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Disease Management Tracker App Created for Crohn’s Patients

August 15, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), a non-profit organization focused on the cure to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, has introduced an iPhone app that serves as an interactive disease management tracker.

The app, called the GI Buddy, aims to allow users to manage and track all aspects of their disease and construct a comprehensive view of disease impact including: symptoms, treatment, diet, and lifestyle. It is also available online and can provide a report that helps better understand potential factors that may impact their disease. The report, CCFA says, can be shared with the user’s doctor.

 “As the leaders in patient education and support, the CCFA developed GI Buddy with the goal of ultimately improving the patient’s quality of life,” Raymond Cross, M.D., chair of CCFA’s Patient Education Committee and associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, said in a statement. “We live in a mobile society so by creating a tool that fits with people’s lifestyles, we are likely to see better compliance.  We know that effective self management of the disease is essential for good health.”

It’s not the first effort by the CCFA to use technology to help those with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). In the past, the CCFA and the Lebanon, N.H.-based academic research and clinical institution, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have teamed up to create an interactive, web-based decision aid that aims to educate patients on the disease.

To create the web-based decision aid, the CCFA and Dartmouth-Hitchcock recruited Chicago-based patient education software company, Emmi Solutions. Emmi developed a web-based program that includes a 25-minute video, with an overall overview of Crohn’s disease and its long-term complications, as well as the benefits and risks of treatment options. The solution also caters to patients, allowing them to clarify their views, pick out what’s important to them, and choose their preference for treatment.

The latest technology, GI Buddy was created by a team of experts in technology and IBD.

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