Inflammatory Bowel Disease Artificial Intelligence

This project has won Phase 1 funding in the Scottish SBRI funding call for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It will examine the use of artificial intelligence and links with third part apps to provide more effective care. 

There are major strategic challenges and opportunities for health care provision in Scotland based on resource availability, demographic and lifestyle change, and technology opportunity for improved patient outcomes. The challenges present in traditional care pathway for patients with IBD is symptomatic of that in other long term conditions. Our SBRI application builds on our previous work within the NHS and the third sector. It develops a product, called IBD ROC, that supports patients with long term conditions through self-management, decision support and control, integrated to a digital care pathway. It is based on the current technology landscape within the NHS, and future plans for health care change in Scotland.

The health outcomes we anticipate impacting on include: better management of symptoms, better management of life style, better decisions by clinicians and patients through clinical device reporting and the delivery of this IBD-related information into core NHS secondary care systems. The change offered will enable a move from time-based  clinic attendance to needs based attendance and early intervention.

Our vision for patients in Scotland…..

Cathie, living with Crohn’s, fills her daily diary on her tablet computer. She has received an SMS reminder asking her to answer a few additional questions about concerns she may have in advance of her video consultation. She highlights that she’d more control over her diet.

ROC’s artificial intelligence system analyses the incoming information, along with known clinical information. Using the Harvey-Bradshaw index Cathie’s condition remains stable. No alert needs to be generated for the care team, but the information is recorded and graphed for use at the multi-disciplinary team discussion. Meanwhile ROC notes her concerns and recommends information from the digital care library: the CCUK leaflet “Food and IBD” and a YouTube video on the effect of nutrition on Crohn’s. It also offers an app which could help.

Cathie self-refers and the nutrition app is downloaded and, with her consent, is pre-populated with relevant information she’s previously entered. It recommends foods, recipes & diet plans tailored to her based on an extensive nutritional database.

Cathie has already tried the video and the app but found neither really worked for her. Sam, her IBD nurse, has the latest patient reported information about Cathie’s symptoms, well-being and concerns, which saves time gathering information at the start of the consultation. Since the food app didn’t work Sam offers to refer her to a nutritionist for a 1-to-1 discussion. Cathie agrees and the decision is noted. As a result, she receives a new message from Sam with information on how to best prepare to make the most of her time with the nutritionist.

During a system review it’s noted a significant number of patients have fed back that the YouTube video was not useful or effective for them. As a result, it’s dropped from the digital care library. Meanwhile, the new information held is sent electronically to update the national IBD registry.