Doctors at the University of Manchester are using machine learning to improve treatment options for children and young people with arthritis. Currently, the first-line drug given for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is methotrexate, but it is only effective in half of the patients who receive it. This means that the other half have to wait longer for second-line therapies, prolonging their pain and suffering. The use of machine learning could help identify which patients will respond well to methotrexate and which should explore alternative treatments. The research team accessed data from nationwide cohorts to identify distinct disease patterns and predict treatment response. This groundbreaking study could lead to more targeted and effective treatments for JIA.