New Clinical Trial Will Test Remote Monitoring to Better Manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Newswise – Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) began recruiting this month to assess whether a novel therapeutic remote monitoring system can help people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) adhere to their medication and ultimately improve their symptoms and to prevent dangerous thrusts -UPS. That study, called ASSISTwill enroll 123 participants in a randomized controlled trial that will include IBD patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center and four other IBD centers.

IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affects over 3 million adults in the United States. It’s a chronic disease with flare-ups that cause diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and fatigue. To control symptoms and prevent recurrence, patients must take medication regularly, but research suggests that 40 to 80 percent are non-adherent to their medication.

“Remote monitoring, a form of telemedicine, is a potential strategy to improve adherence,” said Study Lead Principal Investigator Raymond Cross, MD, MSProfessor of Medicine and Director of the IBD Program at UMSOM. “Many patients require ongoing support to remind them to continue medical therapy and to monitor new or worsening symptoms or side effects of treatment. During symptom-free times, it can be tempting to stop taking the medications that keep you healthy.”

Participants in the study will be randomly assigned to remote monitoring or their usual care. The remote monitoring group will be equipped with smart labels to attach to the containers of their newly prescribed medication. They also receive training on applying and using the labels, setting up their profile, using the patient-facing web app, accessing training resources, and getting technical support. The web app allows participants to review their medication intake, provide updates on their symptoms, and respond to questions to identify any challenges they are experiencing that interfere with medication use and unique barriers to treatment.

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Most importantly, study investigators receive notifications when patients are not taking their medications regularly or when symptoms worsen. These patients are contacted by a healthcare provider to identify solutions to improve their care.

“We want to determine whether patients in the remote monitoring group have better medication adherence and overall outcomes with their inflammatory bowel disease than those receiving their usual care,” said dr Cross, who is a gastroenterologist at UMMC.

Also participating in this study are researchers from New York University, the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University and the University of Cincinnati. The research is funded by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Synchronyx, a health technology company, is providing the remote monitoring system for the study.

This clinical research study will provide us with important information on whether a novel remote monitoring strategy improves overall adherence to therapy, which has been associated with improved outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic conditions.” said Mark T Gladwin, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, UMSOM. “Low-cost interventions such as those proposed in this study can prevent unnecessary health care consumption such as unscheduled doctor visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.”

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About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine, now in its third century, was founded in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It remains one of the fastest growing, premier biomedical research organizations in the world today – with 46 academic divisions, centers, institutes and programs and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and from the National Academy of Sciences and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic, and clinically-based care to nearly 2 million patients annually. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extracurricular funding, with most of its academic departments ranking high in research funding among any medical school in the country. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and nearly $20 billion of economic impact on the state and local community. The School of Medicine that is considered the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine with 606 active patents and 52 startups. At latest US News & World Report Ranking of the best medical schools published in 2021 is the UM School of Medicine 9th place among the 92 public medical schools in the US and in the top 15 percent (#27) out of all 192 public and private Medical schools in the USA. The School of Medicine operates locally, nationally and globally with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit

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