Digital Health Apps in the Clinical Care of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Scoping Review.

Digital Health Apps in the Clinical Care of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Scoping Review.

Publication date: Aug 19, 2019

Digital health is poised to transform health care and redefine personalized health. As Internet and mobile phone usage increases, as technology develops new ways to collect data, and as clinical guidelines change, all areas of medicine face new challenges and opportunities. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of many chronic diseases that may benefit from these advances in digital health. This review intends to lay a foundation for clinicians and technologists to understand future directions and opportunities together.

This review covers mobile health apps that have been used in IBD, how they have fit into a clinical care framework, and the challenges that clinicians and technologists face in approaching future opportunities.

We searched PubMed, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov to identify mobile apps that have been studied and were published in the literature from January 1, 2010, to April 19, 2019. The search terms were (“mobile health” OR “eHealth” OR “digital health” OR “smart phone” OR “mobile app” OR “mobile applications” OR “mHealth” OR “smartphones”) AND (“IBD” OR “Inflammatory bowel disease” OR “Crohn’s Disease” (CD) OR “Ulcerative Colitis” (UC) OR “UC” OR “CD”), followed by further analysis of citations from the results. We searched the Apple iTunes app store to identify a limited selection of commercial apps to include for discussion.

A total of 68 articles met the inclusion criteria. A total of 11 digital health apps were identified in the literature and 4 commercial apps were selected to be described in this review. While most apps have some educational component, the majority of apps focus on eliciting patient-reported outcomes related to disease activity, and a few are for treatment management. Significant benefits have been seen in trials relating to education, quality of life, quality of care, treatment adherence, and medication management. No studies have reported a negative impact on any of the above. There are mixed results in terms of effects on office visits and follow-up.

While studies have shown that digital health can fit into, complement, and improve the standard clinical care of patients with IBD, there is a need for further validation and improvement, from both a clinical and patient perspective. Exploring new research methods, like microrandomized trials, may allow for more implementation of technology and rapid advancement of knowledge. New technologies that can objectively and seamlessly capture remote data, as well as complement the clinical shift from symptom-based to inflammation-based care, will help the clinical and health technology communities to understand the full potential of digital health in the care of IBD and other chronic illnesses.

Yin, A.L., Hachuel, D., Pollak, J.P., Scherl, E.J., and Estrin, D. Digital Health Apps in the Clinical Care of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Scoping Review. 05220. 2019 J Med Internet Res (21):8.

Concepts Keywords
App Store IBD
Bowel Inflammation
Chronic Diseases Medical specialties
Complement Medicine
Digital Clinical medicine
Digital Health Autoimmune diseases
EHealth Health informatics
Inflammation Abdominal pain
Inflammatory Bowel Disease RTT
ITunes Colitis
MHealth Inflammatory bowel disease
Mobile App MHealth
Mobile Health Ulcerative colitis
Mobile Phone Crohn’s disease
Patient Reported Outcomes Cellular telephone
PubMed Smartphones
Scopus Smart phone
Smart Phone
Smartphones
Symptom
Ulcerative Colitis

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH communities
disease MESH inflammation
gene UNIPROT IMPACT
gene UNIPROT MET
gene UNIPROT SLTM
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease DOID Ulcerative Colitis
disease MESH Ulcerative Colitis
gene UNIPROT APP
gene UNIPROT TNFSF13
gene UNIPROT ANP32B
disease MESH chronic diseases
gene UNIPROT ACAD8
disease DOID IBD
gene UNIPROT FANCE
gene UNIPROT ELOVL6
disease DOID face
disease DOID Inflammatory Bowel Disease
disease MESH Inflammatory Bowel Disease
gene UNIPROT CTSB

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