Digital treatments platform Wellmind Health has officially launched Pathway through Arthritis, a unique arthritis pain management program developed with the UK’s largest arthritis charity Versus Arthritis, at the HETT Show in London.

The specialised web-based program, a Class I medical device and DTAC compliant, is delivered through Wellmind Health’s NHS-commissioned Digital Treatments as a Service (DTaaS) platform.

It was conceived to help individuals with different forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. By empowering self-management of persistent pain, it aims to reduce the impact of these conditions on daily life.

With over 10 million people in the UK with the condition, the cost of arthritis to society is vast. People with arthritis are 20% less likely to be in work than someone without arthritis, and one third of people with rheumatoid arthritis quit work within five years of diagnosis.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions like arthritis account for one in seven GP consultations. Total annual NHS spend related to arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in England is roughly £5 billion and with an ageing population and rising rates of obesity these figures are expected to grow.

Designed in partnership with Versus Arthritis, the Pathway through Arthritis program teaches participants a new approach to arthritis pain through the practice of clinically employed pain self-management techniques, exercise, lifestyle changes and cognitive approaches led by a multi-disciplinary team of experts.

Reducing anxiety and depression

Health outcomes are measured during and after the program, using clinically recognised self-reporting assessments for Disability (ODI), Health State (EQ VAS), Depression (PHQ-9), Anxiety (GAD-7) and the newly developed Musculoskeletal Health (MSK-HQ). Participants who have trialled the platform have reported overall improvements in health, anxiety and depression.

Zoe Chivers, director of services and influencing at Versus Arthritis, said: “Living with arthritis is not just about ‘having a few aches and pains’. For some, it can have a profound impact on life. Many with the condition are facing long waits for diagnosis, treatment and surgery.

“Without the right support, this can place a huge strain on mental wellbeing. Through our partnership with Wellmind Health, we’re excited to bring people innovative technology and tools that can make a big difference to their lives in managing arthritis, and to support our healthcare services across the country.”

Wellmind Health provides drug-free digital treatments for better mental health and pain management. Clinical-grade digital therapies Be Mindful and Pathway through Pain have been deployed across NHS services for over a decade with full healthcare regulatory compliance.

Programs deliver significant and measurable long-term improved health outcomes, with real-time engagement and clinical outcome reporting delivered through the secure, web-based management portal.

Mark Hunt, CEO of Wellmind Health, said: “It has been excellent to work with the team at Versus Arthritis to develop this specialised pain-management program. With over 10 million people in the UK alone living with arthritis, it is a huge issue for healthcare systems as well as for each individual.

“With no cure at present it is vital we support individuals to self-manage their arthritis conditions, to improve their quality of life and reduce drug over-prescription and the pressure on healthcare services.”

Pain management is a growing area of focus in the digital health sector. In August, PainChek, a regulatory-cleared medical device for pain assessment, reported a 150% year-on-year increase in the number of beds in UK residential care homes using its technology.