A new app to help reverse the falling rates of successful treatment of the stomach infection H.pylori in Ireland has just been launched. Eradication rates of this serious stomach infection, which affects between 25-30% of people in Ireland, have dropped from about 80% to below 60% in a decade due to worsening rates of H. pylori antibiotic resistance. H. pylori can cause stomach ulcers and gastric cancer and when found should be eradicated.
The app called H. pylori Care, was developed by the Irish Heliobacter pylori working group (IHpWG) which was founded in 2016 in response to the worrying fall in eradication rates. Working together to address this problem researchers from Trinity College Dublin and gastroenterologists, microbiologists and pathologists from around the country developed clinical guidelines to promote best clinical practice in the management of H. pylori. They then developed the H. pylori Care app in order to promote the use of the guidelines amongst healthcare practitioners and to help people identify symptoms of H. pylori and understand the various treatments.
For patients, the H. pylori Care app will provide information on symptoms of H. pylori infection and any treatment that may be prescribed. In the future, there is potential for the app to act as a reminder tool for patients to take their medication.
For clinicians, the H. pylori Care app will provide clear and precise information on how to diagnose, treat and manage the infection, along with contact information for referral centres around Ireland. The regimens for first line, second line and rescue therapies are clearly outlined, displaying dosage and duration of therapy.
Associate Professor of Medicine at Trinity, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght Hospital and founder and chair of the Irish Helicobacter pylori Working Group, Deirdre McNamara said: “It is essential to improve H. pylori treatment as it remains a serious human pathogen. A multidisciplinary scientific approach to tackling H. pylori antibiotic resistance is the key to success. Any intervention relies heavily on information dissemination among general practitioner colleagues and enhanced patient awareness around the importance of completing treatment courses, something we hope the app will achieve.”
“We hope the Irish Helicobacter pylori working Group management strategy outlined in the app will help to publicise and address this important issue.”
The H. pylori Care app is available to download for free for Android and iOS