The Colonoscopy Helper is the popular smartphone app that facilitates the bowel preparation process for colonoscopy examination. Until now, this convenient tool providing comprehensive step-by-step, multi-media instructions for the bowel preparation, has been available only for Android phones. Finally, it is now available for download at the Apple App Store.
Inside the Colonoscopy Helper, there are 13 reminders, spread over 10 days including timely reminders before and after the procedure, to guide the user undergoing colonoscopy. The app provides GPS-like guidance with illustrations, texts, and audio directions to ensure that the colon is optimally cleansed and ready for the examination. It also reminds the user which medication(s) may need to be held or dosage adjusted, before and after the colonoscopy. The Colonoscopy Helper even alerts to important symptoms following colonoscopy that may require a prompt medical attention. The complex and often cumbersome preparation for colonoscopy is made simple and almost effortless!
Dr. Paul M. Choi of the Los Angeles Endoscopy Center who served as the consultant for the development of this app notes that “The bowel preparation is perhaps the single most important step in attaining an ideal colonoscopy. We believe that this app will facilitate the cumbersome and often confusing steps necessary to optimally prepare the bowel so that everyone can achieve the best possible colonoscopy examination.”
Everyone over the age of 50 is currently recommended to undergo this important examination due to the high incidence of colon cancer, and effectiveness of colonoscopy screenings in preventing colon cancer-related death. Although millions undergo colonoscopy to detect colon cancer in the U.S. every year, there are still up to 6 million individuals who do not elect to have this potentially life-saving examination. In fact, nearly twice as many still die annually from this preventable colon cancer in the U.S. compared to motor vehicle accidents.
In real life, many often delay this important colonoscopy test due to the difficult, but necessary bowel preparation. In preparing for colonoscopy, there are many required steps that one has to follow including avoiding certain food, remembering to fast before the examination, and determining when to take bowel cleansing medications at various time intervals. In fact, these steps can often be confusing and difficult to remember.
Unfortunately, when these steps are not carefully followed, the bowel is likely to be inadequately prepared, making it difficult for the performing physician to provide accurate examination. In fact, it is not uncommon to repeat this arduous examination process, simply because the bowel prep was “inadequate.” It is also critical to be informed of which medications may need to be held or dosage adjusted, before and after the colonoscopy. Finally, it is crucial to be aware of important potential adverse effects that may develop and for which symptoms the users should promptly consult their physician.