Our clinical lead for rheumatology, Dr Gerald Coakley, features in a great new video showcasing an improved way of supporting our patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Supported by the Health Innovation Network, rheumatology services across South East London have come together to design and implement a remote monitoring service to support patients monitor their rheumatoid arthritis at home. Patients who have long term conditions such as arthritis are often frustrated that flare ups occur in between appointments and that some of their check-ups occur when their symptoms are less noticeable. Instead of finding it helpful, these appointments can feel like an unwelcome reminder of a long term condition that you manage but try not to think about all the time. Best of all this new service was designed by and for patients.
With remote monitoring these patients are sent a text message linking to a quick questionnaire that they can complete from home once a month. Their answers can be shared securely with their rheumatology team. This means if symptoms are flaring up they can be supported more quickly rather than waiting for their next appointment, and appointments can be scheduled to meet clinical need.
One of the patients taking part explains why it makes such a difference: “Lots of time is saved at your hospital visit because all the information is already on the system. Using this system keeps your mind happy and you know you’re being looked after.”
Dr Gerald Coakley commented: “The richness of information you get back from looking back over the data gives us a much better picture of what’s going on with the patient’s condition, and makes it easier to give the right treatment. Our team are now already offering or plan to offer this new monitoring service to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and we are confident that it will make a real difference to their care.”
You can watch the remote monitoring video to see how patients and clinicians can benefit.