Agile Health Combats the Smokeless Tobacco Epidemic with an Updated Kick Buts Initiative
Written by Alyssa Clark
In an attempt to help those trying to kick the smokeless tobacco habit, Agile Health has released a new version of its Kick Buts Smoking Cessation program in order to assist employees and covered beneficiaries in this difficult personal wellness mission. Agile Health is a mobile healthcare engagement solutions company, and their latest adaptation of their program features the success of the STOMP Health Message Engine. Having successful trials in both New Zealand and the UK, helping the Cochrane Library to ascertain that mobile cessation programs do in fact work as a means of support, the program not only is supported, but it produces results.
Much to national avail, the number of smokeless tobacco users is reported at over 8.2 million people in the U.S, though this number is not shared as widely as it should be since smoking takes the priority in the public eye, with the highest number of users coming from the state of Virginia. The demographic for this smokeless product seems to be younger male buyers, and this demographic also aligns with the messaging program’s demographic, posing this as the possible best solution in order to illicit some kind of industry change.
“Kick Buts” delivers text messages that are personalized to each individual user, and sent at scheduled intervals over a 6 month period to help users develop the knowledge, motivation and behavioral skills to help encourage some kind of behavioral change. Messages includes healthcare tips and facts, protocols to educate receivers about the real life dangers of smokeless tobacco and motive/empower them to draft a plan personalized to their needs in order to help them eventually in their process of quitting. Texts can also includes real like scenarios of what the quitting process is like, ways of coping with withdrawal and challengers to expect along the way. Supportive messages and encouragement are also sent through the messaging center, providing in the moment support for individuals by recognizing key words and responding appropriately. Messaging center can also respond to cravings, relapse or any other type of ailing problem to recovering person may be experiencing.
Aside from Nicotine addiction, which plagues both smokers and smokeless tobacco users, the behavioral and physical repercussions associated with both forms of tobacco products can be enough to form permanent health effects. The impact on both the cardiovascular and nervous system presents permanent damage to the individual and smokeless tobacco can carry additional negatives such as: higher risk of oral, pancreatic and kidney cancer, as well as various dental and periodontal diseases.
Published by the Public Health Service, Agile health has used the Clinical Practice Guidelines for treating Tobacco Use and Dependence of 2008 to help them along in their process of creating this new Kick Buts adaptation. Meeting the demands of consumers new mobile technology craze, Agile Health looks out for its customers by providing individuals with the best overall wellness policies available to them.
The new and improved Kick buts program is available in either English or Spanish in order to accommodate the most logistical and demographic-related problems present in today’s world, also as a part of the new 2014 rules of the non-discriminatory wellness program, Agile Health wants to ensure help to as many employee benefit plan sponsors as practically possible.
About the Author
Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global
NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare
What is edge AI?
Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics.
Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics.
Who is NeuTigers?
NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security.
With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.
How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare?
The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases.
NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions, when used in combination with medical devices and smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings.
Are there any real world examples?
In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes.
This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of complications with sickle cell anaemia. Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life.
The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness.
Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality.
“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”