Mobile app makes life easier for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Many people with chronic illnesses find that receiving support from others who are struggling with the same challenges makes a huge difference. For this reason, the Elsa Science app was developed in Sweden to connect patients who want to share their experiences, gain knowledge about their condition and actively participate in their healthcare.

Using a science-based motivational and educational support system, the Elsa Science app brings together individuals, families, patient organizations, healthcare providers, manufacturers and researchers to learn from each other. others and to help chronically ill patients enjoy a better quality of life.

The first chronic disease that the Elsa Science app focuses on is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints, typically of the hands, wrists and knees, leading to debilitating pain and loss of quality of life.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is a life changing disease, and living with and managing rheumatoid arthritis on your own can be difficult at the best of times. The Elsa Science app provides a platform for patients to communicate with others facing the same challenges. It can be a huge relief to feel that you are not alone and that others may have experiences that they can share, and that you may also be able to provide support, ”Sofia Svanteson, Co-Founder and CEO of Elsa Science App.

The patient downloads the app, enters their information, and tracks changes over time. They can also attend educational programs within the app, for example, to learn how lifestyle habits and physical activity can improve their health. Information on pain, fatigue, pain and swelling, well-being, physical activity, weight, medications, etc. can be shared with healthcare providers or the patient’s rheumatology specialist or clinic.

Using a tailor-made plan, Elsa guides users in their daily lives.

“The Elsa app gives me a simple overview of my well-being and how exercise and medication affect me. When I first started taking my medication, it was very helpful to watch my symptoms and identify that I was feeling less well in the days before the injection. The regimen was clear and easy to share with my doctor, who changed my prescription to increase the frequency of my injections, which led to more balanced health, ”says Thomas, a user of the Elsa app.

“With the help of the Elsa app, I can get a clear and simple overview of the symptoms and how they affect me,” says Johanna, a user of the Elsa app.

The next step in the development of the app will be to support patients with other rheumatic disorders.

“The digital world opens up opportunities that we could not have dreamed of before. The Elsa Science app empowers the patient, which can greatly boost their motivation to manage their condition. We see the results in the form of better adherence to treatment regimens, increased communication between the patient and their health care provider, as well as improved overall well-being, ”explains Sofia Svanteson.

This report is part of a series that shows how digital technologies can be harnessed to deliver smarter healthcare. These case stories are among those to be presented at the WHO European Conference on Combating NCDs through Digital Solutions.

Lance B. Holton