Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are known to be at higher risk for cardiovascular and muscle problems. In this context, Belgian pharmaceutical giant UCB has developed the Wellness 4U health and wellness program to encourage healthy behaviors.
Wellness 4U provides an engaging and rewarding experience as it guides participants on a path to healthier lifestyle decisions for people living with immunological disorders. It includes the Wellness 4U Activity Tracker, a project on health outcomes being jointly conducted with the IBD Support Foundation. The Activity Tracker is a pilot program that offers RA patients being treated with Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) a Garmin Vivifit 2 device to monitor their daily steps and patterns of sleep.
Patients taking part in the program have full access to the Wellness 4U online community platform, which gives its users tracking capabilities based on their daily activities, and offers healthy lifestyle tips and information as well.
“Patients with immunologic disorders are often at higher risk for other conditions such as cardiovascular events. Leading an active and healthy lifestyle may help to prevent this, but patients often aren’t sure where to start,” Prashanth Sunkureddi of Houston-based Clear Lake Rheumatology said in a news release. “Initiatives like Wellness 4U can be critical in empowering patients to have meaningful discussions with their physicians about their lifestyles and improving long-term health outcomes beyond their treatment plans alone.”
Sunkureddi added: “By tracking physical activity and sleeping habits through the Wellness 4U Activity Tracker — the first program of its kind for people with RA — patients can work with their physicians to track their progress and ultimately take an active role in their own wellness journey.”
The Wellness 4U Activity Tracker initiative kicked off with pilot programs in Houston and Los Angeles as well as Charlotte, N.C., and Louisville, Ky., with about 50 patients enrolled to date.
“At UCB, we aim to deliver the highest value for patients, including providing sustainable, positive outcomes for those living with immunologic disorders through our Wellness 4U initiatives this year and beyond,” said Todd Edwards, UCB’s vice-president and head of U.S. immunology. “Providing patients with support means more than just therapeutic intervention. We are proud that we’ve been able to create Wellness 4U to equip patients and their healthcare team with tools to address mental, physical and social unmet needs.”