W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD: ArthritisPower Mobile App Identifies MTX-Related Side Effects

W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD, Director, Patient-Centered Research, CreakyJoints, discusses his study, "Patient-Reported Nausea and Fatigue Related to Methotrexate: A Prospective, Self-Controlled Study in the ArthritisPower® Registry.”

Rheumatology Network interviewed W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD, to discuss his study, “Patient-Reported Nausea and Fatigue Related to Methotrexate: A Prospective, Self-Controlled Study in the ArthritisPower® Registry.” Nowell is the Director of Patient-Centered Research at CreakyJoints, part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, and principal investigator of ArthritisPower.

Through use of a smartphone app, the proprietary ArthritisPower Research Registry, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) were able to track their experience of methotrexate (MTX)-related side effects.

“Currently, a gap exists in patient-centric studies that focus on the patient experience with MTX, including beliefs regarding its benefits and behavioral distress and anxiety experienced by patients in anticipation of their upcoming dose,” investigators stated.

During the first phase, patients completed a cross-sectional survey which included questions about symptoms and side effects related to MTX, as well as their personal opinions about medicine. In the second phase, participants discussed current MTX usage and self-assessed any nausea, vomiting, and fatigue that occurred in the hours and days following a dose of MTX via Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®).

A total of 671 patients with RA (n = 528) and PsA (n = 193) completed the first phase of the study. Most patients (61%) experienced adverse effects from the drug, of which 46% reported fatigue.

Results indicate that the ArthritisPower mobile app is an innovative way to identify and analyze a patient’s tolerability of their medication in real time. Further, it demonstrated that patients were willing and able to utilize this platform for research that can lead to further remote patient monitoring, which is especially helpful during this time of social distancing and telehealth.

“The entirely virtual nature of this longitudinal study is promising for future research with RA and PsA patients adopting remote patient monitoring as an essential component of digital health, where out-of-office data capture from patients is critical,” investigators concluded.