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• Biobank, in which patients can contribute tissue and blood samples to assist UCLA researchers in using advanced technology to identify disease and risk profiles for complications and drug side effects, as well as new treatments. With the use of current personal communication devices (provided as loans for those who don’t have their own), patients operate an easy-to-use program to transmit information on disease activity, quality of life and work productivity, as well as laboratory data to ensure tight monitoring of their disease. Created with substantial patient input and featuring attractive user interfaces, the secure Web-based program also serves as a one-stop source for everything from setting appointments to checking on real-time traffic around UCLA. Most important are the monitoring tools, driven by validated home-care indexes for disease activity. Patients with active disease are asked to input values every two weeks for a period of six weeks, those whose disease is in remission every two months. Different tight control scenarios are offered depending on the patient’s disease activity and are organized around the medications needed and the required monitoring. Based on patients’ inputs, their care is constantly fine-tuned. When patients are concerned about symptoms, a self- administered questionnaire helps to guide them. Meanwhile, any registered dip in the patient’s VQ based on abnormal inputs or patient complaints alerts the clinical team, and the collected data guides the team to additional steps, which can include an e-consult or change in medication. “Many patients with chronic disease are anxious and depressed — not because of the disease per se, but because of what they don’t know,” says Dr. Hommes. “They don’t know what to expect, how to organize their lives, how to deal with their loved ones and engage socially. Helping patients become informed, active participants in their care makes a big difference for these individuals.” Equally important, Dr. Hommes notes, is the ability of technology to address issues of cost and quality. “Seventy percent of U.S. healthcare expenditures are related to chronic diseases,” he says. “Providing better, more cost-effective management of these diseases requires smart monitoring, and that can’t be done in hospitals. Embracing all that technology offers can help us to deliver better organized care by capturing data and turning it into information and decision support for doctors to direct patients in the best care.” Dr. Hommes believes his center’s approach, which employs iPads, smart phones and other home devices, can serve as a model for the management of other chronic diseases. For more information about the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases’ use of technology for patient education and monitoring, go to: 1 1 UCLA Physicians Update