Innovation paving the way for easier self-management

September 1, 2016

Technology and innovation are changing every aspect of our lives. Increasingly, that includes how people live with arthritis.

The Arthritis Society is a leading player in bringing forward solutions to help make it easier for you to manage your disease, monitor your symptoms and learn about effective strategies to help you live well with arthritis.

Our online education portal offers people across the country with access to the latest in interactive learning resources and tools. With modules like Chronic Pain Management, Overcome Fatigue, Joint Matters at Work and You and Your Healthcare Provider, these resources are like attending a master class in arthritis self management, right from the comfort of your home or mobile device. And interactive tools like our Symptom Checker can help guide people experiencing joint pain to better understand what their symptoms might mean, and help them communicate effectively about their symptoms with their health care provider. (For these and other great online resources, visit www.arthritis.ca/education.)

At the same time, of course, we continue to invest in cutting-edge research that will continue to deliver innovations that change the face of arthritis care in Canada – and ultimately lead us to a cure.

But The Arthritis Society is not alone in bringing fresh ideas to arthritis management.

As mentioned in a recent issue of Impact, Vancouver-based tech startup eTreatMD has been developing a mobile phone-based app to help people with osteoarthritis in their hand. They reached out to you with a pilot study for your comments, and the responses came pouring in!

Based on your feedback, the award-winning* app – called LiveWith Arthritis (or “LiveWith”, for short) – has now been expanded to include other joints affected by arthritis, and is now accessible to the entire community.

LiveWith makes it easy to monitor pain in most joints affected by arthritis and record your treatment and other factors – for example, diet, activities, medicines and other forms of therapy, like acupuncture or massage. Selections are made by touching buttons and moving sliders, without having to type. The app automatically tracks your local weather. Using LiveWith to track your treatments over time shows you what works best so you can get the most out of life despite your arthritis.

More than just tracking symptoms, however, LiveWith brings innovation to the table by incorporating biometrics, using your mobile device’s camera to measure physical changes in your hand with its scientifically validated MeasureMe™ technology and let you know how your pain connects to factors like treatment, weather and activities. (Their plan is to extend that capability to other joints as well.)

LiveWith then generates a report you can take to your doctor that makes it easier to share your own findings and get an informed opinion about how to best proceed.

To download the app and obtain five free reports courtesy of The Arthritis Society and eTreatMD, visit: www.etreatmd.com/tas.

The Arthritis Society and eTreatMD are two great examples of organizations working to harness technology and innovation to help you live better with arthritis. We’re excited to see what Canadian ingenuity offers next.

*TELUS Outstanding Product Achievement Award for Mobility Health (M-Health) Innovation Award, 2016