Smartphones to help deliver care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients

(l to r) Professor Laurence Egan, Gastroenterologist and Head of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at NUI Galway and IBD research nurse Áine Keogh will be on hand at the Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn's Disease Information Day at the Salthill Hotel, Galway 2-5pm to outline the expected benefits of more frequent patient updates via their smartphone.
Oct 16 2013 Posted: 11:19 IST

Those interested in taking part in the App study are invited to the IBD patient open day in Salthill, Galway October 19th 2-5pm

The HRB Clinical Research Facility (CRFG) at NUI Galway is supporting research utilizing smartphones for the care of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Professor Laurence Egan, gastroenterologist at University Hospital Galway and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology/Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist and Head of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at NUI Galway is the Principle Investigator for this research study.

The research aims to assess a new smartphone application or ‘app’ in the care of patients with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) to see if patient care can be improved by using this smartphone application. Patients record their IBD symptoms daily on the ‘app’.

This information is then sent securely to the clinical research team at HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway. The data is reviewed twice weekly by the IBD research nurse Áine Keogh. If patient symptoms deviate from a normal level, this will alert the IBD nurse who will then contact the patient and consult with the medical team to direct the patient’s care appropriately. 

Many patients with Crohn’s and colitis struggle to take the medication. Along with recording symptoms patients can record if they have missed their medication dose. It is hoped that this reminder will help improve medication compliance.

Previous studies have demonstrated that using static telephones to follow up IBD patients improves patient satisfaction with their care. However, the use of smartphones to help deliver more personalised health care has not been tested in a scientific setting. This study will test the technology and explore if patients using a smartphone software application to record their daily symptoms will help prevent flare ups of their condition through close monitoring by clinicians and therefore reduce hospitalizations and improve their health and well being.

It is envisaged that that the use of smartphone technology may also help improve the care of other groups of patients with chronic medical conditions. Patients with asthma, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and depression may benefit from the use of mobile phone technology.

The ‘app’ was designed by Open Brolly ( Scotland in collaboration with an NHS Scotland Highland surgeon, Angus Watson. It is funded through the Implementing Translational Telemedicine Solutions by the Northern Periphery Programme ( in collaboration with the Discipline of General Practice NUI Galway (Monica Casey, Patrick Hayes, Liam Glynn) and the HRB CRFG (Professor Laurence Egan and Aine Keogh).

Recruitment for the study will take place at Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s disease meeting being held on Saturday 19 October 2-5pm at the Salthill Hotel Galway. Further information can be found on

For more information on the study please contact the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway on 091 494281/086 7845554 (


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