Israeli Wearable Body Motion Data (BMD) could help smokers struggling to quit smoking, according to a study published by Oxford University Press’ peer review journal “Nicotine and Tobacco Research.”
The study conducted by Prof. Reuven Dar, from Tel Aviv University School of Psychological Sciences, detected more than 80% of smoking episodes in a small test group, using software company’s Somatix product called SmokeBeat. The company’s original algorithm identifies in real-time hand-to-mouth gestures that characterize smoking a cigarette.
Somatix says that the device designed to differentiate between smoking and other hand-to-mouth activities like drinking, eating or shaving. If the user is detected smoking the device sends the user a message to confirm.
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Prof. Dar examined whether monitoring and notifying smokers about smoking episodes immediately via the SmokeBeat app would lead to a reduction in smoking.
The study included 40 smokers, (nine women and 31 men) which lasted 30 days, found that participants using SmokeBeat technology showed a significant decline in their smoking rate, according to a statement from Somatix. It also performs ongoing effectiveness assessment for treatments tailored specifically to individual smokers.
All of the participants reported smoking at least five cigarettes a day and reported wanting to reduce or quit smoking. The participants were then put into two groups; one group wore SmokeBeat on the wrist of their “smoking hand” and the other was assigned to a waitlist control.
“We were impressed with the results,” said Prof. Dar. “The SmokeBeat algorithm detected correctly more than 80% of the smoking episodes and produced very few false alarms. According to both self-report and detection of smoking episodes by the SmokeBeat system, smokers in the experimental condition showed a significant decline in their smoking rate while there was no change in the smoking rate of the control group. These results suggest that the SmokeBeat real-time monitoring and notification feature may facilitate a smoking reduction in smokers motivated to make life-improving changes.”
In addition to SmokeBeat, Somatix, which is jointly based in New York and Raanana, Israel, is working on a second BMD product called SafeBeing, which is designed to monitor elderly users. The device will be able to give caregivers a report on everything from when the user take medications to falls the user may have. Ofir also said SmokeBeat technology could be used for other addictions and conditions, such as eating disorders.