Objectives: Ten years ago, the METEOR tool was developed to simulate treatment-to-target and create an international research database. The development of the METEOR tool and database, research opportunities and future perspectives are described.
Methods: The METEOR tool is a free, online, internationally available tool in which daily practice visits of all rheumatoid arthritis patients visiting a rheumatologist can be registered. In the tool, disease characteristics, patient- and physician-reported outcomes and prescribed treatment could be entered. These can be subsequently displayed in powerful graphics, facilitating treatment decisions and patient-physician interactions. An upload facility is also available, by which data from local electronic health record systems or registries can be integrated into the METEOR database. This is currently being actively used in, among other countries, the Netherlands, Portugal and India.
Results: Since an increasing number of hospitals use electronic health record systems, the upload facility is being actively used by an increasing number of sites, enabling them to benefit from the benchmark and research opportunities of METEOR. Enabling a connection between local registries and METEOR is a well established but time-consuming process for which an IT-specialist of METEOR and the local registry are necessary. However, once this process has been finished, data can be uploaded regularly and relatively easily according to a pre-specified format. The METEOR database currently contains data from >39,000 patients and >200,000 visits, from 32 different countries and is ever increasing. Continuous efforts are being undertaken to increase the quality of data in the database.
Conclusions: Since METEOR was founded 10 years ago, many rheumatologists worldwide have used the METEOR tool to follow-up their patients and improve the quality of care they provide to their patients. Combined with uploaded data, this has led to an extensive growth of the database. It now offers a unique opportunity to study daily practice care and to perform research regarding cross-country differences in a large, worldwide setting, which could provide important knowledge about disease and its treatment in different geographic and clinical settings.