AN ARTHRITIS app has been rolled out in Dorset to help thousands of patients self-manage their condition.

Ampersand Health announced a partnership with Our Dorset Digital and Rheumatology Dorset to roll out the My Arthritis App across the county, starting at Christchurch Hospital.

My Arthritis assists remote monitoring and communication between patients with arthritis and their NHS healthcare teams via the mobile app.

The app is designed to improve patients’ mental health and quality of life by helping them with stress management, medicine adherence, sleep quality and other factors. It was co-developed with doctors and patients at King’s College Hospital with support from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.

Arthritis is a common condition that affects more than 10 million people in the UK. The My Arthritis app is focused on inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. According to Age UK, there are as many as 6,500 people in Dorset with rheumatoid arthritis.

When My Arthritis is used in partnership with a patient and their clinical team, it facilitates continuous communication between clinicians and patients outside of regular appointments, revolutionising the way people living with inflammatory arthritis in Dorset receive care.

Those with rheumatoid arthritis may have periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups or flares. A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long term damage to the joints.

Dr. Jonathan Marks, clinical lead for Rheumatology Dorset, said: “We know that patients who are engaged in their own care and have a strong understanding of their condition will feel more empowered and in control of their condition, and this increases their chances of better health outcomes.

"The My Arthritis app enables us to build better channels and processes for communication that can revolutionise the outpatient experience for both patients and clinical teams, bringing our communication into the 21st century.”

For further information about Ampersand Health, how to download the My Arthritis app and how patients can access further support in Dorset, please visit Our Dorset.