VBH in Therapeutic Area Gastro
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic medical condition affecting 2.5-3 million people in Europe with a direct healthcare cost of 4.6–5.6 bn Euros/year. In Italy, there are around 250,000 people affected. It is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract: Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. There is currently no cure for IBD and medical treatments have two main goals: achieving and maintaining remission.
Aim and relevance of the initiative
The initiative aims to develop a VBH model to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and costeffectiveness along the cycle of care for patients affected by IBD. Based on existing literature, only one VBH model for IBD treatment has been implemented by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). No such initiative has been developed in Europe. In 2017, ICHOM published their Standard Set Patient-Centred Outcomes for IBD, but there is still significant variation in clinical practice and quality of care provided.
Patient description and involvement
IBD affects people of all genders at any age but is mostly reported in patients who are 15-30 and 50-70
years old. While socioeconomic variables do not act as factors, patients with IBD face difficulties in being
employed and pursuing their studies, and experience relational discomforts, concerning their social and
sexual life. The initiative focuses on adult patients living and being treated in Italy. Your Business Partner (YBP), a strategic healthcare consultancy, will work closely with AMICI Onlus, a national patient association, to conduct anthropological conversations with patients and caregivers to accurately represent their voices.
Methods, size & scope
Project ViTA consists of 3 components:
- The co-design of an optimal patient pathway led by an interdisciplinary team of Humanitas
Hospital’s IBD Centre in Milan.
- A Patient Support Programme developed for IBD patients who are transitioning from IV hospital
somministration to self-administration at home that assists their mental health and lifestyle
through the disposal of a dedicated network of professionals such as nurses, psychologists and
- A digital platform that monitors KPIs defined with clinicians, patient association and operations
team of the Centre to evaluate clinical outcomes, patient experience and organisational efficiency.
YBP will involve Amici ONLUS, a national patients association for IBD, to conduct at least 20
anthropological conversations with patients and caregivers in order to understand their unmet and unarticulated needs. Patients will be asked for informed consent to participate in the study and YBP will
not share any personal information and identities with anyone. The findings will be shared in an
aggregated and anonymous manner with the dedicated interdisciplinary team of the IBD Centre to
measure outcomes meaningful for patients when applying the proposed VBH model.
The most important (preliminary) results
The initiative is the only one of its kind in Italy directed at improving the quality of life of people affected by IBD with a value-based healthcare approach. The VBH model will initially be tested in one center with an aspiration to scale up nationally in the leading Italian IBD Centers.