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Innovative wellness program for rheumatoid arthritis

Posted by
Donna Finale, Patient Value Unit - Immunology
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at higher risk for cardiovascular and muscle problems. That is why UCB developed the Wellness 4U activity tracker - a pilot programme that encourages healthy behaviours.

Wellness 4U is a comprehensive, web-based health and wellness programme that uses a wearable activity tracker to help promote physical activity and better nutrition for patients diagnosed with moderate to severely active RA.

The initiative is kicking off with a 50-patient pilot programme at two US sites - one in Houston, Texas and the other in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Patients participating in the project wear the Garmin vivofit 2 on their wrist to track their activity. They also participate in an online community via a web-based platform, www.wellness4u.com, throughout the programme.

In addition to self-monitoring their steps and sleep using the activity tracker, patients also receive ongoing education, motivational activity cards, and healthy cooking tips to set goals and ensure successful completion of the 90-day programme.

This innovative project is the first of its kind in RA and is designed to address unmet needs in the doctor’s office.  While physicians regularly remind people with RA about their elevated risk of cardiovascular events and muscle wasting - emphasising the importance of exercise and eating well - patients find it challenging to consistently make healthy choices.

When we learned that people with RA need more support, it inspired us to think of how we could give them the regular feedback they need to help stay well.

This initiative fits with our commitment to find new ways to improve the health and lives of patients in whatever way we can. We hope that the Wellness 4U proves successful and could be extended to more patients when the pilot is complete.