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Smartphone App to Increase and Maintain Physical Activity in African American Men (FitBrothers)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R42MD014947-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42MD014947
Amount: $1,551,556.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 102
Solicitation Number: MD21-005
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-31
Small Business Information
1667 Cole Blvd, Ste 220
Golden, CO 80401-3313
United States
DUNS: 117936042
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 ROBERT NEWTON
 (225) 763-3034
 robert.newton@pbrc.edu
Business Contact
 MARY BULLER
Phone: (303) 565-4330
Email: mbuller@kleinbuendel.com
Research Institution
 GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
 
37TH AND O STS NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20057-0001
United States

 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

Physical activity (PA) is a modifiable risk factor for a number of preventable chronic diseases, including
cardiovascular disease, strokes, obesity, and diabetes. These conditions constitute health disparities for
African American men. Behavioral interventions have proven to be effective in promoting increases in physical
activity. While behavior change programs have been shown to assist participants in sustaining behavior
change, very few programs have specifically targeted African American men. The use of mHealth, as opposed to
other avenues of intervention delivery, is based on published reports documenting that African Americans
perceive mobile technology as an acceptable means of intervention delivery. In addition, ownership of
smartphones and the use of text messaging are highest among African Americans compared to other ethnic
groups. Therefore, a mHealth intervention targeting African American men seems feasible and potentially
effective. Our preliminary data show that a PA maintenance smartphone app for African American men that
contains self-monitoring, goal-setting, reinforcement, and behavioral lessons was well received by this
population. However, the qualitative data revealed that the men believed additional components were
necessary to fully tailor the app for African American men, including personalization, chronic disease health
information, dietary information, competition, and incentives. In addition, we will tailor the intervention to
the sociocultural needs of African American men. The purpose of the Fast-Track STTR is to incorporate these
elements within an existing smartphone app. The FitBrothers app will be developed through a Phase I consisting
of (1) iterative focus groups, (2) developing a conceptual model, and (3) conducting beta testing and a Phase II
which will consist of (1) developing a full-scale FitBrothers app, (2), conducting usability testing, and (3)
conducting a comparative effectiveness trial to assess the effectiveness of the app compared to a similar, well-
known app in the marketplace. To our knowledge, no study has utilized mobile phones as a means of effecting
PA levels in African American men. FitBrothers will address an unmet need in the marketplace as it will be the
first smartphone app that is targeted toward PA adoption and maintenance in African American men. The fact
that mHealth is acceptable to- and the fact that the application will be developed in collaboration with African
American men, leads us to hypothesize that African American men will view the mHealth intervention as
acceptable, feasible, and effective. The Fast-Track STTR proposal will be led by a team that has worked together
previously and includes researchers and multimedia developers from Klein Buendel, Inc. (KB), Georgetown
University, and Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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