Joint pain assessment scoring tool

The JPAST project tests and develops innovative new tools that permit earlier diagnosis of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) – with the ultimate goal of bringing those tools to market. Innovations introduced by the project include diagnostic and e-health tools and a new risk score: JPAST (Joint Pain Assessment Scoring Tool).


RMDs affect up to 5% of the population in Europe and the number of those afflicted is rising, due to our ageing society. The correct diagnosis of RMDs is often delayed, causing disability and reduced quality of life for individuals, as well as high costs for society. Through earlier interception of the disease, JPAST allows accurate stratification of patients, engagement and education of citizens and healthcare providers, and the implementation of new diagnostic strategies.

EIT jpast


The EIT Health Innovation Project JPAST is jointly led by Karolinska Institutet and Thermo Fisher, which provides both deep scientific knowledge and industrial and business development experience. Validation partners include clinicians and leading scientists/clinicians at Leiden University, University of Birmingham, Uppsala University and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

The project

The aim of JPAST is to accelerate the market introduction of tools that combine use of biomarkers, genetics and e-health to drastically improve early diagnosis of RMDs.

The project includes four main activity blocks:

  • Identifying individuals with joint pain through a web-based self-assessment tool and involving them in the project to allow structured patient work up and early education/awareness.
  • Developing and validating JPAST and the underlying products and services in clinical settings in several European countries.
  • Implementing JPAST in selected laboratories to permit analysis of samples sent in from throughout the region.
  • Using Big Data to achieve faster therapy selection and to identify patients for clinical trials in very early stages of the disease.


JPAST promises to facilitate earlier diagnosis of RMDs. This will mean a better quality of life for patients, who will be able to take more control over their own health and see how different lifestyle choices and treatments could affect the disease’s progression. Society benefits because the costs of prevention are lower than the costs of treatment, and because patients who can better manage their disease will remain productive longer.

Why this is an EIT Health project

This project addresses the EIT Health core goal of promoting active ageing. It also falls into several EIT Health Focus Areas:

  • “Care Pathways”, because early diagnosis allows for preventive measures that can improve the course of RMD.
  • “Behavioural Change”, because it encourages patients to manage their RMD.
  • “Real World Data”, because it employs Big Data.
Maryam Poorafshar
| | Karolinska Institutet
Lars Klareskog
| | Karolinska Institutet