Ampersand Health and global biopharmaceutical company UCB have announced a partnership to help patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA), a form of inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the spine.
AxSpA impacts over 220,000 adults in the UK. Those with axSpA may have periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups or flares, which can be difficult to predict.
Ampersand Health and UCB will be supporting Project Nightingale, an ongoing study run by the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) in Bath.
Project Nightingale is designed to help patients with axSpA better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Ampersand’s My Arthritis app will be used to collect patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), lab data and a host of lifestyle factors.
The information gathered may help HCPs to support patients in managing their condition, as well as enabling them to help predict flares, adopting and tracking regular exercise programmes, monitoring and improving sleep. The data can be used to optimise a patient’s clinical consultation by addressing issues important to them.
Peter Stanley, 68, joined the pilot to help him understand his axSpA symptoms: “I wasn’t very good with technology at the beginning, but it was surprisingly easy to update information, such as sleep patterns, on my smartphone.
“Participating in Project Nightingale has helped me understand some of my most problematic symptoms as well as acting as a useful record for when seeing my rheumatologist.”
“My main problem with axSpA is the impact the condition has on my sleep based on my stress levels. Since the study started, I’ve been able to see a link and look at ways to reduce my stress to help with my symptoms.”
Nader Alaghband, Founder & CEO of Ampersand Health added: “The collaboration with UCB and the RNHRD will capture subtle, potentially critical changes in disease activity that are not currently considered in clinical practice to help predict flare-ups, while supporting patients to self-manage and recognise patterns by tracking lifestyle factors such as exercise and sleep. This is core to Ampersand’s mission, to help light the path to remission for patients with inflammatory diseases.
“We hope that with close collaboration, we can investigate and improve the management of axSpA and explore ways in which the My Arthritis app could be embedded into routine care to better support patients and healthcare professionals.”
“At UCB, we are committed to improving care and outcomes for people living axSpA. Our collaboration with Ampersand Health, combines digital solutions with clinical expertise – to support patients and healthcare professionals throughout their axSpA journey. We hope this project will contribute to a better understanding of how people with axSpA manage their disease and work with their healthcare providers,” said Erik Janssen, Head of Digital Business Transformation, Immunology, UCB.
UCB has supported Project Nightingale with funding from an educational grant.