatory and legal aspects such as GDPR are met. After a first observational study using already gathered data, they aim to design a longitudinal trial across Europe to assess self-efficacy, disease perception and quality of life.

The vision with RheumaBuddy is to empower all people with rheumatic diseases to enable them to live the best life possible despite their disease. Not only will this have a great impact on the individual persons quality of life, it will also reduce the utilization of healthcare services and raise the attachment to the job market. In future versions, after collecting big amounts of patient data, Machine Learning will be applied to move RheumaBuddy into an even more intelligent guide for the patients.

See more about the app at rheumabuddy.com.