Arthritis is a debilitating disease that involves the inflammation of the joints. This disease affects over 4 million Canadians and has no age boundaries; most people with this disease suffer excruciating pain and a diminished quality of life. Currently, there is no cure for arthritis and it can only be temporarily treated by medication, joint replacement and physiotherapy. The UHN Arthritis Program was developed by a dedicated group of doctors and researchers with a vision to focus on prevention, patient care and delivery of treatment. The Arthritis Program at UHN treats over 80,000 outpatients a year and is striving to find a cure and to develop a world-leading centre that can prevent and effectively treat this disease. In working side-by-side with the TECHNA Institute, the UHN Arthritis Program is continually developing new technological advancements to help find a cure for this wide-spread disease.
TECHNA, in working with the Arthritis Program, has collaborated with several groups within UHN in order to provide practitioners with the best technology and tools to help treat and enhance quality of care for patients diagnosed with arthritis. Specifically, in partnership with the Divisions of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology, TECHNA’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) core has helped to develop a software platform for capturing and managing data related to arthritis research. In using DADOS, researchers can develop complex studies and registries that can help better understand disease symptoms, its progression over time, as well as factors affecting overall treatment and disease management. The DADOS platform provides simple interfaces, such as a web-based portal and electronic document scanning, to streamline and automate the process of collecting data, thereby optimizing data entry into a centralized on-line database. The data gathered using the DADOS platform will be used in a multitude of research studies focused on better understanding arthritis, so that the quality of care for the arthritis population can be drastically improved.
TECHNA is also involved in other projects geared towards improving the treatment practices and management of arthritis. The Guided Therapeutics (GTx) core is currently developing novel techniques to improve surgical outcomes, along with harnessing new imaging modalities to improve visibility during surgery. In continuing to collaborate with UHN’s world-class physicians and researchers, TECHNA is devoted in helping to find a cure for arthritis.