15 December 2021 London - Ampersand Health has today announced a partnership with Our Dorset Digital and Rheumatology Dorset to roll out My Arthritis App across the county, commencing at Christchurch Hospital. My Arthritis facilitates remote monitoring and communication between patients with arthritis and their NHS healthcare teams via the mobile app.
The app is designed to improve patients’ mental health and quality of life by helping them with stress management, medicine adherence, sleep quality and other factors. It was co-developed with doctors and patients at King’s College Hospital with support from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.
Arthritis is a common condition that affects more than 10 million people in the UK. The My Arthritis app is focused on inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. According to Age UK, there are as many as 6,500 people in Dorset with rheumatoid arthritis.
When My Arthritis is used in partnership with a patient and their clinical team, it facilitates continuous communication between clinicians and patients outside of regular appointments, revolutionising the way people living with inflammatory arthritis in Dorset receive care. This is important as those with rheumatoid arthritis may have periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups for flares. A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long term damage to the joints.
Julie, a patient who uses the app in their self-management routine, says it can be useful in predicting when a flare up is developing by tracking trends in her symptoms. “Through the app, I can report a flare up or contact my rheumatology team if I need any help between appointments. The courses and activities also offer information on the disease which helps to reassure and put things in perspective with helpful tips and opportunities to reflect on your experience of the disease,” added Julie.
Dr. Jonathan Marks, Clinical Lead for the Rheumatology Dorset, commented, “We know that patients who are engaged in their own care and have a strong understanding of their condition will feel more empowered and in control of their condition, and this increases their chances of better health outcomes. The My Arthritis app enables us to build better channels and processes for communication that can revolutionise the outpatient experience for both patients and clinical teams, bringing our communication into the 21st century.”
The company behind the app, Ampersand Health, has already seen great success with My IBD Care; an app that is used by tens of thousands of people worldwide, as well as by NHS Trusts across the UK, to transform the long-term management of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Nader Alaghband, Founder & CEO of Ampersand Health said, “I’m delighted that we are able to partner with the Rheumatology Network for Dorset and put My Arthritis in the hands of patients. As the NHS shifts to more virtual models of care, we’re looking forward to supporting the Network in important areas like clearing long waiting lists, enhancing patient safety and supporting better mental health and quality of life for people with long term conditions.”
For further information about Ampersand Health, how to download the My Arthritis app and how patients can access further support in Dorset, please visit Our Dorset.
Notes to Editors
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About Ampersand Health
Ampersand Health is a social purpose company, founded by doctors and patients to light the path to remission for people with long term inflammatory conditions. The company works with clinicians, scientists and industry to develop a new generation of personalised behavioural therapies for people with immune-mediated diseases like Crohn’s, Colitis, Arthritis and Psoriasis.
Ampersand Health is recognised in the Digital Health Global 100, the DIT First 100 and has won awards from the NHS, NHSX, the Health Service Journal and many others.
Ampersand Health is also one of the 18 digital innovators selected to support vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak as part of the TechForce19 challenge.
About Our Dorset Digital
Over the last 18 months Our Dorset Digital have been developing and embedding digital tools and technologies to support Dorset citizens to empower self-care and enable them to confidently manage their health, wellbeing and long-term conditions.
Rheumatology Dorset aims to provide an equitable, countywide, multidisciplinary service delivering responsive care for patients with inflammatory arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. Our teams utilise expertise from across the medical and Allied Health Professional (AHP) workforce to support the health of people living with a variety of long-term conditions.