NRAS and Ampersand Health Partner to Launch Innovative App to Help People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published: 11 Oct 2019

'My Arthritis' empowers patients with timely, relevant information and is designed to improve quality of life and outcomes.

LONDON, October 10th, 2019, Ampersand Health and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) today announce a joint initiative to enable people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) to take an active role in managing their health.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Mobile App | 'My Arthritis' | NRAS & Ampersand 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 and easy-to-access help and support from NRAS. Hospitals that sign up can use the app to manage their patients remotely, improving care quality and reducing unnecessary hospital visits.

Inflammatory autoimmune conditions - including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis - are characterised by periods of relapse and remission or low disease and impact people of any age, including the young. In addition to the physical symptoms of pain, fatigue, swollen joints, anxiety, depression and other factors impact emotional well-being 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 (and reduce hospital admission costs). Many people with RA experience anxiety and depression as this disease impacts on quality of life in a major way. People need access to tools and resources which can help them manage their disease better. People who are able to self-manage better reduce the burden and cost to the healthcare system.

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.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that self-management works for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis”, said James Galloway, consultant rheumatologist at Kings College Hospital. “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.”

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”

The app - which is free - 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.

Notes to Editors

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex and serious, systemic autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the joint tissue causing inflammation, stiffness, pain and extreme fatigue. This chronic disease, which chiefly impacts upon joints can also affect other organs such as the heart, eyes and lungs; and when left untreated, can cause serious disability and extra articular complications which can be life limiting.

About NRAS

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), is the only patient-led organisation in the UK specialising in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Due to its targeted focus on RA and JIA, NRAS provides truly expert and wide-ranging services to support, educate and campaign for people living with these complex autoimmune conditions, their families and the health professionals who treat them.

Their vision is to support all with RA or JIA to live life to the full with an underpinning mission to:

  • support everyone living with the impact of RA or JIA at the start and every step of their journey
  • to inform – be their first choice for reliable information, and
  • empower all to have a voice and take control of their RA or JIA

Mission statement: Changing Minds, Changing Services, Changing Lives for all those living with RA and JIA in the UK.

About Ampersand Health

Ampersand is developing the first scientifically validated digital therapeutic for people with long term inflammatory conditions. It works with other impact focused organisations and subject matter experts to promote improved health and quality of life for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Dermatitis.

Our intervention helps people living with conditions like IBD and RA better understand their condition and promotes adherence to a personalised care plan, improving outcomes and quality of life; while also reducing the overall cost of care.

The intervention was co-developed with clinicians and patients from Kings College Hospital and Barts Health with support from government, national charities and industry. It is CE marked, regulated by the MHRA and has been assessed by NICE and Orcha.

The company is recognised in the Digital Health Global 100, winner of an HSJ Award, the NHS Ideas Lab and the NHS Hackfest and is part of the Scale Health accelerator programme run by DigitalHealth.London and PWC. Ampersand also won an Innovate UK grant, and is MHRA accredited and NICE approved.

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About The App

The app MyArthritis is free for patients and can be downloaded from the AppStore (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

For more information, please visit www.ampersand.health

Contact: Rawane Jabara, rawane@ampersandhealth.co.uk, +44 (0) 20 7112 7100