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P664 Use of smartphones by UC patients: A vehicle for communication and education

R. Hofmann*1, X. Guillaume2

1Tillotts Pharma, Medical Affairs, Rheinfelden, Switzerland, 2Kantar Health , Research, Montrouge, France


With the wide distribution and popularity of smartphones, most people can access the Internet anytime. Patients with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), should not be different. There are a range of application software (Apps) for Android or Apple to support the patients in different situations (preparing for colonoscopy, bathroom finder, teaching about IBD, online diary, reminder for adherence etc.). Previous studies have demonstrated that already using land-line telephones to follow up with patients improves adherence (1). To get a full picture on the availability of and access to smartphones dedicated data were collected in an UC patient survey.


Data Source: The study was conducted among a sample of 372 UC patients (204 in United Kingdom, 77 in Spain, 21 in Denmark, 34 in Finland, 28 in Sweden and 8 in Norway) from a qualified panel.

Period of data collection: The data collection took place from the 11th of December 2013 to the 10th of January 2014.

Implementation: The individuals from the sample received a link via email to an online questionnaire on a secured platform. The questionnaire asked about their UC history, their attitudes and behaviors towards UC and its management and their level of adherence to treatment. Socio-demographic characteristics and information on the possession of a smartphone were also collected.


The socio-demographic and disease data (not shown here) are in line with other recent epidemiologic data of UC patients. Out of the 372 UC patients 267 used a smartphone (72%). 242 had a private one, 49 a business one. The highest observed ownership was in Finland and Spain (74 and 77%). 66% of women and 64% of men reported to possess a private smartphone. In the age group "up to 33 years" 93% reported ownership of a smartphone. In the age group "34-55 years" the figure was around 80% and only "above 55 years" the possession rate drops to 37%. In this group only 31% of women own a smartphone.


There can be a certain bias in the sample (computer and access to internet is at 80 to 90% in the countries of the sample) as participants needed internet access. Nevertheless the high availability of smartphones in both genders and across the age groups up to 55 years allows targeted communication between healthcare providers and patients. The functionality of smartphones also enables the use of special medical Apps. However, as with other tools, the access does not predict usage or the capabilities to use the relevant function of a smartphone or the features of Apps. Despite this 'caveat' healthcare providers should make the most out of the smartphone opportunity - especially in the young age group - to support/increase adherence(2).


[1] Gentry S, van-Velthoven MH, Tudor Car L, Car J., (2013), Telephone delivered interventions for reducing morbidity and mortality in people with HIV infection.,

[2] Dayer L, Heldenbrand S, Anderson P, Gubbins PO, Martin BC., (2013), Smartphone medication adherence apps: potential benefits to patients and providers.,