The earlier you treat RA the better the outcomes.
The goal of RA treatment is remission, a state where disease activity is gone or very low.
Over the years, an overwhelming amount of clinical data has emerged adding urgency to early RA diagnosis and treatment which can stop crippling joint damage before it starts, or in its very early stages. Today, rheumatologists are treating as early as possible and have shortened the timeframe for treatment response before they move to more aggressive approaches to get patients into disease remission. “Treating to Target” within the “Window of Opportunity” has become a high clinical priority.
Educating patients and the primary healthcare community about this priority is important because RA is not simply normal joint pain from aging, or a result of misuse or overuse of our joints, but an autoimmune disease for which treatment is available.
Reducing the time to patient referral to a rheumatologist for the initiation of appropriate treatment is critical to preventing permanent joint changes and disability. Because RA is an autoimmune disease that can affect body systems other than the joints, treating early also prevents the consequences of long-term inflammation on the heart, lungs, skin and other organs.
JOINTstat® is becoming an increasingly important part of helping identify RA patients with early disease for referral to a rheumatologist and providing biological-level information to assist with patient management along the disease course to improve patient outcomes.