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The role of telemedicine and e-health in the management of inflammatory bowel disease: improving patient outcomes

Authors Ghazi L, Cross R

Received 1 October 2014

Accepted for publication 7 November 2014

Published 28 January 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 17—24


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Yelena Yesha

Leyla J Ghazi,1,2 Raymond K Cross1

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2Veterans Affairs, Maryland Heath Care System, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Telemedicine has been used successfully in monitoring patients with a variety of chronic illnesses. Studies in the field of gastroenterology have shown that telemedicine is a feasible and well accepted method of patient monitoring. Several inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) centers have developed telemedicine systems to improve the management of these complex diseases. Implementation of these systems is feasible, and telemedicine is well received by patients. Telemedicine has been shown to improve disease activity, quality of life, adherence with short-term treatment, and to shorten relapses. Telemedicine has also been shown to decrease health care utilization; however, use of telemedicine systems is also associated with increased “non-billable” encounters (phone calls and electronic messages). Telemedicine has also been shown to be an effective mechanism to provide remote care in areas without access to IBD specialty care. It is likely that telemedicine will be increasingly utilized in the future as an adjunct to traditional monitoring, especially for patients at high risk for nonadherence, and for those with limited access to IBD centers of excellence, to improve patient self-management, and as a mechanism to provide education, health maintenance, and medication reminders to patients.

Keywords: IBD, patient self-management, remote care, adherence to treatment, quality of life, health care utilization, telemedicine

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