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  1. Aurelie Najm1,2,
  2. Elena Nikiphorou3,
  3. Marie Kostine4,
  4. Christophe Richez4,
  5. John Pauling5,
  6. Axel Finckh6,
  7. Valentin Ritschl7,
  8. Yeliz Prior8,
  9. Petra Balazova9,
  10. Simon Stones10,
  11. Zoltán Szekanecz11,
  12. Annamaria Iagnocco12,
  13. Sofia Ramiro13,
  14. Francisca Sivera14,
  15. Maxime Dougados15,
  16. Loreto Carmona16,
  17. Gerd Rüdiger Burmester17,
  18. Laure Gossec18,
  19. Francis Berenbaum19
  1. 1Nantes University Hospital, Rheumatology, Nantes, France
  2. 2INSERM UMR 1238 University of Medicine Nantes, Nantes, France
  3. 3King’s College London, Rheumatology, London, United Kingdom
  4. 4Bordeaux University Hospital, Rheumatology, Bordeaux, France
  5. 5Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath; and Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, United Kingdom, Bath, United Kingdom
  6. 6Service de Rhumatologie Hôpital Beau-Séjour, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Geneve, Switzerland
  7. 7Medical University of Vienna, Section for Outcomes Research, Vienna, Austria
  8. 8Centre for Health Sciences Research, University of Salford, Salford and Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals, Crewe, United Kingdom
  9. 9EULAR Young PARE, Zurich, Switzerland
  10. 10University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  11. 11University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  12. 12Academic Rheumatology Centre, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy, Torino, Italy
  13. 13Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands
  14. 14Hospital General Universitario de Elda, Elda, Spain
  15. 15Hopital Cochin, Paris, France
  16. 16Instituto de Salud Musculoesquelética, Madrid, Spain
  17. 17Charité University Clinic, Berlin, Germany
  18. 18Sorbonne Université, Pitié Salpétriere Hospital, Paris, France
  19. 19Sorbonne Université, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France


Background In the expanding era of e-health, a wide range of mobile health applications (apps) have become available to enable people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) to better self-manage their health. However, guidance on the development and evaluation of such apps is lacking.

Objectives The objective of this EULAR task force was to establish points to consider (PtC) for the development, evaluation and implementation of apps for self-management of RMDs.

Methods A systematic literature review of app content and development strategies was conducted, followed by a qualitative study with six patients and an online survey of people living with RMDs (n=394). Based on these data and expert opinion, the PtC were formulated in a face-to-face meeting in November 2018 by a multidisciplinary TF panel of experts, including patients, from 10 countries. The level of agreement among the panel in regard to each PtC was established by anonymous online voting.

Results Three overarching principles and 10 PtC were formulated (Table). Out of the 10 PtC, three were related to patient safety (1,5,6), considered as a critical issue by the panel, along with accuracy of information provided by apps. Three were related to relevance of the content and functionalities (2,7,9) and the importance of apps being tailored to the individual needs of people with RMDs. The requirement for transparency around app developers and funding sources (3,4), along with involvement of relevant health professionals were also raised. Ease of app access across ages and abilities was highlighted (8), in addition to considering the cost-benefit of apps from the outset (10). The level of agreement was high (Table).

Conclusion These PtC provide guidance on important aspects that should be considered for the development of new apps, the quality assessment of existing apps, as well as for further development of existing apps. As part of the dissemination phase, these PtC will be shared with a larger group of health professionals, patients and app developers and for wider consensus.

Table 1

The 10 Points to Consider.

Acknowledgement EULAR for funding this project

Disclosure of Interests Aurelie Najm: None declared, Elena Nikiphorou: None declared, Marie Kostine: None declared, Christophe Richez: None declared, John Pauling: None declared, Axel Finckh Grant/research support from: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Inc, Consultant for: AbbVie, A2Bio, Bristol-Myers Squibb, MSD, Roche, Pfizer Inc, and UCB, Valentin Ritschl: None declared, Yeliz Prior: None declared, Petra Balazova: None declared, Simon Stones Consultant for: SS has provided consultancy services to Envision Pharma Group, though this is not related to the contents of this abstract., Speakers bureau: SS has undertaken speaking engagements for Actelion, eyeforpharma, Four Health, Janssen and Roche, though these are not related to the contents of this abstract., Zoltán Szekanecz Grant/research support from: Pfizer, UCB, Consultant for: Pfizer, Abbvie, Roche, Sanofi, Lilly, Novartis, Speakers bureau: Pfizer, Abbvie, Roche, Sanofi, Lilly, Novartis, Annamaria Iagnocco: None declared, Sofia Ramiro Grant/research support from: MSD, Consultant for: AbbVie, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Francisca Sivera: None declared, maxime dougados Grant/research support from: Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, AbbVie, and UCB Pharma, Consultant for: Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, AbbVie, and UCB Pharma, Loreto Carmona Grant/research support from: Abbvie, Actelion, Astellas, BMS, Eisay, Gebro Pharma, Grünenthal, Leo Pharma, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and UCB Pharma, Paid instructor for: Novartis, Gerd Rüdiger Burmester Consultant for: Roche, Sanofi-Genzyme, Speakers bureau: Roche, Sanofi-Genzyme, Laure Gossec Grant/research support from: AbbVie, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Sanofi, and UCB, Consultant for: AbbVie, Biogen, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, and UCB, Consultant for: L Gossec has received honoraria from Celgene as investigator for this study, Francis Berenbaum: None declared

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