endorsed by:

Prof. Thomas Hügle

Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland

Prof. Jacob M. van Laar

Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands

Prof. Jutta Richter

Department Rheumatology & Hiller-Research Unit Rheumatology, University Hospital Düsseldorf, Germany

Prof. Didier Hans

Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. Martin Krusche

Dr. Johannes Knitza

University Hospital Erlangen, Germany

Dr. Martin Krusche

Dr. Martin Krusche

Center of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Hamburg (UKE), Germany

Dr. Johannes Knitza

Dr. Latika Gupta

Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust / University of Manchester, United Kingdom


Recorded lectures

If you have joined the 4th Digital Rheumatology Day online or on site you can watch all recorded lectures after the event. Please contact the conference organisation to reveive your password: sina.reis@comeed.ch


FRIDAY I MAY 6 I 17:00 – 19:30

17:00 – 17:10 


Johannes Knitza, Thomas Hügle, Martin Krusche

17:10 – 17:30 

Legislative Outlook of Digital Health Applications

Johannes Fechner, Member of the German Parliament

17:30 – 17:50  

Digital Transformation in Rheumatology

Gerd Burmester. Berlin

17:50 – 18:10   

Clinical impact of a digital behavioral therapy for fibromyalgia management: a randomized controlled trial

Stephanie Catella, San Francisco

18:10 – 18:30  

Smartphone Assisted Patient Initiated Care Safely Reduces Outpatient Clinic Visits in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

Bart Seppen, Amsterdam

18:30 – 18:50   

Improving care and capacity through capturing and recording electronic patient reported outcomes with digital solutions in inflammatory arthritis

Antoni Chan, Reading

18:50 – 19:20   

Discussion round: Quo Vadis Digital Therapeutics?

Randy Horton, Miami-Fort Lauderdale I Saemundur Oddsson, Göteborg I Thomas Hügle, Lausanne I Johannes Knitza, Erlangen I Martin Krusche, Hamburg

– Networking dinner –


SATURDAY I MAY 7 I 08:30 – 15:30

08:30 – 09:30

Workshop I: Optimize your communication via LinkedIn & Twitter I Dr. Thomas Wilckens, Berlin

There is a growing importance of social media for doctors. Platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter provide HCPs with tools to share information, to debate health care policy and practice issues, to promote health behaviors, to engage with the public, and to educate and interact with patients, caregivers, students, and colleagues. In this workshop you will learn the most important tools how to use Twitter and LinkedIn in the most effective way.

Workshop II: My first steps in using artificial intelligence I Lyudmil Pelov, Hamburg & Robin Vaaler, Zurich

– supported by Oracle –

The aim of this workshop is to demystify the term AI by giving you a high level overview of the most used approaches and outline how they can be applied in the medical domain. We will point out some of the common pitfalls and misunderstandings and show you how the first steps of applying AI could look like.

Workshop III: Virtual reallity in Rheumatology I Dr. Philipp Klemm, Giessen

– supported by Eli Lilly SA –

The use of virtual reality enables a disease-specific knowledge visualization and may add a new educational pillar to conventional educational approaches. Get some background knowledge about this new technology and try the devices yourself!

Workshop VI: BerlinCaseViewer I Prof. Kay-Geert Hermann, Berlin

In the field of rheumatology, we are confronted with complex cases every day. Learn with BerlinCaseViewer about a modern imaging of rheumatic diseases. The app offers a unique learning experience based on genuine cases with authentic medical image data sets directly on your device. 

09:40 – 10:00

Presentation winner of the „Digital Rheumatolology Research Award“


Session I: Apps and Digital Therapies (DTX)

chairs: Thomas Hügle and Johannes Knitza 

10:00 – 10:20

The importance of user experience in the development of digital therapeutics

Marc Blanchard, Lausanne

10:20 – 10:40

Mobile Responsive App-A Useful Additional Tool for Data Collection in the German Pregnancy Register Rhekiss

Jutta Richter, Düsseldorf

10:40 – 11:00

App-enhanced therapy for patients with inflammatory arthritis – first results from a pilot study

Jan Leipe, Mannheim

– coffee break

Session II: Telemedicine & Wearables

chairs: Latika Gupta and Martin Krusche

11:30 – 11:50

Virtual and augmented reality to enhance patient communication

Philipp Klemm, Giessen

11:50 – 12:10

Specifity and Sensitivity of virtual video consultations

Matteo Piga, Cagliari

12:10 – 12:30

Overcoming barriers using telemedicine, the case for myosits

Rohit Aggarwal, Utah 

12:30 – 12:50 

Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behavior using wearable devices in patients with axial spondyloarthritis

Julie Soulard, Quebec

– Networking Lunch

Session III: AI & Self-Learning Systems

chairs: Jutta Richter and Thomas Hügle

13:30 – 13:50

AI in Rheumatology- Hype or Hope

Koray Tascilar, Erlangen

13:50 – 14:10

Machine to differentiate between RA /PsA and PsO based on MRI data

David Simon, Erlangen

14:10 – 14:30

Potential of AI-based conversational agents (chatbots) 

Alexandra Lehmann, Bayreuth

14:30 –  14:50

Development and Validation of an Artificial Intelligence Approach for the Detection of Radiographic Sacroiliitis

Fabian Proft, Berlin

14:50 – 15:20

Session IV: Pitching Event for New Digital Solutions 

chair: Johannes Knitza

Presentations of the 3min elevator pitch videos submitted by providers and developers of digital care solutions that (could) improve quality of care in rheumatology

Discussion & winner voting

15:20 – 15:30 Farewell


Invited Faculty 


Prof. Matteo Piga

University of Cagliari

Cagliari, Italy


Matteo Piga, MD, is an associate professor in Rheumatology . He was with the Lupus Unit of St. Thomas’s Hospital, London (U.K.), as an Honorary Research Fellow, between 2007 and 2008, and in 2011 he has joined the University of Cagliari (Italy). His major research interests include developing tools for the assessment of organ damage and disease activity in rheumatic diseases, especially in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Behçet’s disease, and implementing telemedicine and musculoskeletal ultrasound in diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. He has also contributed to more than 100 publications in the field of rheumatic diseases.

Dr. Julie Soulard

 Interdisciplinar Research Center on Rehabilitation, Montreal, Canada


Julie Soulard is a French physiotherapist, who is particularly involved in research on gait analysis with wearable sensors. She combines clinical and research activities, associated to teaching for physiotherapy and medical students. She defended her PhD on gait and axial apondyloarthritis in February 2021. She is now conducting a post doctoral internship 2022 in the Interdisciplinar Research Center on Rehabilitation in Montréal.

Matteo Caorsi

Dr. Antoni Chan

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and
Spire Dunedin Hospital, Reading, United Kingdom


Antoni Chan is a Consultant Rheumatologist and Associate Medical Director at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. He did his PhD in immunology Oxford. He is the Trust and Berkshire West ICP clinical lead for Outpatient Transformation. He is Clinical Lead for the Spondyloarthritis service in his Trust. He is a Visiting Fellow of the Henley Business School, University of Reading. He was awarded the British Society for Rheumatology Best Practice Award for setting up the Integrated Pain Assessment and Spinal Service (IPASS). His team won the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) Aspiring to Excellence Award. He received the Patient Choice Award for Best Care by a Rheumatologist from NASS in the Houses of Parliament. He is Trustee and Medical Advisory Board Member of NASS.  He is a full member of ASAS and Primary Investigator for clinical trials in his department.

Bart Seppen

Bart Seppen

Reade, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Bart Seppen is a medical graduate student at Reade Rheumatology in Amsterdam. Together with Wouter Bos, Jim Wiegel and Brightfish B.V. he is working on the development of the MijnReuma Reade app  and its integration into daily clinical practice. His research focusses on the implementation of this app and the adherence to eHealth interventions in rheumatology.

Dr. Stephanie Catella

Bay Area Trauma Recovery Clinic, San Francisco, USA


Dr. Stephanie Catella is a clinical lead and consultant to innovative healthcare and tech companies, creating evidence-based therapy programs and helping bridge technology with healthcare. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she provides cutting edge, transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to those suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and other chronic medical illnesses. Dr. Catella completed her post-doctoral residency in behavioral health at the San Francisco VA and a research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Fabian Proft

Universitätsklinikum Charité, Berlin, Germany


Fabian Proft (MD) is a rheumatologist working at the Charité University Hospital Berlin in Germany. He has received his medical degree at Munich University, where he also started his medical training and later on rheumatological specialization. Since 2016 he is working in the Department of Prof. Denis Poddubnyy at Charité Berlin at an dedicated ASAS center as senior researcher and Head of the Clinical Trials Unit. His main research topics are axial Spondyloarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis with a strong focus on randomized controlled trials, digitalization, outcome measures and imaging. He published numerous research articles, reviews and book chapters focusing on Spondyloarthritis. Recently, one of his scientific focusses lies on early detection of Spondyloarthritis by patient centered digital applications and the use of artificial intelligence for imaging assessment in patients with suspicion of axial Spondyloarthritis. He is an active member of ASAS and GRAPPA and he is part of the EMEUNET Education subgroup. Furthermore, he is the chair of Young-GRAPPA 2021-2024 and one of the Young-ASAS leaders 2021-2023.

Matteo Caorsi

Prof. Kay-Geert Hermann

Universitätsklinikum Charité
Berlin, Germany

Bart Seppen

Alexandra Lehmann, M.Sc.

Universität Bayreuth, Germany


Alexandra Lehmann is a research associate at the department of Health Economics at the University of Bayreuth. During her studies, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Michigan and was co-organizer of a conference on Global Health in Johannesburg. She also worked in the medical technology industry for several years and has completed various internships in the healthcare industry. In her spare time, she volunteers as an active member of the working group for Health Economics and Management of the German Society for Integrated Care and Hashtag Health

Marc Blanchard

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Marc Blanchard is a life-science PhD student in the Rheumatology department of the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). His thesis, which started in February 2021 and is directed by Prof. Thomas Hügle, aims to develop a digital therapeutic solution for patients suffering from post-COVID19 syndrome. So far, his work has been mostly focused on the technical aspects required to develop a reliable therapeutic software as well as on User Experience (UX) research and User Interface (UI) development. The next step consists of a clinical assessment of the efficacy of the software and its therapeutic content.

Dr. David Simon

Dr. Jan Leipe

University Clinic Mannheim, Germany


Jan Leipe, MD, is a specialist in internal medicine and rheumatology. He is Head of the Division of Rheumatology at the University Clinic Mannheim, and an immunologist of the German Society for Immunology

Sandra Hauser-Ulrich

Dr. Johannes Fechner

German Parliament, Berlin, Germany


Johannes Fechner (b. 1972 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) is a German lawyer and Member of the German Bundestag (SPD) since 2013 for the electoral constituency Emmendingen-Lahr. After his studies of law at Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (1993-1998), he attained a doctorate degree in law (2001). He has been working as a lawyer in Emmendingen ever since. From 2014 to 2021 he served as the spokesperson on legal affairs of the SPD parliamentary group. After the 2021 elections, he took part in the negotiations to form the “traffic light” coalition. Johannes Fechner was elected in December 2021 as a parliamentary manager, the legal adviser and the spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group for the scrutiny of elections, immunity and the rules of procedure. He is a sports aficionado and a proud player of FC Bundestag.

Dr. Philipp Klemm

Kerckhoff Klinik, Giessen, Germany


Dr. Philipp Klemm is a rheumatologist at Kerckhoff Klinik and Justus-Liebig-Univeristy Gießen. In his research he focusses on digitalization, mainly he is invested into augmented and virtual reality and how it can change patient communication. He thinks that the gap to close lacking adherence is a different approach with the patient using digitalisation and making the patient understand what rheumatic diseases can cause and what they mean for the individual.

Dr. Saemundur Oddsson

Sidekick Health, Göteborg, Sweden


Dr. Sam Oddsson is Sidekick’s co-founder and chief medical officer. Oddsson practiced internal medicine for several years at Northern Europe’s largest teaching hospital, Sweden’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Sam is also an accomplished researcher and author of several peer-reviewed articles in the areas of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease. He is a member of the Swedish Society of Cardiology.

Prof. Gerd Burmester 

Universitätsklinikum Charité, Berlin, Germany


Gerd R. Burmester, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Rheumatology and Senior Professor in the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität und Humboldt-Universität Berlin.

Professor Burmester earned his medical degree from Hannover Medical School and completed a residency at the Medical School of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York and was a visiting scholar at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.


Professor Burmester is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Jan van Breemen Medal of the Dutch Society of Rheumatology and the Carol-Nachman Price for Rheumatology.  He serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Rheumatology and Clinical Rheumatology, and he is the Associate Editor of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, official journal of EULAR. The author himself of more than 900 original and review articles, Professor Burmester’s research interests include rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme borreliosis, immunotherapy, cellular activation mechanisms in inflammatory joint diseases, and tissue engineering. Professor Burmester served as President of the German Society of Rheumatology from 2001-2002. He was a Member of the Executive Committee of the European League against Rheumatism from 2003-2006 acting as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Investigative Rheumatology and became an honorary member of EULAR in 2006. From 2011 – 2013 he served as Treasurer of EULAR, and he was elected President Elect of EULAR in 2013. From 2015 – 2017 he was President of EULAR and served as Immediate Past President of EULAR until 2019. Since 2017 he is President of the Board of Trustees, FOREUM Foundation for Research in Rheumatology. In 2019 he became Master of the American College of Rheumatology.

Sandra Hauser-Ulrich

Randy Horton

Orthogonal, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, USA


Randy Horton is VP of Solutions and Partnerships at Orthogonal, a software development consulting firm. Orthogonal helps MedTech firms improve patient outcomes faster by accelerating their development pipelines for Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), digital therapeutics (DTx) and connected medical device systems.

Randy Horton is passionate about helping established organizations break through to their “what’s next” by building new capabilities and launching new products and services that are both innovative and successful. Much of his career has focused on using digital health to tackle The Quadruple Aim: 1) Improving the individual experience of care, 2) Improving the health of populations, 3) Reducing the per capita costs of care, and 4) Improving the work life of those who deliver care.


Horton currently serves as cochair of the following AAMI standards efforts:

  • AAMISoftware Management Working Group (SM-WG) 10 – Cloud Computing
  • AAMI CR:510(2021): Consensus Report on the Appropriate Use of Public Cloud Computing for Quality Systems and Medical Devices
  • AAMITechnical Information Report (TIR) #115, which is advancing the work first published in AMI CR:510(2021)

Horton earned a BA in History from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and was in the first graduating class of Masters students from the University of Michigan’s School of Information.


Randy credits much of his passion for creative business thinking and being a connector of people and ideas to his formative time at a Montessori pre-school.

l-being of our patients.

Dr. David Simon

Dr. David Simon 

University Hospital Erlangen, Germany 


Dr. David Simon is a Senior Clinician Scientist with extensive experience in clinical and imaging research. His particular scientific focus lies on early arthritis detection, innovative imaging, and conducting clinical trials. He is Principal Investigator of several studies and recipient of various awards such as the Else Kröner-Memorial Scholarship 2019 (Else Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung), the Ideenwettbewerb 2019 (Deutsche Rheumastiftung), the Wissenschaftspreis 2020, Wissenschaftspreis 2021  (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Junge Rheumatologie – rheumadocs, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie e.V. (DGRh)) or the Carol-Nachman-Nachwuchs-Forschungspreis 2021 (Deutsche Rheumastiftung). Dr. David Simon has published more than 80 scientific papers in prestigious international journals (e.g. Nature, Nature Communications, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis & Rheumatology, etc.).

Prof. Rohit Aggarwal

University of Utah / University of Pittsburgh, USA


Dr. Aggarwal is a professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh and medical director of Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is the co-Director of UPMC Myositis Center. His research and clinical areas of interest are clinical and translational research in inflammatory muscle diseases (myositis) and associated interstitial lung disease. He is the past-chair of the medical advisory board of The Myositis Association (TMA) as well as past-chair of the scientific committee of IMACS, which are the largest patient and physician groups working in the field of myositis, respectively.


Dr. Aggarwal is an established independent clinical investigator with significant funding

from NIH, foundations and industry and currently leading several collaborations

internationally with other key leaders in the world. He has maintained an extremely high

publication record and received national and international recognition of his work. He

continues to be a leader in disease criteria and outcomes measures in myositis as well as in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for myositis. He is currently the principal

investigator or member of the steering committee for several international phase 2/3

clinical trials in the area of myositis and associated ILD. Dr. Aggarwal is also mentoring

future generation of rheumatologist with great success and attracting younger

rheumatologist towards myositis research for the advancement of the field. Dr. Aggarwal lectures at various international conferences and promotes patient education through his YouTube channel.

Robin Vaaler

Oracle, Zürich, Switzerland


Robin Vaaler is a senior researcher at Oracle Labs. He received his Msc in computer science at ETH Zurich and has broad expertise in machine learning and deep learning. At Oracle Labs, his research is focused on applied machine learning. He works on integrating recent progress in the fields of Deep Learning, AutoML, and GraphML into software tools and products. His personal mission is to empower organizations, scientists, and developers to successfully deploy AI in the real world. Throughout his career he has been involved in multiple AI projects in the medical domain.

Pelov Lyudmil 

Oracle, Hamburg, Germany


Lyudmil Pelov is Senior Principal Product Manager for the AI and Data Science Platform in Oracle Cloud, which is evolving to become the common AI/ML platform for enterprise customers, cognitive AI services, and machine learning use cases in the Oracle Cloud. Lyudmil joined Oracle during the BEA acquisition in 2007 and has gained extensive experience building and leading successful engineering projects delivering highly scalable cloud-based and on-premises solutions across a variety of domains.

Dr. Koray Tascilar

University Hospital Erlangen, Germany


Koray Tascilar is a rheumatologist currently working as a clinical research scientist in Universitätsklinikum Erlangen with a focus on clinical study design and data analysis.

Sponsors & Partners 2022

Main Sponsor:.

Further Sponsors:


endorsed by:

Rheuma Schweiz

endorsed by:

Rheuma Schweiz

General Information


H4 Hotel Alexanderplatz

Karl-Liebknecht- Strasse 32

10178 Berlin, Germany

Floor Plan


Who should attend?

The Digital Rheumatology Day connects leading experts from a wide variety of disciplines like physicians (Rheumatologists, Radiologists, Rehabilitation, Internal Medicine, Immunologists), patients, pharma and MedTech industry, Health IT companies, associations, consultants and academia as well as research centers to discover new innovative practices.


The meeting will be held in English.


8 CME credits from credits Swiss Society of Allergologie and Immunology (SSAI)

8 CME credits from Swiss Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (SGPMR)

8 CME credits from Swiss Society of Rheumatology (SRG)



Comeed – Medical Conferences, Meetings & Education        Sina Reis-Balikcioglu

sina.reis@comeed.ch    www.comeed.ch


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