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Smartphone tech to help people with arthritis monitor and manage their symptoms

Mon, 08 Jul 2019

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI), a collaboration between Living With, the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH), and the University of Bath is developing innovative smartphone technology to help people with rheumatoid arthritis manage their flare-ups.

In order to develop this new technology – the Flare Profiler – the collaboration was awarded a major grant from Innovate UK.

The Flare Profiler will allow people with rheumatoid arthritis to use new methods capturing key disease activity data from smartphones, which will support clinicians to be able to classify and optimise care pathways.

Chris Robson, CEO of Living With, commented: “We’re thrilled to have won an Innovate UK grant. This will transform the way patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be monitored intelligently between appointments and hopefully help the NHS reduce the cost of treating patients with RA.”

The Flare Profiler will test a unique range of patient data sources including video and thermal imaging technology. The project will then analyse patient data using AI and machine-learning technology to group patient disease activity patterns and identify the most effective treatment pathways for them.

CAMERA Director Professor Darren Cosker added: “This is a great project. Being able to take some of the computer vision techniques we developed for hand tracking for animation and transferring them into a condition monitoring platform that can operate in a person’s home is a very positive use of technology and exactly the kind of work we should all be doing.”

The aim of the Flare Profiler is to demonstrate how better monitoring can provide earlier detection of issues, allow earlier clinical intervention and, over time, reduce need for costly acute treatments. It also aims to reduce the stress and need for patients to travel to hospital during treatment for specialist tests.


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