Remote monitoring of disease and physical activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study
Principal Investigator: Dr Kenneth Baker
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common disease affecting 1 in 100 UK adults, causing joint pain, stiffness and fatigue. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis need close monitoring of their arthritis activity to work out the most effective dose of their arthritis drugs. At the moment, this monitoring is done at clinic visits, meaning that patients have to regularly attend hospital. If it were possible for patients to be monitored remotely, this would avoid many trips to hospital and free up clinic appointments for those patients most in need.
In this small study, we aim to assess the feasibility of remote monitoring in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who are starting an arthritis drug. We will invite 20 patients to take part and will be followed for three months. Patients will complete self-assessments of their arthritis activity using online questionnaires, and their physical activity and heart rate will be measured using small wearable monitors. Patients will also attend for monthly face-to-face visits with a nurse to assess their arthritis activity using standard measurements used in current clinical practice. We will compare remote measurements of arthritis activity with standard face-to-face assessments to assess their accuracy and reliability. Also, information from activity and heart rate monitors will be analysed to look for patterns that may identify when patients have active arthritis. Finally, patients will provide feedback on their experience of remote monitoring, and any aspects for future improvement.
Our findings will be used to support future funding applications for larger studies to examine the use of remote monitoring to guide drug treatment in patient with rheumatoid arthritis. If successful, such remote monitoring would benefit patients by empowering them to measure their own arthritis activity at home, avoiding additional hospital visits, and providing their healthcare team with more detailed information to better treat their arthritis.
- Demonstrate the feasibility of remote RA disease activity monitoring, to support a future clinical efficacy trial
- Identify digital biomarkers of disease activity based on wearable monitoring devices, for future development and validation
- Ethical and regulatory approvals
- Patient recruitment
- End of follow-up for last participant
- Patient focus group
- Completion of data analysis