Dr. Curtis notes that although there are 52 million Americans in the U.S. with arthritis, ongoing clinical research still doesn’t address many of the questions that are important to both arthritis patients and their doctors, including related symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety and depression.
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Explore This IssueOctober 2015
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“Physicians have a limited amount of time to spend with their patients,” Dr. Curtis says. “Armed with the data provided by Arthritis Power, doctors can work with their patients to determine if a specific medication or treatment plan is working or whether it needs to be altered.” Dr. Curtis also encourages rheumatologists to talk to their patients about using the free app and joining Arthritis Power. “Often, when patients search for information on the Internet, they find anecdotal information or articles that are sponsored by a pharmaceutical company,” Dr. Curtis says. “Arthritis Power is an education portal that offers credible and unbiased medical information.”
Over the next several months, the app will be adding content, such as how to manage pregnancy when a patient has RA. “The content we provide will cover patient information that can’t always be covered in a traditional office visit,” Dr. Curtis says. “If a woman with RA is contemplating pregnancy, the article will discuss what medications they might need to stop and offer information that will complement the advice their physician offers.”
The app also plans to offer content and CMEs for physicians on such topics as how registries can help complement information gaps. In the future, Dr. Curtis says the hope is that Arthritis Power may be able to gather data from a patient’s wearable fitness device (e.g., FitBit, Jawbone) to provide a clearer picture of a patient’s overall health. In addition, the Arthritis Power app allows researchers to collect data on an ongoing, long-term basis, and to help physicians and patients set treatment goals and track patient disease activity.
“During our pilot testing period, we saw how Arthritis Power created real value and usefulness for both physicians and patients,” Dr. Curtis says. “The app generates real outcomes that can empower patients to improve their own health outcomes.”
Rachelle Crow of Chesterfield, Mich., uses Arthritis Power at least once a week to track her RA symptoms.
Using the Arthritis Power app, patients and their doctors can see whether their symptoms are changing or holding steady over time, monitor how they are responding to medications, & view their health reports in daily, weekly or monthly snapshots.
“My favorite feature is the thoughtful assessment,” Crow says. “Rather than asking me to rate my pain on a scale of one to ten or using the Likert scale, which can be really confusing for most patients, it asks questions that are concrete and specific.”