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Review: RA Mobile Apps, the Top 19

Review: RA Mobile Apps, the Top 19

  • Apps (©Jaros/Shutterstock.com)
    Apps (©Jaros/Shutterstock.com)
  • Arthritis Power (©Creaky Joints, Jeffrey Curtis)
    Arthritis Power (©Creaky Joints, Jeffrey Curtis). Arthritis Power was lauded in the review for using validated instruments and for having a tracking function. It was the only app in the review that included ACR and EULAR–recommended composite disease activity measures (RAPID-3), but it does not include the standard 28 tender and swollen joint count. It includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed laboratory measures: PtG, Pain VAS. It had an overall MARS score of 3.41 out of 5.
  • Cliexa-RA (©Cliexa-RA, Collaborative Network 4 Clinical Excellence, LLC)
    Cliexa-RA (©Cliexa-RA, Collaborative Network 4 Clinical Excellence, LLC). Patient-focused functions, such as recording fatigue and the storage and tracking of data. It includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures ( PtG and ESR). Overall MARS mean score: 3.61 out of 5.
  • DAS Calculator for Rheumatologists(©Greg Fiumara)
    DAS Calculator for Rheumatologists(©Greg Fiumara). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, CRP, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28). Overall MARS mean score: 3.85 out of 5.
  • DAS28 ACR-EULAR criteria (©Keiji Matsui)
    DAS28 ACR-EULAR criteria (©Keiji Matsui). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, Pain VAS, ESR, CRP). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28, CDAI, SDAI). Overall MARS mean score: 2.28 out of 5.
  • DAS28 Calculator (©Owl Studios)
    DAS28 Calculator (©Owl Studios). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28).
  • DAS28 Free (©Esdras Beleza de Noronha)
    DAS28 Free (©Esdras Beleza de Noronha). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, CRP, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28).
  • DAS28 Calculator (©Rheumatology LMU)
    DAS28 Calculator (©Rheumatology LMU). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, CRP, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28).
  • DAS28c-Rheumatoid Arthritis (©Tantor Systems)
    DAS28c-Rheumatoid Arthritis (©Tantor Systems). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, ESR, CRP, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28).
  • myRA (©Crescendo Bioscience Inc.)
    myRA (©Crescendo Bioscience Inc.). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (ESR, CRP). It includes patient-focused functions, such as recording fatigue and the storage and tracking of data. It provided an environment in which people with RA could connect and share updates about their symptoms. Other functions: Reminders, email data, RA info. Overall MARS mean score: 4.62 out of 5.
  • myRAteam (©MyHealthTeams Inc.)
    myRAteam (©MyHealthTeams Inc.). It allows users to record disease activity data. Other functions: Social media function. Overall MARS mean score: 4.11 out of 5.
  • RA Helper (©Modra Jagoda)
    RA Helper (©Modra Jagoda). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (ESR, CRP). It allows users to record disease activity data. Other functions: Reminders. Overall MARS mean score: 3.20 out of 5.
  • RAISE (©Publicis Development-Arthritis Ireland)
    RAISE (©Publicis Development-Arthritis Ireland). It allows users to record disease activity data. Other functions: Email data, RA info. Overall MARS mean score: 4.24 out of 5.
  • RAPA (©Jacsomedia Ltd)
    RAPA (©Jacsomedia Ltd). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (Pain VAS). It includes patient-focused functions, such as recording fatigue and the storage and tracking of data. Other functions: RA info. Overall MARS mean score: 2.93 out of 5.
  • Rheuma Helper (©Modra Jagoda)
    Rheuma Helper (©Modra Jagoda). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (PtG, CRP, 28SJC, 28TJC). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28, CDAI, SDAI). This is the only app that includes an equation for a composite disease activity measure. Other functions: RA info. Overall MARS mean score: 4.26 out of 5.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary (©cellHigh).
    Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary (©cellHigh). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (ESR, CRP). It allows users to record disease activity data. Other functions: Email data, export to spreadsheet. Overall MARS mean score: 2.75 out of 5.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Companion (©Point of Care)
    Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Companion (©Point of Care). It allows users to record disease activity data. Other functions: Reminders, share data with clinician, RA info. Overall MARS mean score: 4.15 out of 5.
  • RheumaTrack RA (©Axovis GmbH)
    RheumaTrack RA (©Axovis GmbH). It includes patient-focused functions, such as recording fatigue and the storage and tracking of data. Other functions: Email data, export to spreadsheet. It had a MARS score of ≥4/5.
  • RheumInfo HAQe-II Calculator (©Bitcurve Systems)
    RheumInfo HAQe-II Calculator (©Bitcurve Systems). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (HAQ). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28, CDAI, SDAI) Overall MARS mean score: 2.95 out of 5.
  • TRACK and REACT (©Arthritis Foundation)
    TRACK and REACT (©Arthritis Foundation). Includes ACR and EULAR-endorsed instruments or laboratory measures (Pain VAS). And, ACR and EULAR-recommended composite disease activity measure (DAS28, CDAI, SDAI). Other functions: Export to website. Overall MARS mean score: 3.31 out of 5.

A scientific review of mobile apps for tracking rheumatoid arthritis disease activity finds that most apps are either simple calculators for physicians to measure disease activity or tools for patients to track symptoms, most of which do not uniformly collect data using validated instruments or composite disease activity measures.

What’s lacking, according to researchers from the University of Otago Wellington in New Zealand writing in the Feb. 21 issue of JMIR mHealth and uHealth, are “high-quality apps for longitudinal assessment of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.”

Not all apps are the same and it’s important to understand the function and quality of mobile apps for monitoring disease activity, wrote researchers who were led by Rebecca Grainger, Ph.D. of the University of Otago Wellington. Medical apps in general do not adhere to established treatment guidelines and some are created without input from credentialed medical experts so in assessing app quality, patients have little to go on other than user ratings.

In this study, Dr. Grainger and her team compare the features of 19 apps to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) rheumatoid arthritis treatment guidelines. Their findings:  None of the apps included all ACR and EULAR endorsed disease activity instruments.

The apps were downloaded from iTunes and Google Play app stores. It is important note this was a New Zealand study, but apps featured in this study are available in the U.S. market.

In rating the apps, researchers considered whether the apps included a validated composite disease activity measure and whether they offered features that could record results for future reference. Two independent reviewers were enlisted to rate the apps using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) which includes engagement, functionality, aesthetics and information quality. On a scale of 1 to five, none of the apps scored higher than three.

The review included 19 apps, which differed slightly:

  • 14 apps included at least one validated instrument measuring RA disease activity.
  • 11 apps allowed users to enter a joint count and seven of these used the standard 28 swollen and tender joint count.
  • 8 apps included at least one ACR and EULAR-recommended RA composite disease activity (CDA) measure.
  • 10 apps included data storage and retrieval.
  • Only 1 app, Arthritis Power, included both an RA CDA measure and tracked data, but this app did not include the standard 28 tender and swollen joint count.

The median overall MARS score for apps was 3.41/5. Of the six apps that scored at least four out of five on the overall MARS rating, only one included a CDA score endorsed by ACR and EULAR, but this app did not have a data tracking function.

“Developing apps that are attractive, engaging, simple to use, and having functionalities relevant to the clinical management of the health condition will require collaboration between rheumatologists, people with RA, app developers, and health systems, and due consideration of local regulatory environment, health service delivery, and user experience,” the researchers wrote.

Regardless of the rating, mobile apps encourage patients to become more actively involved in managing their disease, researchers wrote.

“There is some evidence that mHealth (mobile health) interventions such as smartphone apps may improve outcomes for people with other chronic diseases,” the researchers wrote. Yet, improvements in quality are needed.

 

Comments

Thanks for the article.

Mehmet @

cliexa-RA soon will be adding Rapid 3 and MDHAQ models to the symptom tracking.

Mehmet @

cliexa-RA soon will be adding Rapid 3 and MDHAQ models to the symptom tracking.

Mehmet @

I use HAQdas app by NLRT. It measures HAQ, DAS28. CDAI and SDAI. Downloaded from ITunes

yunus @

I use HAQdas app by NLRT. It measures HAQ, DAS28. CDAI and SDAI. Downloaded from ITunes

yunus @

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