With thousands of mobile health apps now readily available, the pharmaceutical industry is just one of many who are using mobile technology to do their bidding. Janssen Biotech recently released the app Gut Check for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This free app, that can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store, was designed to improve the communication between patients who suffer from IBD and health professionals. Users must signup to begin putting their information into the app and health professionals must signup to view the information their patients have inputted.
Users can use the app to track a variety of different information including bathroom trips, bleeding medications, diet, exercise, sleep and pain just to name a few. All of the information is entered on the Tracker Entry page and allows users to rate their symptoms and activities on a 5 level scale.
The app automatically takes all data entered and creates charts to make the information easier to see and track over time. Once entered, the information is added to the Health Tracker graph and then sent over to the user’s physician for review. The doctor has the information they need to make comparisons of the patient’s data. They can compare their daily activity or even compare them to other patients. However, this app acts as more than just a tracker — it also offers informative tips and information for those managing IBD. The built-in calendar syncs with the user’s phone to help them keep track of their doctor’s appointment.
The built-in GPS tracker makes sure that users can locate a bathroom wherever they are and even provides user ratings. IBD symptoms can strike at any time so the bathroom feature could prove to be big. Bi-weekly surveys are available which help users as well as their doctors keep up with their progress over time. Users can also unleash their competitive side while using the app by earning tokens and seeing where they rank among others. Gut check is specifically geared towards users suffering from IBD but it could be beneficial to caregivers, parents of children suffering from IBD and even those experiencing problems who have not yet been diagnosed.
Early detection of flares is important in the treatment of IBD. Providing detailed progress reports could potentially be utilized to intervene before an IBD flare becomes too bad. The Gut Check app could be an effective tracker for those suffering from IBD thanks to its list of features, but perhaps even more notable it stresses the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and reminds us that communication is key.