Applications for rheumatology patients that track pain, symptoms, medications, and sleep, have been available for some time. Recent additions to this family are Hiboot (France) and Rheumatology Connect (UK).
Hiboot is an app (in French) that assists rheumatology patients in managing their methotrexate or biological therapies, alerting them to take their medication and guiding them through a safety checklist. They can track their symptoms over several months. The app also includes a ‘questions’ section. The app will soon include new patient services.
A similar app in the UK ‘Rheumatology Connect’ is currently available only in the Torbay area, although there are plans for it to be made available in other parts of the UK. The app has lead to a drop in the number of calls to the rheumatology department, enabled group education, with encouraging patient feedback.
The app includes interaction between patient and consultant, improving self-care and reducing the need for face-to-face appointments. It includes mechanisms to manage medicines and pain scores, encouraging compliance with drug regimens providing benefits in getting patients to remission quicker. Any risks are flagged to the hospital department.
Applications are under development for similar concepts across other long-term conditions such as cardiology, dermatology and multiple sclerosis.