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Crohn's & Colitis UK and Ampersand Health Partner to Create Innovative App to Help People With Crohn's and Colitis

LONDON, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ampersand Health and Crohn's & Colitis UK today announce a joint initiative to enable people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to take an active role in managing their health. MyIBD Care is an app developed by Ampersand in partnership with Crohn's & Colitis UK, drawing on the expertise of patients and clinicians from King's College Hospital and Barts Health. It helps people manage their Crohn's and Colitis day-to-day, bringing together a personal health record, daily tracking and easy-to-access help and support from Crohn's & Colitis UK. Hospitals that sign up can use the app to manage their patients remotely, improving care quality and reducing unnecessary hospital visits.  

MyIBD Care was designed for patients by patients. It was trialled at King's College Hospital during a surveillance study which ran for 6 months and included 54 people with Crohn's or Colitis. The study demonstrated a positive user experience and a significant 85% of users stated they would prefer to use the app as the primary method of clinical contact for routine check-ups.

MyIBD Care allows people to track medication and symptoms, plus patterns of diet, sleep, exercise and pain. In addition, information from Crohn's & Colitis UK can be accessed quickly and when people need it.

The platform is used by thousands of people with IBD at a growing number of hospitals. It improves communication between people with Crohn's and Colitis and their IBD team, facilitating early medical intervention to improve overall out of hospital care. If a hospital is signed up, contact between patients and their doctors can take place directly through the app, reducing anxiety and making people feel more in control of their condition. This could prove vital during a flare.

MyIBD Care is already having a huge impact. Chris, 40, living in London, diagnosed with Colitis in 2013, says, "Daily tracking how you're feeling, how you're eating, your stress levels, gives a  certain amount of confidence that someone at the hospital is monitoring how you're doing without you having to go into the hospital every two months. I feel that there is an invisible person being a safety net for me. Should my condition deteriorate there is someone watching and they will catch it before it deteriorates too badly."

Video Here: https://vimeo.com/323725321

Ampersand co-developed the platform with leading clinicians at King's College Hospital and Barts Health as a response to the needs of people with IBD such as better communications with their clinical teams, less visits to the hospital and easier access to information . Crohn's & Colitis UK provided access to people living with the conditions early in the development process, meaning the app has been informed by those who need it. They currently provide valuable patient information resources in the app's library and continue to promote the benefits of digital self-management to improve health outcomes to their supporters

Ampersand is working with Crohn's and Colitis UK's local voluntary networks as well as supporting the charity's Walk-IT summer event series.

Dan McLean, Communications Director at Crohn's & Colitis UK said, 'Crohn's and Colitis are fluctuating conditions that can cause considerable distress. By giving people the autonomy to access their own health record, review their own health data and contact their IBD team through MyIBD Care, we are empowering them to take better control of their health. Self-management is an important factor in living well with IBD and this digital offering is accessible, easy to use and can provide comfort and support to people with Crohn's and Colitis.'

Nader Alaghband, CEO of Ampersand Health, said "the traditional model of long-term care doesn't work for patients or for the NHS. Routine F2F appointments rarely reflect clinical need and often cause inconvenience for patients and inefficiency for hospitals. Conversely, collaborative self-management can improve patient experience, quality of life and health and can help the NHS deliver care that is sustainable in the long run. We're delighted to be working with the national charity and the NHS to support more digitally enabled, personalised care for people living with Crohn's or Colitis."

Dr. Gareth Parkes, Consultant in Gastroenterology at Barts Health NHS Trust and Co-founder of Ampersand Health says, "Partnering with Crohn's & Colitis UK is great validation of the evidence-based approach we've taken to developing My IBD Care. We've worked closely with patients and forward-thinking doctors to develop an app that gives patients more control and understanding of their condition. and is the biggest marker of success for the app."

Notes to Editors

About the Disease

Crohn's and Colitis are lifelong conditions of the gut that are painful, debilitating and widely misunderstood. They can affect almost every part body of the body and every aspect of life - from education and work to relationships. As diagnosis is common during teenage years when people are exploring relationships and independence for the first time, they can lead to psychological distress and have a devasting social impact. People living with the conditions face a lifetime of medication and numerous hospital visits.

Like many immune mediated inflammatory conditions, people with Crohn's or Colitis can experience periods of 'remission' when their symptoms are largely under control and 'flare-ups' where they have active symptoms. When people are in a 'flare', they need rapid access to specialist advice. Managing flares early leads to better outcomes such as returning to work or daily activities and avoids costly admission to hospital.

About Crohn's & Colitis UK

Crohn's & Colitis UK is the UK's leading charity for Crohn's and Colitis. Right now, over 300,000 people in the UK are living with a lifelong disease that many people have never heard of. And the real number could be almost double that. Because of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding these disease, thousands of people are suffering in silence. But they are not alone. We're here for everyone affected by Crohn's and Colitis.

We're working to improve diagnosis and treatment, and to fund research into a cure; to raise awareness and to give people hope, comfort and confidence to live freer, fuller lives. 

www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

About Ampersand Health

Ampersand Health is developing the first scientifically-validated digital therapeutic for people with long term inflammatory conditions. It works with other impact focused organisations and subject matter experts to promote improved health and quality of life for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Dermatitis. The company is recognised in the Digital Health Global 100, winner of an HSJ Award, the NHS Ideas Lab and the NHS Hackfest and is part of the Scale Health accelerator programme run by DigitalHealth.London and PWC.

About The App

Ampersand co-developed its platform with clinicians and patients at leading teaching hospitals in the UK. It's apps allow patients with a range of conditions to track and report their behaviours and symptoms, and consume timely, relevant content from expert sources. A patient management & analytics portal that allows hospital teams to view data and manage their patients in a light touch but effective way; and to intervene before their patients' flares become clinical. 

The app is free for patients and can be downloaded from the AppStore (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Google Play: http://bit.do/myibdgoogleplay

App Store: http://bit.do/myibdappstore

For more information, please visit www.ampersand.health

Contact: Rawane Jabara, rawane@ampersandhealth.co.uk,  +44-02071127100