The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are identified as high-risk and need to shield. Thus, any opportunities to prevent the need for them to attend hospital, by offering an alternative for monitoring, should be adopted.
Mid and South Essex University Hospital Trust (MSENHSFT) has a catchment population of 1.5 million. The Gastroenterology Department deals with the diagnosis and on-going management of patients with IBD. Patients who are diagnosed need regular monitoring in case of relapse/flare, to ensure ongoing effectiveness of therapy and for funding or cessation of treatments.
In early Summer 2020 the department introduced the BÜHLMANN IBDoc® calprotectin home test. This enables IBD patients to test their faecal calprotectin levels in the safety and privacy of their own homes. Results are analysed using the camera and an App on their smartphone and transferred to their clinician for follow up consultation.
The team is focused on introducing new technologies to improve patient management and IBDoc filled this requirement. Not just for the immediate crisis but also as a solution that could be sustained for the future as part of an existing strategy.
The multidisciplinary clinical team worked closely with patients to introduce them to the technology. The nursing team expanded their telephone clinics and helpline to discuss results and ongoing therapies, thus avoiding the need for many patients to physically attend the hospital.