New Apps Aid in IBD Monitoring and Patient Education

New Apps Aid in IBD Monitoring and Patient Education

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recently launched My IBD Manager, a new digital app for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.

The app offers tools and features for patients, including a treatment tracker to help monitor dosing, schedules, and supplements; a symptom tracker to monitor pain and progress; and a food log to monitor diet and nutritional intake.

There’s also a journal to let patients record daily fatigue, mood swings, their ability to keep social plans, and their overall quality of life; expert-revised content, including topics such as “pregnancy with IBD”; and a gaming approach that awards patients for consistently using the app.

With My IBD Manager, doctors can monitor automatically generated charts from patient-entered data, allowing them to get a better sense of their patients’ experiences and use that to inform treatment decisions and disease management.

“Understanding and monitoring symptoms is a significant challenge, and people living with IBD are often faced with an over-abundance of resources,” James Lord, MD, PhD, and AGA medical advisor for My IBD Manager, said in a press release.

“Our goal is to support patients in better understanding their IBD symptoms, and in communicating the full scope of their experiences with their healthcare providers,” Lord said. “The patient application couples helpful IBD-related information and resources from AGA with tools that guide patients through monitoring the various ways that IBD may impact their lives.”

The My IBD Manager app will be followed by Ask AGA: IBD, an online clinical platform for healthcare professionals.

For the 1.6 million Americans living with the disease, both My IBD Manager and Ask AGA: IBD will share knowledge and enhance the relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient and simplify the complex process of finding IBD resources.

The platforms aim to provide a one-stop shop for patients to learn more about IBD, monitor their disease and share information with their healthcare provider. The ultimate goal is to improve health outcomes.

Ask AGA: IBD is powered by IBM Watson – a natural language artificial intelligence (AI) technology – and was developed in collaboration with @Point of Care, StayWell and Janssen Biotech.

“Through our decades-long commitment to people living with IBD, we understand the unpredictability and challenges they face on a daily basis, both physically and emotionally,” said Tara Muzsi, director of gastroenterology marketing at Janssen.

“Partnering with the AGA to support the My IBD Manager patient app and Ask AGA: IBD clinician platform, which leverages the latest AI technology coupled with the expertise of the AGA, supports our goal of fostering better patient-physician partnerships and is a natural complement to the therapies we offer to manage inflammatory bowel disease,” she said.

My IBD Manager is free for IBD patients. It is available exclusively in the Apple App Store but it will soon be available for Android devices, as well. AGA members will have access to Ask AGA: IBD through the AGA website.