What we have
have achieved

We have realised the following projects so far

In recent years, the field of rheumatology has developed like few others. The progress in diagnosis and therapy improves the quality of life of patients enormously. With early diagnosis and quickly initiated therapy, the majority of patients can achieve a standstill of the disease and prevent late complications. The previously reduced average life expectancy could be normalised with a good quality of life.

With RheCORD, patients record their data outside or inside the rheumatology practice. Ideally, the recording takes place e.g. 1-2 days before the next practice appointment. The collected data is then sent by the patient to the practice in advance of the appointment in a data-secure way without using an intermediate server via a secure connection. The data can then be transferred to the documentation software in the rheumatology department and then to the practice management system.

You can find further information at

RhePORT is a free medical web portal. It is primarily used for the rapid allocation of appointments for initial rheumatological examinations. It has been running smoothly since 2015. In addition, an easy-to-understand information tool is available for both physicians and patients. It explains all inflammatory rheumatic diseases as well as arthrosis and soft tissue rheumatism. General therapeutic recommendations are also given for each disease.

How does RhePORT work? Anyone can access the WebPortal at www.rheport.de. There is a block for patients with information about rheumatism, a rheumatism questionnaire and a tool for rapid appointment placement, a block for physicians with explanations and a tool for physician rapid appointment placement. In the third block, all users can get an overview of the participating rheumatologists and radiologists.
When requesting an appointment, both primary care providers and potential patients have to register once. In the case of medical practices, only three clicks are required, which will be activated by the administrator after exclusion of non-medical abuse.
For physicians, a short questionnaire is displayed, for patients a somewhat longer questionnaire, from the answers of which an appointment selection at the connected rheumatologists is assigned algorithm-controlled according to calculated urgency preference. An appointment must then be selected and confirmed.
The entire process is pseudonymized for data protection reasons; the appointment confirmation is sent to both doctors and patients with a pseudonym number. The rheumatologists also receive the confirmation with the pseudonym number as well as the questionnaire results.

In addition, a reminder is sent to patients 7 days before the appointment with a request for confirmation or, in the case of a cancellation request, to indicate this with a short click.

RhePORT has been developed as version 1.0 by 4 partners within a partner project funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union. After 2015, members of RHADAR have further developed the WebPortal and together with QINUM GmbH have meanwhile completed version 1.3. The portal also meets the billing requirements of the special services according to TSVG.

In these years, more than 6500 initial rheumatological examination appointments have already been made. More than one third of the patients were diagnosed with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. This makes RhePORT the only purely digital screening program to achieve these numbers. Many other programs with higher staffing levels do not achieve this rate either.
Over 270 physicians and more than 12,000 users have already registered. Despite a narrow catchment area, there are over 320,000 page views.

RHADAR's goal is to integrate this well-functioning system into its overall system of care so that its positive impact can be used even more effectively and diversely.

You can find further information at

RheVITAL has also been a partner project publicly funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Association for the Promotion of Rheumatology e.V., QINUM GmbH and the Halle Medical School (Institute Professor Mau) were the partners. The DeutscheRheuaLiga e.V. was actively involved in the development with three research partners.
What is RheVITAL? It is intended as a complete therapy control and support system in rheumatology. The aim is to improve rheumatological care: Patients and rheumatologists should be facilitated in their task of being able to treat the respective disease. Since chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases require long-term controls, RheVITAL offers the necessary facilitations and improvements and thus promotes a good doctor/patient relationship.
RheVITAL offers an app for patients called "My Rheumatism Helper." In it, the users themselves enter the complaints they can identify, such as parameters, at intervals specified by the treating rheumatologist. These are defined individually for each of 24 rheumatic diseases. Their entries, together with the values documented by the rheumatologist, are processed in a matching system located in the database in such a way that targeted feedbacks are formulated for both sides (rheumatologist and patient). These feedbacks can be pure reminders, but also recommendations for action. This ranges from "Wait and see - development is not worrying" to "Slight worsening - take the medication (NSAIDs) agreed with the practice" to "Contact the rheumatology practice quickly.
The patient and the rheumatologist retain their own authority and decide whether to follow the respective recommendations.
For the rheumatologist, RheVITAL means simple follow-up of control examinations and their results, less administrative work and the certainty that the patient is optimally controlled between the control appointments - he can even stretch out examination appointments more strongly and knows when patients report that there is a medical necessity for it. In addition, he/she knows that the adherence to therapy is increased when using the app.
For the patients it means a certainty that no unnoticed developments, e.g. side effects of medications occur or creeping relapses worsen the disease. Through the advice and recommendations he is trained in his self-empowerment (Selfempowerment).

The contents are defined parameter-exactly regarding their change stages as well as the resulting feedbacks for 24 inflammatory rheumatic diseases. It-technically programmed, these specifications are only for rheumatoid arthritis.

The necessary and motivating training for the use of the app is ready prepared. Also, the first formulations and measures required for approval as a Class II medical device have already been written. A patient:inside website has been programmed:

You can find further information at


Due to the fact that the technical level of production has not yet been reached and the approval process has not yet been initiated, RHADAR does not currently operate RheVITAL. By embedding it into the overall RHADAR system, a considerable synergy with the developments of RheCORD shall be achieved and both systems shall be merged. The goals and possibilities of RheVITAL are to remain in place and be better utilized through the connections to the other RHADAR projects.

Patients can agree to the pseudonymized use of their data in our rheumatology practices for scientific or market-oriented analyses - also for third parties. We treat all data very carefully. Individual data will not be passed on to third parties. In the publication list you will find some of our previous work.


Kleinert S, Schuch F, Rapp P, Ronneberger M, Wendler J, Sternad P, Popp F, Bartz-Bazzanella P, von der Decken C, Karberg K et al:
Radiographic and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis are not routinely distinguished in everyday clinical care: an analysis of real-world data from rheumatology practices.

Rheumatol Int 2023.

Kleinert, S., Burigk, K., Baltrusch, S., Ronneberger, M., Rapp, P., Wendler, J., Schuch, F., Welcker, M., Decken, C. von der, Bartz-Bazzanella, P. and Vorbrüggen, W.
RhePORT – efficiency in terms of human resources and patient selection – proven in everyday practice!

German Rheumatology Congress 2023, 51st Congress of the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh) 

Stefan Kleinert, Rapp, Praxedis, Schuch, Florian, Ronneberger, Monika, Wendler, Joerg, Sternad, Patrizia, Popp, Florian, Bartz-Bazzanella, Peter, Decken, Cay von der, Karberg, Kirsten, Gauler, Georg, Wurth, Patrick, Späthling-Mestekemper, Susanna, Kuhn, Christoph, Vorbrüggen, Wolfgang and Welcker, Martin
Radiographic versus non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis - Also a real-world-classification

German Rheumatology Congress 2023, 51st Congress of the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh) 

Kleinert S, Schuch F, Rapp P, Ronneberger M, Wendler J, Sternad P, Popp F, Bartz-Bazzanella P, von der Decken C, Karberg K et al:
Impairment in cognitive function in patients with axial spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Rheumatol Int 2023, 43(1):89-97. 

Berr K, Tizek L, Schielein MC, Welcker M, Knitza J, Kleinert S, Zink A:
Analyzing web searches for axial spondyloarthritis in Germany: a novel approach to exploring interests and unmet needs.

Rheumatol Int 2023. 

Knitza J, Janousek L, Kluge F, von der Decken CB, Kleinert S, Vorbruggen W, Kleyer A, Simon D, Hueber AJ, Muehlensiepen F et al:
Machine learning-based improvement of an online rheumatology referral and triage system.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2022, 9:954056. 

Graf M, Knitza J, Leipe J, Krusche M, Welcker M, Kuhn S, Mucke J, Hueber AJ, Hornig J, Klemm P et al:
Comparison of physician and artificial intelligence-based symptom checker diagnostic accuracy.

Rheumatol Int 2022, 42(12):2167-2176. 

Welcker M, Muhlensiepen F, Knitza J, Popp F, Aries P:
Digitalization in rheumatological practice.

Rheumatol 2021, 80(9):835-845. 

Knitza J, Mohn J, Bergmann C, Kampylafka E, Hagen M, Bohr D, Morf H, Araujo E, Englbrecht M, Simon D et al:
Accuracy, patient-perceived usability, and acceptance of two symptom checkers (Ada and Rheport) in rheumatology: interim results from a randomized controlled crossover trial.

Arthritis Res Ther 2021, 23(1):112. 

Kleinert S, Rapp P, Schuch F, Ronneberger M, Wendler J, Sternad P, Popp F, Bartz-Bazzanella P, Von der Decken CB, Karberg K et al:
Cognitive Impairment in axial spondyloarthritis? [abstract].

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2021, 80(Suppl 1):1274. 

Kleinert S, Bartz-Bazzanella P, von der Decken C, Knitza J, Witte T, Fekete SP, Konitzny M, Zink A, Gauler G, Wurth P et al:
A Real-World Rheumatology Registry and Research Consortium: The German RheumaDatenRhePort (RHADAR) Registry.

J Med Internet Res 2021, 23(5):e28164. 

Kleinert S:
Data analysis in rheumatology practices : Possibilities, limitations, and results.

Z Rheumatol 2021, 80(9):827-834. 

Englbrecht M, Bartz-Bazzanella P, von der Decken C, Gauler G, Wurth P, Aries P, Karberg K, Kuhn C, Schuch F, Spathling-Mestekemper S et al:
Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Psoriatic Arthritis: Have Numbers Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021, 8:748262. 

Aries P, Welcker M:
Limits of outpatient rheumatology care.

Z Rheumatol 2021, 80(9):846-854. 

Kleinert S, Bartz-Bazzanella P, von der Decken C, Karberg K, Schuch F, Gauler G, Wurth P, Spaethling-Mestekemper S, Kuhn C, Englbrecht M et al:
Chronic Kidney Disease Is Underestimated in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis – Real World Data Gathered from a Network of Rheumatologists [abstract].

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020, 72 (suppl 10).