Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) affects around 120,000 people in the UK. People who suffer from the condition often face a long journey from diagnosis to treatment.

Many patients find official NHS guidelines difficult to understand, making it hard for them to be their own best advocates. Novartis commissioned Edelman to help patients manage their condition and understand their treatment pathway.

Even following correct diagnosis, patients often feel that they do not have clarity on their treatment pathway. In fact, some AS patients intentionally delay treatment, not realising the sooner they start treatment, the quicker they can slow the progression of the disease.

Strategy & Execution

To help patients make informed decisions, it was important that we presented information about AS in a way that was accessible, understandable and actionable.

We created an interactive digital tool called Your AS Journey which was hosted on the website of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS).

The tool brings the NICE guidelines to life as patients can click through their entire treatment path, stage by stage.

The interface is easy to use. There are detailed plain-English descriptions of symptoms, diagnostic tests the patient should expect self-help tips, treatment options and video interviews with HCPs and patients providing their perspectives and advice at each stage of the treatment journey. There are also links to other sources of information.

Business Outcome

In the first 2 months since launch 4,855 people have visited the site and the videos have been watched a total of 4,485 times. While the campaign is still ongoing, initial feedback from patients and clinicians has been highly positive.