Dr Hamann is an academic rheumatologist and is currently an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the University of Bristol and an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow. He completed his PhD in musculoskeletal epidemiology at the University of Bath. Using data from over 14,000 patients, from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register he investigated associations between clinical factors (age, gender, BMI etc.) and long-term response to anti-tumour necrosis factor (a high-cost drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis) and used latent-class mixed models to map trajectories of response to this class of drugs.
His research interests centre on epidemiology and statistical modelling in large datasets to develop predictive algorithms to improve care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. He is also passionate about the use of technology to deliver patient-focused care and the use of real-world and real-time data to make sure patients receive the right treatment at the right time. Dr Hamann conceptualised and developed an award-winning smartphone app and cloud-based software in collaboration with industry partners which allows patients to securely record and report rheumatoid arthritis disease activity using validated patient-reported outcomes which is in currently clinical use in the NHS.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune inflammatory arthritis affecting 0.8% of the UK population. The impact of the disease is estimated to cost the UK £4.8 billion/annum, with estimated costs to the NHS of £560 million/annum. RA is a chronic disease requiring a range of involvement from community to secondary care that varies over time.
The problem with current clinical management of RA is that it is based on infrequent prescheduled hospital appointments, with no monitoring of symptoms between. Thus, when a person with RA is seen they may be in remission and with no change to their treatment or may have experienced a flare-up, during which they did not receive timely treatment or support they needed.
Self-management, patient engagement and empowerment, and better signposting to resources improves health outcomes. Many resources are available, online and within care settings, and people who identify specific goals and empowered to achieve them report better outcomes. Validated questionnaires measure an individual's engagement and disease severity, and can be completed remotely on a regular basis to develop a record of disease activity.
Dr Hamann's research aims to understand how RA disease activity, physical activity and patient motivation changes over time, and how this might allow healthcare interventions (physio therapy, appointments etc.) to be targeted to improve outcomes for people with RA. He also hopes that by making sure that people with RA see the right member of the healthcare team at the right time, better and more efficient healthcare can be provided.