News Release

AGA launches patient education initiative, care tools to help facilitate high-quality care

AGA partners with MyGiHealth to bring innovative platform to GIs and patients

Business Announcement

American Gastroenterological Association

Bethesda, MD (Aug. 8, 2016) -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recognizes that physicians' time with patients is shrinking at the same time that patients want to share decision making with their providers. To help our members and their patients come together on the goal of high-quality patient care, AGA today launched a patient education initiative. Key components of the initiative are a digital PatientINFO Center and partnership with the MyGiHealth app.

"AGA is committed to providing timely, valuable information to the gastroenterology community and the public," said Timothy C. Wang, MD, AGAF, AGA president. "We want to support our members with education materials and new technology to encourage a meaningful dialogue between clinicians and patients."

AGA Launches PatientINFO Center

AGA's new digital library of patient education materials covers 25 GI-related topics and conditions to help make patient care more efficient and valuable. The resources provide easy-to-read, practical information for gastroenterologists to use with their patients before, during and after their appointment.

"As a gastroenterologist in a busy practice, I know how hard it is to ensure that patients have the credible and unbiased information they need to manage their care," said J. Sumner Bell, MD, AGAF, AGA patient initiative advisor. "While getting a patient up to speed is an important part of high-quality care, it's often complicated by language barriers and low education levels."

The AGA patient education materials were reviewed by gastroenterology and hepatology experts, so health-care providers and their patients can be assured of medical accuracy. To improve patient understanding and conversations, all AGA patient education materials were written at a low reading level and are available in both English and Spanish.

AGA patient education materials on GI and hepatology conditions, procedures, and diet and medication can be viewed in the AGA PatientINFO Center at

AGA and MyGiHealth Partnership

Through a new partnership, AGA and MyGiHealth hopes to bring increased value to AGA members and their patients. The MyGiHealth app, developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai and the University of Michigan, is a web and mobile app that was built by GI doctors to strengthen the interaction between gastroenterologists and their patients. The app uses validated questionnaires to measure GI symptoms and collect a full history of presenting illness prior to the patient visit. Once completed, the information is transformed into a symptom report that is sent to the gastroenterologist's clinic for review. Learn more at

"MyGiHealth is a great tool for gastroenterologists and their patients through both the clinic-based program and the smart phone app," said Dr. Wang. "The information gathered through the program will help patients better understand their condition, while providing gastroenterologists with the information they need to help facilitate patient treatment and diagnosis."

William D. Chey, MD, AGAF, co-principal researcher on the project said, "The genesis of MyGiHealth arose from the recognition that the current generation of electronic medical records and other forms of health information technology do a very good job of satisfying regulatory and billing requirements, but fail to serve the most important end users -- patients and providers."

"The electronic medical record was principally designed to support the transactional needs of administrators," said Brennan Spiegel, MD, AGAF, co-principal developer of the new app. "In contrast, MyGiHealth was designed, from the bottom up, to support the therapeutic bond between patients and their providers, ease documentation requirements, improve the efficiency of care, and educate patients in ways that are compelling and enduring."


About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.

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About MyGiHealth

MyGiHealth was developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai and the University of Michigan to address the problem of shorter doctor visits due to an increasing number of patients and the resultant dissatisfaction experienced by both patients and physicians. The solution automates the process of taking a patient history prior to a consultation. The technology is clinically validated in clinical trials revealing that the MyGiHealth patient history outperforms those taken by hand, being more accurate and complete while doing a better job at detecting early signs of serious diseases. Please visit for more information.

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