App Review: Gut Check by Janssen

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*Disclaimer: Janssen did not ask me to do a review or even try out their product. My opinions are all my own. I’m always curious about new apps out there for IBD and try them out when I can.*

Gut Check is a new app by Janssen to help people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease keep a daily log of their progress.

Pros:

  • Over all easy to use
  • Quick check-in process
  • Built in bathroom finder

Cons:

  • There is no strength training or weight lifting under exercise
  • The food log is not very friendly
  • The symptoms you can track I feel are limited
  • Can’t take screen shots of the app
  • Can’t log past days if you forgot

You do have to make an account to use this app with Janssen and they do want a bit of information. Like age, gender, area code ect. The treatment section is only for current IBD treatments. The only medication I can log right now is Humira. With how this is set up it shows up every day when I submit a new day. Which I don’t particularly like since I don’t actually take Humira every day.

Screenshot_120115_045427_PMBecause of how the treatment section is set up I also can’t log other medications I’m on like Iron, Vitamin D, Birth Control, ect. This I feel is a bit of a problem. Especially since my period can affect my IBD. I think it would be good to be able to keep track of it or at least when I’m on the placebo.

When it comes to symptom tracking you can only track the “bathroom” symptoms of IBD. Like bathroom frequency, stool consistency, bowel movement frequency, amount of blood and abdominal pain. You can’t track things like joint pain, dehydration, skin problems, eye problems, ect. I don’t like that I can’t add other symptoms because IBD is so much more than about going to the bathroom.

I do like how the graph is set up. It’s nice to be able to check different symptoms to see how things have been progressing. I can’t do anything with the treatment change right now because I haven’t had to switch medications and I hope that I don’t have to switch to anything new for quite some time.
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I believe that Janssen is using this app to track IBD patients and possibly use this “research” if you will for improving IBD treatments or something. I tweeted them asking what they did with the data that they are collecting and I haven’t heard back from them quite yet. As soon as I do I’ll post an update with their reply. I tried to check on the Gut Check app website to see if I could find any information on what their doing with this data and I could not find anything.

Another thing that Janssen is trying to do with this Gut Check app is to have your GI doctor sign up for it. This is so they can track our progress to see how we are doing. My doctor has not signed up for this so I can’t say how well this portion of the app works. I do think it’s a good idea in theory though.

Overall I give this app 3/5. I feel that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

**Just as I’m getting ready to publish this post the Gut Check app has crashed. I had to uninstall it from my phone and reinstall it. Now it’s saying that it doesn’t recognize the email I signed up with. Not sure if their having server problems or what. But I hate it when apps have problems like this. So far it’s the first time it’s happened. I hope that they have this fixed soon.

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