A number of software applications (apps) for use with iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones are currently available to help patients with gastrointestinal (GI) conditions keep track of their health progress. Patients can log their symptoms, medications, and other relevant information in real time, rather than having to keep a paper log or, as is more often the case, trying to remember details over the weeks or months between medical appointments. These great new apps might make it a little easier to manage your GI condition.


Bristol Stool Scale

The Bristol Stool Scale is a well-known chart developed in 1997 that classifies the various forms of human stools into seven categories. When stool information is the most important thing you need to log, this app may come in handy. Developed by David Conlisk in the UK, with this simple iPhone app you can log your stools based on the seven categories within the Bristol Stool Chart, using its sliding scale to identify each bowel movement. Over time, the app creates a graph of your stool quality, which you can then share with your healthcare professionals. This could help in monitoring the effects of diet, lifestyle, or medication changes, medical treatments, and other factors. To download this app for US$0.99, visit http://www.bristol-stool-scale.com/


Gi BodyGuard

Developed by the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, Gi BodyGuard is a free app that allows users to log specific GI symptoms (e.g., stool status, gas, pain), diet, medications, and weight changes, all through their iPhone or iPad. Patients can also send (via email) a summary report to physicians or other medical professionals involved with their care. This app also includes a GI health history form as well as a medication and appointment reminder feature. To get this app, go to http://www.cdhf.ca/resources/GIbodyguard.shtml



WellApps is an app-development company specializing in health-related apps. They designed the GI Monitor specifically for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Similar to Gi BodyGuard, this app tracks specific symptoms, medications, diet, and more. With the GI Monitor, users can also input custom symptoms not already included with the app. It allows users to send reports to their medical professionals and has a special social networking feature so fellow users can chat in real time. The app links your GI information to an online database and a website that users can visit from a computer.

The Colonoscopy Prep Assistant app tracks the number of glasses of colon preparation the user has consumed and includes a timer so you know when to take your next glass.

An extra feature of these free apps is that you can use them with any Android phone, in addition to an Apple iPhone. To get either of these apps, go to http://www.wellapps.com/

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 180 – 2011