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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 363

Digital health in rheumatology

1 Department of Rheumatology, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK
2 Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission17-Nov-2022
Date of Acceptance22-Nov-2022
Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sakir Ahmed
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/injr.injr_196_22

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How to cite this article:
Wincup C, Ahmed S. Digital health in rheumatology. Indian J Rheumatol 2022;17, Suppl S3:363

How to cite this URL:
Wincup C, Ahmed S. Digital health in rheumatology. Indian J Rheumatol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 8];17, Suppl S3:363. Available from:

It has been a great pleasure to edit this special edition of the Indian Journal of Rheumatology. The level of insight provided by the authors in the emerging field of digital medicine has been enthralling as well as inspiring. Everyone knows that the future is digital. However, digital medicine today encompasses much more than was dreamt of two decades ago. While telemedicine evolved from a science fiction concept, precision medicine has evolved from the concept of personalized medicine. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to the emergence of fields such as computer vision and AI diagnosis. Computer vision refers to AI pattern recognition that helps diagnose radiographs, computerized tomography, as well as dermatological diagnoses. The overview of digital health in rheumatology is expertly provided by both Dr. Benlidayi and Dr. Ung and Prof. Grainger in their manuscripts, whereas a review by Drs. Kataria and Ravindran provided an excellent overview of the role of digital health care in relation to Indian rheumatology. The wider use of this technology in health systems is provided by Drs. Mohanty and Pattnaik.

Point-of-care testing devices along with the local “Internet of things” will revolutionize patient monitoring, diagnosis, and prognostication. Along with the digital revolution, there needs to be an advancement in point-of-care diagnoses such as microfluidic devices, chip-on-paper devices, and accurate but cost-effective sequencing systems. The review by MacBrayne et al. highlights the growing use of technology being used for remote monitoring in the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and Mago et al. show how this technology is revolutionizing care in patients with inflammatory myopathies.

The COVID-19 pandemic had led to a dramatic expansion of sequencing platforms across the world and particularly in India. In India, the cost of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was reduced by 95% over the first 18 months of the pandemic along with the nationwide capacity building of the laboratories. This may be regarded as a sign of the potential emerging economies may have in heralding the era of digital medicine. Thus, this collection in the Indian Journal of Rheumatology is a very timely piece.

Keerti summarizes the opinion of lupus patients to newly initiated virtual consultations in response to the pandemic, whereas Kumar et al. report on vaccine hesitancy and attitudes toward immunization in patients with lupus generated from a telephone survey. Drs Gupta and Gupta provide examples supporting the use of telemedicine in the remote assessment of patients with dermatomyositis. The role of virtual platforms to deliver remote physiotherapy care during the pandemic is also highlighted by Dr. Benlidayi. In addition, Drs. Yeoh and Madenidou provide an overview of how telemedicine played a key role in the delivery of not only patient care but also medical education and clinical research while social distancing had changed daily practice. Furthermore, Drs. Yadaz and Goel appraised the challenges of digital medicine in the context of an aging population as a response to the pandemic. With the growth of these new technologies, Drs. Samanta and Mishra look to the future for what digital health could mean for the future of rheumatology in years to come.

We hope that the reader enjoys reading this supplement as much as we have learnt while compiling it.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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