What is the METEOR Tool?

METEOR is an on-line tool designed to revolutionise and improve existing treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by allowing rheumatologists to regularly measure and follow disease activity in individual patients while also accessing aggregated data collected by their peers for reference purposes.

Utilising simple web-based software and measurement tools that do not require dedicated time to complete, METEOR aims to:

Encourage rheumatologists to undertake regular monitoring of disease activity

Provide rheumatologists with individual patient follow-up data and integrated data from peers that can be used as a benchmark

Create a central database with collated data from thousands of RA patients


Why is METEOR needed?

Rheumatologists continually make therapeutic decisions to better patient care. Such decisions should ideally be based on individual patient circumstances and long-term monitoring, combined with up-to-date knowledge of changes in the therapy area, available data from medical literature and an impression of how similar patients are treated.

However, to date, individual patient monitoring has not been introduced on an international basis and combining patient data collected by rheumatologists for reference purposes has not been utilised; although some small local initiatives and even country initiatives do exist.

The exciting METEOR initiative will provide the technology required to regularly monitor patients with RA, but will also provide aggregated, anonymous data that can be used as a reference marker among other rheumatologists in a bid to observe or influence behaviour. While using the tool, this central database containing data from thousands of RA patients will be created.


How METEOR will benefit you and your patients?

METEOR is designed to improve patient care by supporting and assisting rheumatologists on a day-to-day and long-term basis.

METEOR aims to:

Capture patient data and record outcomes over time, allowing the visualisation of trends

Help rheumatologists set goals and visually share treatment progress with the patient

Provide a central database that can be used for publications, case studies or general research

Provide anonymous data with no need for informed consent or permission from the institutional review board*

Enhance and simplify rheumatologist-patient relationships


How do I use the tool?

The software itself is designed for ease of use and clinical accuracy, and will specifically meet the needs of clinicians monitoring and treating patients with RA. The software:

Is highly self-explanatory, user-friendly and web-based

Is designed to run on the internet with a very high level of security and confidentiality, but can be installed locally in the hospital or clinical setting

Gives easy access to patient data according to specific demographics or measures

Is free and easy to install

Is simple to use, logical and allows straight forward data input

Provides data in numerical or graphical form

To assist users, installation and software training is available with full online training. Full IT support and helpdesk facilities are also available if required Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 18:30 CET.

METEOR is password protected, ensuring confidentiality and data protection. Patient confidentiality will be ensured using encryption and the tool will comply with data protection legislation. Data cannot be used for publication, research or disclosure without approval from the METEOR Foundation.

Developed by experts: The METEOR Foundation

The METEOR Foundation has been established with the aim of improving the quality of care in patients with RA. Founded and managed by world-renowned rheumatologists, and comprised from several advisory groups, the Foundation aims to promote improvements in rheumatology treatment and patient outcomes through the innovative METEOR(Measurement of Efficacy of Treatment in the ‘Era of Outcome’ in Rheumatology) programme. At the core of the Foundation is the Board, consisting of international opinion leaders in rheumatology, IT experts and financial experts, which is responsible for the creative development, implementation, execution and management of METEOR.

The Executive Scientific Committee acts as the Board’s forum for discussion on strategic and feasibility aspects of METEOR. They are a platform for judging scientific questions raised by researchers who wish to utilise the database, while safeguarding the ethical and scientific aspects of METEOR.

Country Leads are national opinion leaders who are responsible for selecting participating centres and rheumatologists and ensuring their continual support.

National Coordinators are responsible for supporting country leads and liaising with individual participants. They bridge communication between participants and IT providers and between the participants and the central coordinator at the clinical trial centre.

The Reference Group advises the Board with respect to public relations, press and international and national rheumatology societies.


What they say about METEOR

"Following patients’ disease activity and amending treatment accordingly leads to better outcomes and this has been shown unequivocally. Meanwhile, the METEOR database will make such follow up simple."

Josef S. Smolen, Medical University of Vienna and Hietzing Hospital, Vienna

"The METEOR software is very easy to integrate in the hospital IT infrastructure and provides a safe, secure and easy to use system for both the Rheumatology and the IT department."

Karel van Lambalgen, IT Director LUMC, Leiden

"We looked at various privacy and medical research laws in relation to the METEOR tool and because the tool uses anonymous data, these data are collected in the course of regular treatments and therefore in most countries does not trigger any specific legal obligations. However, in a few countries the data transfer requires compliance to certain specific legal obligations, such as the use of an informed consent form*."

Polo G. van der Putt, Solicitor, Lovells LLP, Amsterdam


What about the legal and ethical issues concerning patient data?

How will the data be protected and used internationally?

METEOR is password protected and patient identifying information is encrypted and complies with data protection legislation. Ethical and legal issues have been considered and strategies implemented.


© 2007 The METEOR Foundation, all rights reserved