REMEDY – Center for treatment of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Diseases was established in spring 2022 as a new Center for Clinical Treatment Research. Diakonhjemmet hospital is the host institution and the center has four affiliated partners: Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, Norwegian Rheumatism Association and the MAGIC foundation. The objective of the REMEDY center is to develop excellent treatment and treatment strategies in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases through a broad approach to this field of research.
The research is organized into seven work packages with the following themes: 1) Randomized controlled clinical trials testing various aspects of treatment, including drugs, surgery, treatment strategies, physical activity and approaches to decision support 2) Identification of biomarkers and genetic/epigenetic markers for treatment effect and severity of disease, as well as characterization and stratification of early disease 3) Understanding of pain mechanisms in order to optimize the treatment of pain 4) Development and evaluation of strategies to detect, treat and prevent comorbidity 5) To develop and investigate user-friendliness, effect and cost-effectiveness of personalized digital remote follow-up 6) Evaluating the long-term effect, work participation and health economic consequences of various treatment strategies through linking to national registers 7) Health competence, compliance with treatment and eHealth strategies to strengthen the patient's ability to master their illness. Through these varied approaches, one will ensure the development of comprehensive patient care pathways, and contribute to a modern health care service in the field. User participation will be central in all work packages. The REMEDY center will also coordinate a national network of hospital departments and rehabilitation institutions. The intention is that there should be an equal opportunity to participate in clinical studies regardless of where in the country the patient lives.
In 2022, the organization and collaboration between partners have been established, including recruitment of new personnel. There have been joint events across the center, while each work package has had its own start-up meetings and activities. A clear graphic profile has been developed for the center, digital tools for collaboration have been established, and a website has been launched, www.remedy-senter.no. Funding has been sought for several new major studies, including a number of applications where the evaluation has not yet been completed. In August, REMEDY, as the largest partner in a European consortium, received a large grant from EU to research how existing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis could be better exploited. REMEDY researchers have contributed actively to the dissemination of new research in the field, both to the general public via the mass media, to patients via dedicated events, and to professionals within the field. In June 2022, REMEDY was one of the organizers of Grønn Kongress, an important dissemination arena for the very latest research in rheumatology.
Musculoskeletal diseases are very widespread in the population, and a frequent cause of reduced quality of life, loss of function and reduced work capacity. The results from the research center are expected to have major benefits for individuals and society.
-Background and aim-
Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) affect one in four people and are a heterogeneous group of diseases associated with morbidity, reduced quality of life, increased mortality, and severe long-term pain and disability. The large individual and societal impact of RMDs underlines the need for comprehensive and coordinated actions to improve patient outcomes.
-The REMEDY center-
The proposed center for treatment of RMDs (REMEDY) will have a broad interdisciplinary focus on all aspects of RMDs, from epidemiology, pathogenesis and disease mechanisms to factors that promote health and wellbeing. This will be addressed through seven work packages. The main focus will be high-quality, innovative clinical trials with direct impact on patient treatment, including the establishment of a clinical trial unit. The approach to RMD treatment will be further broadened by the inclusion of translational studies to optimize personalized treatment, targeted studies to better understand and treat pain and comorbidities, innovative approaches to remote monitoring, compilation of large registry studies for assessment of longitudinal health outcomes, and the development and assessment of empowerment-oriented self-management programs. A national clinical consortium of collaborating study centers will be essential for trial conductance, dissemination of knowledge and implementation. National partners and international collaborators will have defined roles in the overall center organization. Funding provided for mobility and a structured approach for research career development will be implemented through the Young Researcher Program.
-Relevance and benefit to patients and society-
The establishment of the REMEDY center will evolve a strong existing research environment, giving researchers the possibility to pursue new ambitious project ideas with significant potential to evolve the management of RMDs.