World IBD Day is Sunday, May 19th. I encourage you to spread the word about IBD in whatever way you feel comfortable. That may mean
- Talking to your friends and family about IBD
- Getting co-workers involved in a Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Walk or other fundraiser
- Volunteering your time to help someone with IBD who is struggling.
Simponi was studied in the Program of Ulcerative Colitis Research Studies Utilizing an Investigational Treatment (PURSUIT) clinical trials. In the trial, patients who were treated with Simponi, showed improvement with compared with patients who took a placebo. The effects of the drug were studied through 54 weeks of treatment. Side effects included upper respiratory tract infection, injection-site reactions, and viral infections.
Simponi is also approved for moderately to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with the medicine methotrexate, psoriatic arthritis alone or with the medicine methotrexate, and ankylosing spondylitis.
More About Humira:
Would you be willing to crowdsource your medical records on the chance that someone in the crowd might be able to diagnose your symptoms? Crowdsourcing is polling a group of people, typically on the Internet, in order to meet some kind of end point. It could be a financial endpoint, where people pledge money to fund a project, or it could be a creative endpoint, such as when people submit their photos with a product that might be used in an advertising campaign. Crowdsourcing is incredibly useful -- and cheap -- for companies who are looking to take their marketing campaigns in a new direction. It is also helpful for entrepreneurs who need some start-up money to fund their big idea. But does crowdsourcing have a place in medicine?
If you have a chronic illness, you have probably already used crowdsourcing. Posting on a message board about your symptoms and asking for advice is one example. Even polling your Facebook or Twitter friends about anything from your dinner plans to your symptoms is a form of crowdsourcing. Those of us with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often have difficulty finding information on the more esoteric aspects of our disease, and tend to seek out others with IBD who might offer some insight. We are constantly crowdsourcing, and have been doing it since the early days of the Internet.
What if you could, for about $200, post your signs and symptoms for a group of interested parties to poke through? Who are these people? Well, they could be anyone. It could be an MD or someone with medical experience, or it could be someone like me -- a patient "expert" who has an interest in medicine. A startup called CrowdMed is betting that you will want to take part, either as a patient or as an unpaid "medical detective."
I'm not sure at all that this is the direction that our medical system should be taking. We are already crowdsourcing -- any search engine search is full of results of people looking for answers about their signs, symptoms, and medications. And the truth is, much of it is not helpful, and I've seen incorrect information, to the point of being dangerous. When information is not moderated in any way, which is common, quality help from "the crowd" is going to be hard to find. It's a needle in a haystack. I don't think putting a wrapper around medical crowdsourcing is going to make a difference.
We've all heard stories of someone who has gone undiagnosed for some time and who gets a clue to their diagnosis from an unexpected source: a friend, family member, even a stranger. It does happen. But how will your doctor feel if you walk into her office, telling her that a someone you've never met on the Internet thinks that you have arthritis. Or fibromyalgia. Or celiac disease. I know my doctors, and I have some excellent ones, wouldn't be impressed.
What do you think? Would you be a patient in this strategy and submit your $200 and your medical records? Would you be willing to be one of the diagnosticians? Or are you, like me, lamenting the idea that this is where our medical system is heading?
More about surgery for ulcerative colitis:
More about bowel movements?
While inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a perplexing group of diseases that tends to be difficult to diagnose and treat, researchers have collected a significant amount of information concerning the genetics, distribution, and contributing environmental factors for IBD. Who is a typical patient with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis? Find out exactly who is the face of IBD.