Meet the young people behind the Arthritis Tracker app

03 May 2020
Shay, niamh and aimee who helped with our young people's app.

Our Arthritis Tracker app is for teens and young adults with arthritis. It allows you to rate your symptoms in seconds and see a summary of your pain, energy levels, activity, sleep and more. It has been an exciting journey that would have been impossible without the amazing young people who helped us shape this app along the way.

Two of our young volunteers, Shay and Niamh and one of our young participants Aimee share what it’s been like helping to shape the app. Spoiler alert…at the end we will tell you all about how you can help shape this app too.

Shay, Northern Ireland

Shay, one of our young volunteers in the Northern Ireland Young People & Family Service has been involved since the very beginning, over 2 years ago! Here he shares what it’s been like to help with the planning and being involved in the focus groups

The meeting with the developer was a new experience for me and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. It was interesting and honestly shocking seeing the entire process and components of the app all laid out on a table. It gave me a real insight into the amount of work that was going into the app and an initial road map of the work for the future.

The focus groups were a great opportunity to bounce ideas around and hear from young people directly on what they wanted. We also used these groups to ensure that the app was going to appeal to young people, both stylistically and well as functionally.

The app is important as it gives young people the tools to start taking control of their symptoms and their conditions.

Niamh, England

Niamh is a volunteer with our Young People & Family service in England and was one of our early testers. Here she tells us what she enjoyed about the process:

"I really enjoyed testing the app, I found it useful to be able to track my symptoms and then look over it before a doctor’s appointment to remind myself of things I would have otherwise forgotten!

Being part of the focus group was really good, I liked being part of something that will hopefully help other young people, like it’s helped me."

"I know when I go into doctors’ appointments, I tend to forget what has happened over the past 3-6 months with my health. Having an app where I can track my condition quickly every day and then review it at an appointment is amazing."

Aimee, Northern Ireland

Aimee has been involved with our Young People and Family’s service in Northern Ireland. She tested the app and took part in our feedback sessions. She tells us what was positive about being involved:

"The feedback sessions were fab! We got to share our ideas and thoughts on the app and we even go to see sneak previews of updates to come.

The app made life a lot easier when I was coming up to a review appointment. With the tracker, you have answers for the doctor when they ask how you’ve been, as opposed to the normal “good", even though you might not have been “good” at all."

"The info and tips are really helpful because they answer some of your questions and the tips actually work."

Now it’s your turn…

We have more exciting plans for this app, and we want you to help us shape the app around what you think is important. All you have to do is download the app, give it a go, and press the feedback button every time you have an idea about what we could do better, or something new we could add.

Get the support you need

If you would like to talk to someone about your arthritis call our free helpline on 0800 5200 520.