IBD goes home: from telemedicine to self-administered advanced therapies

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2021 Jun 11. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2021.1942833. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Major challenges have been posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the routine management of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The need for constant monitoring of diseases activity and prompt adjustment of therapy have been balanced with the risk of contagion related to face-to-face consultations. Therefore, digital health initiatives have been pursued for safety reasons as vicarious instruments to avoid overcrowding of the IBD clinics. However, concerns and scepticism about the feasibility of digital health and telemedicine modalities limited their uptake in clinical practice in the pre-pandemic period.

AREAS COVERED: We conducted a literature overview on the current state of the art and the potential future benefits deriving from the integration of telemedicine systems, home-based laboratory tests, and self-administered drugs into IBD daily practice.

EXPERT OPINION: Digital health and telemedicine approaches at distance have been experimented as effective tools to avoid overcrowding of clinics and reduce risk from SARS-CoV2 exposure. Home-based point of care testing, such as faecal calprotectin and dried blood samples, might represent an effective method of remote monitoring of patients particularly when in-person visits are precluded. High expectations are placed on the use of self-administered advanced therapies, such as new subcutaneous formulation of biologics.

PMID:34116611 | DOI:10.1080/14712598.2021.1942833