IBD (General)

World IBD Day: Day of virtual action and awareness reflects life under lockdown for self-isolating and shielding patients.

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Techforce 19 winner Ampersand Health proud to be helping people with Crohn’s and Colitis live happier, healthier lives.


London, 19 May 2020 – World IBD Day takes place every year on the 19th of May, bringing together people from all over the world in the fight against and awareness of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Around 8 million people in the world live with IBD, many of which are diagnosed in their early teenage years. The conditions are known to be invisible and can leave people feeling isolated and anxious.

During these difficult times, people with long term conditions such as IBD need extra support. Ampersand Health conducted a Techforce19 specific-survey that showed that 70.6% of patients feel moderately or highly anxious about the current situation and how it impacts their condition. 

With World IBD Day this year falling during the unprecedented global health crisis and during Mental Health Awareness Week, the timing could not be better for digitally-enabled care that supports patients to improve their self-care and their overall health and wellbeing.  

My IBD Care – Ampersand Health’s self-management app for people with Crohn’s or Colitis – helps people live happier and healthier lives. The app uses behavioural and data science to deliver courses designed to improve sleep quality, stress management and medication adherence; with modules for food choices and flare management in the work.

Last month, Ampersand Health was one of 18 companies (out of 1,700 applicants) selected by Public, NHSX and the Department of Health and Social Care for Techforce 19. The initiative encouraged tech companies to focus on supporting the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19.

In response to the initiative, Ampersand Health developed two new situationally-relevant short courses – ‘Staying Active’ and ‘Healthy Relationships’ – designed to help patients in lockdown improve their overall wellbeing. 87% of people who took the course said that they impacted their mental health and wellbeing positively. These courses are found in a new category in the app called ‘Life in Lockdown’.

At a time where individuals on immunosuppressants, steroids or biologic medicines are advised to self-isolate, these courses are a timely tool for maintaining health and happiness at home,”

said Dr Bu’ Hayee, Consultant Gastroenterologist at King’s College Hospital and co-founder at Ampersand.

One patient notes about the new ‘Staying Active’ short course “‘A lot of exercise or wellbeing classes don’t take chronic illness into account. It was great that this course has been designed especially for us!”

Ampersand Health is proud to stand with the IBD community, on World IBD Day and every day of the year. 

Our highlights video captures some snippets of the My IBD Care experts who lead patients through our in-app courses.

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Get the My IBD Care app

Download the app to find the in-app courses, advice and additional tools available to help you self-manage your IBD.

My IBD Care app



Notes to Editors

About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Crohn’s and Colitis are lifelong conditions of the gut that are painful, debilitating and widely misunderstood. They can affect almost every part of the body and every aspect of life – from education and work to relationships. As diagnosis is common during teenage years when people are exploring relationships and independence for the first time, they can lead to psychological distress and have a devastating social impact. People living with the conditions face a lifetime of medication and numerous hospital visits.

 Like many immune mediated inflammatory conditions, people with Crohn’s or Colitis can experience periods of ‘remission’ when their symptoms are largely under control and ‘flare-ups’ where they have active symptoms. When people are in a ‘flare’, they need rapid access to specialist advice. Managing flare-ups early leads to better outcomes such as returning to work or daily activities and avoids costly admission to hospital.


About Ampersand Health

Ampersand Health is a social purpose company, founded by doctors and patients to improve the health and happiness of people with long term inflammatory conditions.

The company is pioneering the development of behavioural and data-science based digital therapies for people with immune-mediated diseases like Crohn’s, Colitis, Arthritis and Psoriasis.

Ampersand Health is recognised in the Digital Health Global 100, and has won the HSJ Award, the NHS Ideas Lab, the NHS Hackfest and competitive grants from government and industry. The company was selected for PWC Scale Health and the NHS’s DigitalHealth. London accelerator.

Ampersand Health is also one of the 18 digital innovators currently supporting vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak as part of the TechForce19 challenge.

My IBD Care is free for patients and can be downloaded from the AppStore (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Media Links: 

  • Video of co-founder Dr. Gareth Parkes, explaining the importance of patient self-management
  • Video of in-app experts highlight of self-management courses
  • Headshot image of Bu Hayee 
  • Image: [alt text] My IBD Care: Digital Therapy for people with Crohn’s or Colitis

For more information, please visit https://www.ampersandhealth.co.uk

Press, Citations and Patient enquiries: Rawane Jabara (rawane@ampersandhealth.co.uk)

NHS enquiries: Jeremy Andrews (jeremy@ampersandhealth.co.uk)

Other enquiries: info@ampersand.health

SOURCE Ampersand Health

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