May 20 is World Autoimmune Arthritis Day. The goal of this event is to raise awareness about autoimmune and autoinflammatory illnesses that many people with various types of arthritis suffer from. This event has been organized by The International Foundation for Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Arthritis since 2012 (FirstPost, 2020).
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
This autoimmune and inflammatory disease entails your immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells. This causes painful inflammation in those parts of the body (CDC, 2020).
“RA mainly attacks the joints, usually many joints at once. RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness).
RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes (CDC,2020).”
People with rheumatoid arthritis are immunocompromised which causes them to have a higher chance of getting infected with Covid-19 and other infections (Nazario, 2021). Individuals with this disease when it is active are also more likely to get seriously ill and need to go the emergency room. Medication for these illnesses are known as immunosuppressants which can cause patients to be more vulnerable to infections and viruses. “Experts note that clinicians need to exercise more caution with these patients (Rao, 2020).
Telehealth has been a great asset for health care professionals to better service people with these diseases. Due to Covid-19 many patients had to have virtual appointments due to many doctors not offering in person appointments. A Canadian survey done with individuals that have a rheumatic disease found that “71 percent of respondents were satisfied with their online consultation. This suggests that the majority of people were comfortable with remote care for conditions like RA” (Healthline, 2021). A study of indigenous people in Alaska with rheumatoid arthritis stated that they found no difference in quality of care using digital health compared to an in-person appointment.
Porton Health is developing the new MeetApp which can be used to meet doctors for checkups and diagnosis. We update our products frequently to provide the best service for our clients and their patients. Patients can use our secure video conferencing software that requires only an Internet-connected computer and a webcam. To learn more about how to implement telehealth properly or how Porton Health’s virtual care system works, email as at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDC. (2020, July 27). Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/rheumatoid-arthritis.html.
FirstPost. (2020, May 20). World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2020: All you need to know about autoimmune arthritis diseases-Health News , Firstpost. Firstpost. https://www.firstpost.com/health/world-autoimmune-arthritis-day-2020-all-you-need-to-know-about-autoimmune-arthritis-diseases-8386551.html#:~:text=On%20May%2020%20every%20year,arthritis%20as%20a%20major%20component.
Healthline. (2021, February 3). What to Expect During a Telehealth Visit for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/what-to-expect-during-telehealth-visits#effectiveness.
Nazario, B. (2021, April 19). Coronavirus and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Need To Know About COVID-19. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/covid-19-rheumatoid-arthritis#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20rheumatoid%20arthritis,also%20make%20infections%20more%20likely.
Rao, M. (2020, March 25). Expert Advice on Coronavirus Risk in Immunocompromised Patients With Rheumatic Diseases. Rheumatology Advisor. https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/general-rheumatology/risk-for-coronavirus-in-immunocompromised-patients-with-rheumatic-diseases-q-a/.