Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatology clinics can reduce waiting list times, save over £70,000 per year in unnecessary appointments, and free-up 100’s hours of clinical nurse specialist time by using Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Source: North Bristol Trust service evaluation

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis and affects approximately 1% of the UK population or 690,000 adults – only 15% of these patients currently get access to biologic treatment.

Clinical management of RA is based on infrequent and pre-scheduled appointments regardless of the patients’ condition activity, with patient data collection solely based around these interactions. This means that patients may be in remission or have already experienced a flare-up when their consultant sees them.

NICE guidelines require 6-monthly reviews of patients on biologics but audits suggest that many appointments could be avoided and could instead be monitored remotely freeing up time for patients with the greatest needs.

The Clinician Portal

Enable clinicians to monitor patient disease activity remotely, reduce unnecessary appointments, and optimise their resources, providing the most support for the patients most in need.

The clinician portal enables clinicians to monitor, rehabilitate and support patients and optimise their interventions:

  • Get patients to complete questionnaires to assess their condition.
  • Send messages with updates, results and reading materials to your patients.
  • Track a patient’s condition between appointments through diary entries and recorded flares.
Rheumatoid Arthritis clinician dashboard screenshot
Rheumatoid arthritis screenshot
Joint assessment screenshot

The Patient App

Enable patients to track and self-manage their condition more confidently and effectively.

The patient app provides patients with a range of features to understand, track and manage their own conditions better:

  • Complete questionnaires to assess your condition
  • Report flares to track your symptoms
  • Set goals for self-motivation and clear objectives
  • Send messages to your clinician
  • Track your medication and receive notifications to remind you to take it
  • Read articles in the library to improve your understanding of your condition
  • Keep a diary to monitor your condition


  • Money

    Save patient management costs by reducing unnecessary appointments, enable asynchronous consultations, stratifying which patients to prioritise for treatment, maximising opportunities for medication tapering, and facilitating and improving tele-clinic efficiency by providing improved granularity of patient data.

  • increase

    Deliver outcome data to patients on biologics and maximise data collection opportunities for research, audit and quality improvement projects.

  • Patient

    Engage patients in their self-management and thus, improve patient understanding and engagement with their condition and treatment, and reduce flares by improving patient control of their condition. What’s more, patients can provide useful information ahead of their tele-clinics and face-to-face consultations due to tracking symptoms and better understanding their condition.

  • clinic

    Maximise use of time in clinics by improving resource allocation of patient interactions within the multidisciplinary team and providing longitudinal patient data in an easy to appraise format – meaning clinic time can be problem focussed rather than having to recap disease activity since the last appointment.

Man smiling with crossed arms

Results and Feedback

A service evaluation shows that Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis is delivering an efficient shift in working practice: a virtual review takes approximately 15 minutes to complete (including administration time) versus F2F reviews which take 30 minutes + 10 minutes administration time.

This had led to considerable time and costs savings over the last 14 months, at the North Bristol Trust:

  • Over £70,000 has been saved per year in unnecessary appointments.
  • Our service change has released over 140 hours of specialist nurse and specialist pharmacist clinical time which has been reinvested in the service to improve efficiency.
Clinician with patient

Clinician feedback