This year for Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week, the team behind My IBD Care and Ampersand Health have shared messages around what they have learned through their work on the My IBD Care app and their experience working with the IBD community.
For me, working at Ampersand has meant being on a mission to create technology that lights the path to remission for those living with IBD, one that predicts and mitigates the risk of flare before it happens. Having close friends and family with IBD makes working at Ampersand a much more personal experience, and seeing the positive impact
our app has on people’s lives is extremely rewarding. I’ve learned that many more people than I imagined are living with IBD in the UK, and that there needs to be more awareness and normalisation around the condition. Seeing the IBD community come together during Ampersand’s patient meetup events emphasises the need for social support for those living with IBD.
Dr Gareth Parkes
My biggest hope is that we spread awareness of these conditions to the general public so that when a patient goes to their boss, colleague, teacher or friend and mentions their diagnosis, that it is met with understanding, empathy and support. Setting up and working with the Ampersand Team over the last 5 years has been a truly amazing adventure. The dedication, enthusiasm and skill of the team is incredible. We have turned a team of coders, data geeks, psychologists and behavioural scientists into a team that really understands IBD.
Working with the IBD community is at the heart of our work at Ampersand Health. We’re always learning about how Crohn’s and Colitis can impact a person, both mentally and physically. That’s why we’re proud to join countless others this Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week in raising awareness of these conditions. For us, understanding these conditions better underpins our work in innovating digital solutions to clinicians and their patients who live with IBD, so that they can manage their condition more confidently, stay in remission for longer and experience less impact during relapse and flare.
Jolynne De Souza
This Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness week, I’m reflecting on my time at Ampersand Health, having joined the team a mere six months ago. Engaging with those living with Crohn’s, Colitis or other forms of IBD has not only been the most pivotal aspect of my role, but also the most enlightening. It’s only through hearing their first-hand accounts, have I really begun to understand what day to day life can be like for them. I’ve also learned that whilst of course there are challenges and hard days, what stands out most is a sense of resilience and drive to live life on their terms. There is a real sense of solidarity and community amongst our IBD app users, and it spurs me on to make sure there are ample opportunities for us to get together and talk.
Our mission is to improve the lives of patients with long-term health conditions like IBD and each member of the team is passionate about this. Working at Ampersand and hearing from patients and clinicians has enabled me to gain a better understanding of Crohn’s and Colitis and its effects on patient’s day-to day-lives. Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week raises the profile of these disea
ses and helps educate us to better understand what patients experience. My aim is to provide the team with an environment where they can use their skills to develop resources to help patients better understand and manage their conditions.
Working with people from the IBD community and many other chronic conditions has taught me to be humble and positive towards challenges in life. I have learned to focus on making the most of my time and to put my experience and efforts into searching for opportunities and solutions to better patient care. It is a privilege to work at Ampersand Health with my good friends and colleagues. My background is in molecular biology and clinical nutrition and I am incredibly proud to have joined the team and contribute towards their work and research which will help to improve patient’s quality of life and to better understand and manage their condition.
I have been working with the IBD community for over two years and I have learned so much in that short time. Having the privilege of speaking with community members on a daily basis is something that I do not take for granted. Their experiences, both good and bad, inspire me to continue to create new resources and opportunities to support them on their journey. The whole team at Ampersand Health share the same goal, of helping individuals with IBD live healthier and happier lives. I have seen first hand the positive impact that Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week continues to have on the IBD community and look forward to continuing my work so that there is less stigma surrounding the condition, for those living with IBD and for those who don’t.