The National Cancer Institute has made a major investment in an up-and-coming smoking cessation app. Dr. Jonathan Bricker, a Seattle-based behavioral scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has received a $3.1 million, five-year grant to makes updates to his SmartQuit smoking-cessation program . Aside from updates, Dr. Bricker will also be using the app in a randomized, controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of such programs delivered via mobile apps.
As mobile health becomes more accurate and more effective, digital health is at the forefront of health care. Dr. Bricker’s is aiming to launch a national study in 2016 that will involve “more than 1,600 adult smokers to compare SmartQuit with an app that follows existing U.S. clinical-practice guidelines for smoking cessation”.
Focusing on “acceptance and commitment therapy” (ACT), Bricker’s work aims to help people quit smoking and other unhealthy behaviors by increasing willingness to accept the physical, mental and emotional challenges of quitting, while also” adopting behaviors based on new values”.