Gut Check your Inflammatory Bowel Disease [Interview][Transcript]

Dr-Jay-Popp-IBD-Gut_CheckGuest: Dr. Jay Popp
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: John W. (Jay) Popp, Jr. graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969 and completed medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1973. He has had an interest in inflammatory bowel disease since his training and has participated in numerous clinical trials evaluating novel therapies for IBD. He retired from private practice and joined Janssen Biotech as a Medical Director in the Medical Affairs Department In 2006. He continues to have an intense interest in colorectal cancer prevention and has visited Congress on numerous occasions to inform our legislators of the importance of preventative strategies.

Segment overview: Jay Popp, MD, Director of Medical Affairs, Janssen Biotech, Inc., discusses the capabilities of Gut Check, the biweekly surveys for patients and how health professionals can benefit from the information tracking provided by Gut Check.


Health Professional Radio – Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Check

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I am your host Neal Howard. Our guest is Dr. Jay Popp, Director of medical affairs at Janssen Biotech here today to talk with us about “Gut Check,” a brand new app just launched last month that is proving to be invaluable to folks suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. How are you doing today Dr. Popp?

Dr. Jay Popp: I’m doing great Neal, hope you are.

N: I’m doing well. Gut Check, we’ve all heard the term take a “gut check to find out what yout feelings are,” or “You’re about to lose, it’s time for a gut check, guys.” (Laugh) But this is something totally different, we’re talking about a newly develop app, talk about this new app called “Gut Check.”

P: Well just briefly Neal, Janssen has been around for more than 30 years developing a variety of technologies and they’re really dedicated to providing innovative solution in the areas particularly immunology and oncology. And we’ve been a leader in inflammatory bowel disease for many years and part of our role as being a leader in that field is to try to be responsive to our physicians and our patients to provide things for them which might help take care for their disease and this is really how “Gut Check” came about. So Gut Check is an app that allows individual to monitor their symptom and they have a really better means of communicating with their physicians. I think people have felt for a long time that they had maybe some trouble in getting information to their doctor, doctors have been frustrated by patients who come and don’t necessarily give them accurate description of their symptoms. But this is a way where people can keep track really on a daily basis as to how they feel, that information can be uploaded to their physician and they could be followed on a much closure basis and also allows intervention to occur if somebody is not doing well and maybe … until their next appointment and their physician can see by examining his own dashboard as we call it, the trend is not good, then something on that we done at any time.

N: Okay, so communicating with your healthcare provider you mentioned a “dashboard” and those of us who are familiar with different websites that have a dashboard and interactive dashboard where you can check your finances, check what the rate of pay is, all sorts of things. Are we talking about the patient having to email their healthcare provider or does this app automatically send whatever information is needed, pretty, effortlessly and seamlessly to the healthcare provider?

P: It will be very seamless. What they will input their information, there are a number of surveys that are done Neal on a regular basis. These are things that as I have to say what we call a “GI distress” Neal, fatigue, ability to participate, sleep problems and what kind of symptoms they’re having. So all this will be available and what we found Neal over the years, is that often as people start to have a flare-up with their disease, it starts slowly and kind of build its way up. And if they can interrupt that cycle and do something, intervene with something different therapeutically, I think we can really help our patients.

N: When you were here before, we briefly talked about there being no cure for IBD. And you just mentioned flare-ups, so I’m going to assume that some days with IBD are worse than others as is the case with many, many diseases. How do you treat IBD when you have a flare-up, does this app tell you okay if the severity is this level, eat this or drink this or take that, if it’s this level do something different – is that how it works?

P: Well not necessarily, but it would helpfully give some lead time to the physician to be able to act accordingly and appropriately. So when we talk about IBD, we’re really referring to look for two major diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And the reason it’s so important to have something that can constantly in real planned fashion provide information to a healthcare provider. If these diseases are tend to be very chronic, they are characterized by periods of doing well and then not doing so well, so as I said a flare. Somebody can be going or going a long doing very well and then over a couple of day period start having more symptoms and then if those symptoms persist, that information will be readily available on a real time fashion to the healthcare provider so that’s something can be considered to again try to break this cycle of the inflammation and symptoms.

N: What type of support once the patient or a healthcare provider downloads the app, what type of support should we expect to see if we find that maybe the app isn’t as user friendly for one as it is for another?

P: Well and I think that’s why I referred to this version a Gut Check is version 101. And the people which answered that worked very hard putting this together and I think they’ve done a terrific job but we know that it’s gonna need some tweaks along the way. So what we anticipate and already we’ve only introduce the app about a month ago, we’ve already have 1,400 people download it. And we expect feedback, we encourage feedback, we want people to tell us what’s not working, what could be better and I’m sure you’re gonna see multiple version of this, multiple alterations as we go along Neal making improvements along the way.

N: Now what are the numbers when we’re talking about folks suffering from IBD? I mean are we talking about a few hundred or a thousand or is this pretty common?

P: This is really about 1 in 200 people in this country have inflammatory bowel disease.

N: 1 in 200.

P: Neal that’s a big number. So when we talk about the degree of separation, it’s quite likely, that you have a family member or a friend or somebody you work with that they’re affected with either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

N: Do either of these two diseases left uncheck, lead to cancer of the bowel or the colon or anything like that?

P: Well there actually is an increased risk of colon cancer in individuals who have inflammation to their colon, which would be ulcerative colitis. But also individuals with Crohn’s disease, they can have any part of the digestive tract involved. But if they have chronic involvement, they too are in an increased risk for cancer. So we know that the more severe the inflammation, the longer an individual has the disease and the amount of colon that’s involved – that all helps determine the likelihood of their propensity of developing cancer somewhere down the road. So that’s why it’ really another important point Neal, why we keep the inflammation in check which hopefully might reduce the incidence of colon cancer in the long run.

N: Could you talk a little bit about the app as far as HIPAA constraints are concerned? I mean we’re talking an app, we’re talking the internet, we’re talking Wi-Fi, we’re talking communication back and forth between patients, we’re talking maybe physicians comparing data within their practice. How does these all revolved around HIPAA restriction?

P: Well it’s a HIPAA compliant to be sure and I think that’s an excellent point and I’m glad you brought it up Neal because people are certainly concerned appropriately so about any information any personal information. We all hear about this problem when you’re on the internet but we’ve done all we can to make this as compliant and we know it’s a HIPAA compliant process in terms of protecting healthcare information of our patients.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio today talking with Dr. Jay Popp about “Gut Check,” a newly launched app for people living with IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. It’s a new app where they can track their daily symptoms, lifestyle, habits via the mobile app and share that information in real time with their healthcare professional, who can then use that information to offer better care to their patients who are suffering from IBD. Jay Popp is the Director of medical affairs at Janssen Biotech, who developed this brand new app and we’re looking for big things to happen with this app. It’s been great having you here with us today Jay.

P: Well thank you Neal. Likewise, I appreciate your time.

N: Thank you so much for returning. Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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