UK Crohn’s Group Digital Innovation Stands Out!

From a ‘talking toolkit’ to personalise conversations about Crohn’s disease, to an app simulating app reviews, and a library of recommended apps – the patient group Crohn’s and Colitis UK stands out.

Finding what to say

The strength of digital is to customise and personalise materials. The patient group Crohn’s and Colitis UK do this well in their ‘Talking toolkit’. By answering five questions about who you want to talk to, about what, with what aim, you receive tailored tips on handling conversations about the conditions.

The response is customised based on options chosen in reply to the following questions:

  • What condition do you have?
  • How does it affect you day to day?
  • Who would you like to talk to (eg, friends, family, colleagues)?
  • What stops you from talking (eg, confidence, finding the right words, worry about their reaction)?
  • What would you like them to know or do (eg, I’d like more support, I just want them to understand my condition)? 

It’s a clear format that could easily be used by other patient groups to guide people on handling challenging conversations.

Simulating the experience

Apps that put users in the shoes of patients can have a big impact. For example, they can work well in simulating sensory and mental health conditions. I still shudder when I remember working through a virtual ADHD task which was completely overwhelming and stressful.  

Crohn’s and Colitis UK developed an awareness-raising app with funding support from Takeda. The app, In My Shoes: 24 hours with Crohn’s or Colitis, is a simulation experience to give an insight into the challenges faced by people living with these conditions.

The group says:

“From depleting energy levels to managing pain, from rushing to the toilet to juggling work and a social life, the app will allow friends, family and anyone you want, to see first-hand how the condition can affect every part of your body, and every aspect of your life.” – Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Recommending apps

The group also has an easy-to-find page recommending apps, including their own apps. For example, the apps page includes a review of MyIBD Care, produced between the patient group and the healthcare agency Ampersand.

The MyIBD Care app enables people to: 

  • track medication and symptoms
  • identify patterns of diet, sleep, exercise and pain. 

The app centres around a cloud-based dashboard which allows healthcare professionals, friends and families of people with Crohn’s or Colitis to understand how well, between appointments, someone with Crohn’s or Colitis is and how effective different care pathways are. At the time of writing, patients are being invited to test new features of the app, including programmes based around sleep, exercise, psychological wellbeing and medication adherence. 

NEXT STEPS:

Visit the patient group’s library of recommended Crohn’s and colitis apps at…

Click here

Try out the group’s ‘talking toolkit’ to tailor conversations about the conditions at…

Click here

Read a review of the group’s app to give people a sense of what it is like to live with the conditions at…

Click here



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