Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch
SEATTLE — April 29, 2014 — 2Morrow, Inc. announced today an exclusive licensing agreement with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to commercialize the first Smartphone-delivered, smoking cessation app that is scientifically proven to help smokers quit. Last week 2Morrow was chosen for a $250,000 Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund - Proof of Concept Grant to pilot a new program based on this research.
The SmartQuit app is the brainchild of Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D., associate member of the Public Health Sciences division at Fred Hutch, who conducted the first randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of smoking cessation programs delivered via a mobile app. 2Morrow collaborated with Bricker to mobilize the program and will now be using the LSDF grant funds to build a market ready version of the program, and then to run a pilot study with Washington smokers.
“From the time we started working with Jonathan and his lab at Fred Hutch, we knew he was onto something important and innovative. Many groups are producing mHealth apps because people want them, but few are based on evidence and even fewer have ever been tested,” said 2Morrow CEO, Brandon Masterson. “Evidence based apps are increasingly in demand as the public’s appetite for health related apps increases. This collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will allow 2Morrow to meet that need now and in the future.”
Smokers are looking to apps for help in quitting. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, over 700,000 smoking cessation apps are downloaded each month on the Android platform alone. But, according to this same study, most of these apps do not include practices proven to help smokers quit, and none of them had been scientifically tested. This means smokers may not be getting the help they need.
"There are more than 400 quit-smoking apps on the market and none of those apps are backed by research that proves they work. We have to do better,” said Jonathan Bricker, researcher at Fred Hutch. “In a world where many people prefer a do-it-yourself approach, it is becoming increasingly important to test the programs being delivered via these new technologies. Partnerships between research institutions and innovative companies like 2Morrow are critical to assuring that the public has access to programs and information that is based on evidence, and not just popularity.”
2Morrow will be working closely with Bricker and the Hutch to incorporate improvements from the study data, user feedback and market needs to create an effective program with real world applications. The program should be ready for users by late 2014 and be available for employers, health plans, and states. An added benefit of the strategic partnership is that licensing proceeds will be used in support of the Hutch and its research mission.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.
2Morrow, Inc is a Seattle based mobile software company who specializes in “mobilizing behavior change”. Winner of the US Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge, 2Morrow offers branded versions of their behavior change platforms as well as consumer apps. For more information visit: www.2morrowinc.com or follow 2Morrow on Facebook, or Twitter