Self-management health app, RheumaBuddy launches in the UK for RA and JIA patients
Published: 13 Nov 2017
UK charity for rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, NRAS, partners with Danish health company for launch of RheumaBuddy.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society proudly announces the UK launch of a new digital self-management app – RheumaBuddy. NRAS is working exclusively in the UK in partnership with Daman, an innovative digital healthcare company in Denmark, to launch RheumaBuddy in the UK.
RheumaBuddy is a free app that is designed for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and young people and adults with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) so that they can record, manage and discuss their symptoms. Similarly, it can be used as a resource by the parent of a child with JIA to understand their child’s arthritis, and record levels of pain and photographs of flare-ups.
With approximately 12,000 children and young people in the UK living with JIA and over 400,000 adults living with RA, RheumaBuddy will not only provide an easy way to record symptoms, but will also help people with either of these autoimmune conditions to identify things that can trigger a flare. With this insight, the app can help people to prevent future flares and provide its users with a bank of personal data to share with a doctor, rheumatologist or other healthcare professional.
Ailsa Bosworth, CEO and Founder of NRAS, comments on the launch: “We are delighted to be working with Daman to introduce RheumaBuddy to people with JIA or RA in the UK. Healthcare professionals are under a lot of pressure in today’s NHS. To equip people with a tool such as RheumaBuddy that can record their symptoms and mood in an ‘arthritis diary’, can help people and parents of young children to give a more accurate account of how things have been for them or their child when they see their consultant. Often the time between appointments can be anything from three months to 12 months and it’s easy to forget how your health has been. NRAS is a patient-led charity so we actively offer support to thousands of people with RA and JIA in the UK each day. We are pleased to be introducing them to an app that might transform their understanding and management of their own condition, so they can maximise quality of life.”
The app is suitable for young people over the age of 16 years to use independently if they wish, and for parents with younger children under 16 years to record mood, pain, fatigue, and morning stiffness. Users are able to record:
- Morning stiffness in joints
- Sleep Pattern
- Hours spent at work and/or school
Andreas Dam, CEO of Daman, comments: “With RheumaBuddy, people with RA and JIA get a tool that can help them to live a better life despite their disease. We’ve partnered with NRAS because the charity really understands and backs the potential that this app has to empower people with JIA or RA. We have already seen great success with RheumaBuddy across Europe and are pleased to bring this buddy network and self-management tool to the UK.”
RheumaBuddy fits in with the daily life of someone with RA or JIA and allows them to feel less isolated as they can connect with others living with the same condition too through the app’s social ‘buddy function’. Users can share their experiences in a safe online community – empowering patients to seek advice and help and support others in a similar position. There is also an option to select chosen peers to connect with if a user wants to opt out of sharing their experiences with the entire community for example - offering reassurance to parents in the digital age who have concerns over their child’s safety and privacy.
For healthcare professionals, the data from the app will be useful in supporting and treating patients. Often patients can find it difficult to describe in detail how they have been feeling since their last visit to a specialist. The app provides visual and data-led records of a person’s condition, enables them to understand the progress since a last visit, and to treat them more accurately.