Mobile technology seems to have revolutionized our lives and certainly medical apps are some of the most popular. RheumatologyNetwork.com has reviewed the top 19 apps for tracking RA symptoms. (The slideshow rating each app is here: http://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/review-ra-mobile-apps-meeting-some-needs-missing-mark-others and the related story/synopsis is here: http://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/ra-mobile-apps-meeting-some-needs-missing-mark-others?GUID=1F23207F-2112-4CD6-9E2A-6B74F5025767&rememberme=1&ts=04042017.)
The review included two broad areas. The first, predictably, was what disease activity could be tracked/assessed. The other was the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) which includes engagement, functionality, aesthetics and information quality — basically how the user interacts with the app.
I applaud the availability of these apps partly because RA is so unpredictable that it is great to have something at hand with which to track what’s going on and then be able to discuss this information at a later date with your doctor. One of my favorites, Creaky Joint’s (www.creakyjoints.org) Arthritis Power, was the only one that included both ACR and EULAR laboratory measures.
That being said, there appears to be room for improvement on all of the apps, but there are some great contenders to help us on a daily basis. I should note that this is a New Zealand study, but all the apps are available in the US.
I encourage you to view the slideshow or read the story (or both). However, here is a synopsis excerpted from the article:
- 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.
I hope that however you track your RA activity, that it too low to track today. Thanks for checking in.