Crohnology - Citizen Science for IBD Patients
Crohnology is an online social healthcare project for people with inflammatory bowel disease. It was set up by Sean Ahrens - an IBD patient himself - and now has several hundred members across the world.
The Crohnology website allows IBD patients to share information on their treatments - what's worked and what hasn't. The range of treatments used by patients include alternative, experimental, and prescription therapies. The collective information is analysed and published with scores on the effectiveness of the various treatments.
This citizen science approach is a powerful way of quickly assessing current IBD treatment regimes. It differs from the traditional medical studies on treatments in that patients can change their management regimes based on the experience of others. The medical studies aim to keep patients strictly within separate treatment groups throughout the study duration.
Currently, IBD-BIOM and Crohnology are separate programmes. We're happy at IBD-BIOM to refer patients to the Crohnology site and to keep in touch with Sean and his colleagues. Given how the two programmes could complement each other it is quite possible that in future there could be a more formal collaboration between organisations within the IBD-BIOM consortium and Crohnology.