Michael Businelle, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, and Director of the Mobile Health core at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, recently published a study showing that it is possible to estimate risk for smoking relapse in real-time using smartphone technology. The objective of the the study was to show if data collected via mobile phone could be used to identify risks for smoking relapse among low socioeconomic smokers(1).
Results showed that just six questions regarding urge to smoke, stress, recent alcohol consumption, interaction with someone smoking, cessation motivation, and cigarette availability could identify 80 percent of all relapses within 4 hours of the first relapse.
“This research may pave the way for development of smartphone-based smoking cessation treatments that automatically tailor treatment content in real-time based on presence of specific lapse triggers,” said Businelle. “For instance, if a person indicates a higher than usual urge to smoke and slightly lower motivation to remain smoke-free, an app could automatically address relapse risk by delivering a tailored message such as: Remember that the urge WILL pass! Even though it might seem like smoking would be pleasant right now, it will only make you feel worse later.”
Creating mobile applications which could deliver personalized messages or other treatment options in real-time would offer effective, highly available cessation methods at low cost, especially to individuals who don’t have access to more standard methods. Smartphone ownership in the United States has doubled since 2011, including low-income individuals. A recent study even showed that perhaps as high as 70 percent of homeless adults owned active mobile phones.
- Businelle MS, et al.Using Intensive Longitudinal Data Collected via Mobile Phone to Detect Imminent Lapse in Smokers Undergoing a Scheduled Quit Attempt.J Med Internet Res. 2016 Oct 17;18(10):e275.
Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.