What is Arthritis Tracker?
Arthritis Tracker is a mobile app that lets teenagers and young adults aged 13 to 25 rate their arthritis symptoms in a matter of seconds by tapping a colour-coded face icon. The app then gives simple summaries of their recent sore joints, medication side effects, energy levels, activity, sleep and emotional wellbeing. Users can filter these summaries to show the last month, three months, six months or nine months.
When they attend their health appointments, young people can use these summaries to explain to you and to their other healthcare providers how they’ve been doing.
The app also:
- signposts young people with arthritis to health information on the Versus Arthritis website
- gives tips for managing symptoms in day-to-day life
- offers inspiring stories from other young people with arthritis
- links young people to both local and online support from Versus Arthritis.
How can Arthritis Tracker help healthcare professionals?
Arthritis Tracker gives young people a tool to help them remember how they’ve been feeling, making it easier for you to have effective conversations in the clinic.
Young people with arthritis tell us that they often find it difficult to explain to their healthcare professionals how they’ve been over the past few months. They tell us that:
- they find it hard to remember everything they wanted to say
- they have difficulty articulating how they feel
- they may not bring up topics like their medication’s side effects or the quality of their sleep because they might not realise that it’s important to discuss them.
Using their Arthritis Tracker summaries as a prompt will help young people explain their symptoms so that you can spend more time talking about treatment options and self-management strategies.
Additionally, Arthritis Tracker links to information and support from Versus Arthritis, so it’s an easy way for you to signpost young people to our services.
How can I let young people know about Arthritis Tracker?
If you’re a healthcare professional, you can:
- download our Arthritis Tracker leaflets (PDF, 167 KB) and attach to emails that you send to your patients
- print and display these leaflets in your waiting area, beside hospital beds or on your desk
- recommend Arthritis Tracker to young people in their appointment letters to give them time to download and use the app before their next appointment.
How was Arthritis Tracker developed?
At Versus Arthritis, we put people with arthritis at the heart of everything we do – the idea for Arthritis Tracker came from one of our young people, and together, we’ve shaped and improved the app over time with continued input from young people and healthcare professionals across the UK.
We want to hear from healthcare professionals about how we can make the app even better, and we’ll continue to improve the app based on your feedback. Check out the section marked “Your feedback in action” on the main Arthritis Tracker page to see the improvements we’ve made so far.
Getting and using Arthritis Tracker
- Where can young people download Arthritis Tracker?
Arthritis Tracker is available for iPhone on the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play. Young people can also visit our website to download Arthritis Tracker.
- Does it cost anything to use the app?
No, Versus Arthritis offers Arthritis Tracker as a free service.
- Can people under age 13 use Arthritis Tracker?
No. Applicable data protection laws do not allow us to process anonymous analytics data for people under age 13.
People who are younger than 13 can ask their parents or guardians to download the app to their own devices, however.
Talking about Arthritis Tracker during appointments
- How should I bring up Arthritis Tracker during appointments?
We recommend that you let young people know that the app is available to them, but that they are not required to use it.
Give young people our Arthritis Tracker leaflet (PDF, 167 KB) so that they can learn more later.
If a young person has already downloaded the app, ask them to share their honest opinion. We’re eager to hear feedback, so please pass along comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Should I ask a young person to show me their summary or let me look at their device?
We recommend letting a young person use the app as a tool to describe – in their own words – how they’ve been. This will help them to develop key communication skills that will help in their transition to adulthood. It should be a young person’s own choice whether to offer to show you their app data.
- How can I provide feedback about Arthritis Tracker?
If you have feedback to share about Arthritis Tracker, send us an email at email@example.com.
Or, if you’ve downloaded the app, you can simply tap the ‘feedback’ button.
When you provide feedback, please let us know that you are a healthcare professional.
Young people’s data
- How does Versus Arthritis use and protect young people’s data when they use Arthritis Tracker?
We built Arthritis Tracker to prioritise the safety of young people’s data. While we collect anonymous analytics data to help our app work well, all young people’s data stays on their own devices.
Read more in our terms and conditions.
- Do healthcare professionals have access to young people’s data?
No. We designed Arthritis Tracker to support young people without compromising the safety and security of their personal data. That means that all of their data stays on their own device – nothing is stored online.
A young person may choose to show you their screen during an appointment, or they may use the app as a tool to help them discuss information with you during an appointment, but their data is not stored online, and healthcare professionals cannot access their data.
Read more about Arthritis Tracker and how we use data in our ‘Terms and conditions'. If you have questions or feedback about how we use data, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Features within the app
- Can young people have digital conversations with or send messages to their healthcare providers through the app?
No. The app is designed to be a tool that young people can use to help them have discussions with their healthcare providers and to manage their own health, but it does not provide a messaging system.
- Is there a version of Arthritis Tracker for adults over age 25?
This version of Arthritis Tracker is tailored to people aged 13 to 25. Do you feel that older adults that you see in clinic would be interested in a version of Arthritis Tracker built with their needs in mind? Email us at email@example.com to tell us about your interest.