If you are struggling to keep track of your musculoskeletal condition, then this new app may just be the thing you’ve been looking for! RheumaBuddy is a new app offering a helping hand to people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who want to record, manage and discuss their symptoms, mood and activities.
The app helps people to gain a better understanding of their good and bad days, and may just help you to identify triggers that contribute to a flare. Rheumabuddy was initially launched in Denmark in 2015, and has been launched across Europe throughout Autumn 2017.
What’s the aim of the app?
The aim of the app is to create an overview of your JIA or RA on a daily basis, by discovering patterns and ultimately gaining a greater control of your condition. As well as creating a useful overview, RheumaBuddy allows you to log sleep, exercise and hours of work or school. It is also possible to chat with other patients and learn from their experiences through the app. It is available to download on both Android and iOS smartphones for FREE through Google Play and the App Store, respectively.
“I really like the scale where you can rate your mood, because mood has as much to do with RA as the pain has.”
The right treatment
If you live with JIA or RA, everyday life can be quite a struggle. With RheumaBuddy, people with JIA and RA can track symptoms, mood and activities over time. A body map also allows individuals to pin point specific areas of pain. This is useful for those trying to understand relationships between activity, sleep, mood, the amount of work or study undertaken, and disease activity.
However, it also provides a strong basis for a better and more effective dialogue in future consultations with healthcare professionals. Many people with JIA and RA have difficulties remembering and communicating what symptoms they have had since their last consultation with their rheumatologist or specialist nurse. It can often be difficult to remember what happened in the last two weeks, never mind in the last three, six or twelve months!
RheumaBuddy enables a much more qualified dialogue, as explained so eloquently by a young lady with RA:
“On the day that you are at the doctors, which might be one of the good days, it can be very difficult to remember and tell about a bad period weeks ago. A bad period that actually would require some changes in my treatment. RheumaBuddy has made remembering and telling about this much easier.”
Only the beginning
The ambition for RheumaBuddy is to become the must-have tool for people with JIA and RA – giving them more control of their own life.
“We want to help people with chronic conditions have more good days. With RheumaBuddy, we are able to give people with RA and JIA an overview of what makes a great day, and what might trigger the less great days. In the future, we might also be able to see similarities and patterns across patients – and thereby patients can help each other gain valuable insights. This can help us increase the quality of life for all people living with RA and JIA.”
Although Rheumabuddy has been developed for people with JIA and RA, the app has already been downloaded by people living with other related conditions, such as fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. From observations on social media, Rheumabuddy seems to have gone down well with these other individuals, demonstrating its versatility and applicability for people with other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
“Before RheumaBuddy, an appointment with my doctor was typically a five minutes talk where I told that everything was fine. Now it helps me to see, that though I in general feel good, there are actually joints that need some extra attention from the rheumatologist. It makes an enormous difference.”