Introducing STAR!

STAR is the newly upgraded app for tracking your Raynaud’ symptoms. The App was created to help you manage and record your attacks, all whilst contributing to valuable scientific research in just a few simple clicks.

This January, SRUK released the updated and upgraded version of the ‘Raynaud’s ResearchApp,’ renamed STAR (short for Symptom Tracking App for Raynaud’s). Star is the result of 12 months’ hard work in collaboration with the SRUK community and leading rheumatologists researching Raynaud’s, in order to build the best possible next version of our symptom tracking app.

Complete with over 20 trackers, including validated measures such as the ‘Raynaud’s Condition Score’ and many lifestyle trackers such as sleep, caffeine intake and exercise, STAR generates charts and graphs designed to help you spot trends and patterns in your own Raynaud’s and identify the best ways to self-manage your condition.

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There are a limited number of tokens available to the wider SRUK community (following offering early access to those who had trialled the original version of the app), so if you would like to download STAR and begin tracking your Raynaud’s, please click here.  

(Please note that to access the app you will be sent a token code, this is done manually by SRUK.

The STAR App Team are out of office from 6th April 2022 until 20th April 2022, so regrettably no tokens will be issued during this time. Token requests will be processed upon our return.)

The History of the App

STAR originated as ‘The Raynaud’s ResearchApp,’ a concept that came about in 2018 following SRUK’s successful application to Microsoft’s ‘AI for Good’ Fund. The aim was to create a system by which clinical information alongside patient reported data could be collected and stored, facilitating research to further our understanding of the progression of Raynaud’s. During its development, SRUK also recognised the potential utility of the app to help identify any early predictors of scleroderma for the few individuals who experience secondary Raynaud’s, and may go on to develop scleroderma. The Raynaud’s ResearchApp was developed as the tool to gather that information.

SRUK engaged Healthbit, who specialise in health apps, and together the Raynaud’s Research App was released. This initial app was a more basic version of STAR, with only six trackers that focussed on the severity and duration of a person’s Raynaud’s attacks. It was tested by two groups of people with Raynaud’s – those engaged in an existing research study (STRIKE), and a self-selecting cohort of SRUK users in early 2021. We published an article on the insights from the app last year, before winding the study down over the spring.

Developing STAR

Over the following six months, SRUK were working hard behind the scenes to build a new specification for the Raynaud’s ResearchApp. We ran focus groups to talk to previous app users, people with Raynaud’s and researchers, through which we obtained some wonderful insights. With these groups, a draft specification was built, which includes all the new trackers you can use now! As well as tracking the severity of a Raynaud’s attack, we learnt that users felt it was important that they can record various lifestyle factors which they feel may be contributing to their condition. From a research perspective, gaining a well-rounded perspective of the app user is important, so we included the ability to add in medications and any health conditions.

Further to establishing which trackers were most valuable to include, we also investigated how to design the app in a way that would make it as accessible as possible, through reducing the number of trackers that required ‘dragging and dropping,’ and increasing the number that simply needed tapping.

The result is STAR.

The Purpose of STAR

STAR has been built to support both individuals and researchers. For each person with Raynaud’s, STAR is designed to facilitate the self-management of your condition, by helping you track your attacks along with any lifestyle factors that could be influencing their severity.

As part of SRUK’s desire to test out STAR’s capacity to support research, we are pleased to be working with Professor Del Galdo from the University of Leeds who will be using STAR within his existing research study, STRIKE. This is a five-year study, aiming to develop tools which can both assess a person’s risk of being diagnosed with scleroderma, as well as its progression following the diagnosis. STAR will be used to facilitate the day-to-day monitoring of each STRIKE participant’s Raynaud’s symptoms, in order to compare them with values measured in clinic, such as the volume of a person’s digital arteries.

On the day of publication, STAR has collected over 300 data points across all the trackers, with X Raynaud’s attacks being reported. Collectively, this information will offer insights into the condition – allowing you to easily contribute to essential scientific research from your phone!