Background Patient empowerment integrates multiple concepts that allow a patient to effectively self-manage his disease, which are accessing to health information, education, bi-directional communication between patients and healthcare professionals, self-care support, chronic disease management support and shared decision making.
Objectives To evaluate whether an online personal health platform improves AS patients' health and enhances their effectiveness in managing their health.
Methods Within the scope of European Commission supported PALANTE project , an online personal health platform is developed for AS patients in Turkey. The platform consists of two main modules: Personal Health Records and Virtual Arthritis Clinical Service. Personal Health Records module allows patients to access their basic health records like allergies, problems, medications, immunizations, lab results etc., which are retrieved from Turkish National Health Information System, namely SaglikNet2. Virtual Arthritis Clinical Service module contains AS disease specific sub modules, some of which are: diary module which allows patients to record their daily status like morning pains etc. and share them with healthcare professionals, messaging module which allows patients to ask questions to their healthcare professionals whenever they want and without getting any appointment, exercise module which allows patients to follow the exercise plan specified by physical therapist, videos module which allows patients to learn how to do exercises correctly.
The developed system has been used by 131 patients and 3 healthcare professionals in Turkey. In order to evaluate the success of the system, a questionnaire was sent to the patients after they used the system for 6 months.
Results Questions are categorized in three groups as communication features, educational features, and informational features. For each group, same set of questions were asked to patients. 70 patients conducted the questionnaire and following responses are retrieved.
Conclusions As it can be seen from the table above, majority of patients reacted positively and want the services to continue. Patients found educational features, which contains videos module that allows patients to do their daily exercises correctly without consulting physical therapist, as the most useful functionality of the system. Furthermore, patients mostly want communication features, which provide direct communication between patients and healthcare professionals, to continue. As a result, an online personal health platform improved AS patients' health and enhanced their effectiveness in managing their health.
Acknowledgements The work presented in this paper is achieved in the scope of PALANTE project  supported by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 297260.
Disclosure of Interest None declared