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Individualized Expert Systems for Weight Management

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44HL070549-02
Agency Tracking Number: HL070549
Amount: $1,002,449.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (401) 874-5612
Business Contact
Phone: (401) 874-4100
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (Provided by applicant): The prevalence of overweight and obesity
has increased dramatically over the last two decades. Overweight and obesity,
the second leading preventable cause of death, poses a major public health
challenge in that it increases the risk of chronic diseases, including coronary
heart disease, and all-cause mortality. Clinic-based programs for weight
management are costly and serve only a small percentage of individuals.
Population-based behavior change programs are needed to reach larger
percentages of at risk individuals more cost-effectively. Preliminary research
on the application of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) to weight management
suggests that the model has the potential to guide the development of effective
multiple-behavior interventions. Phase I of this Fast-Track proposal involves
the customization and feasibility testing of a stage-matched, individualized,
interactive intervention based on the TTM. Feasibility includes proactively
recruiting 60 percent of eligible participants (n=250) to participate in a
randomized clinical trial and evaluating acceptability of the intervention
materials. Computerized expert system interventions and stage-matched manuals
delivered proactively to entire populations can have unprecedented impacts on
the targeted health behaviors as well as weight. Using the TTM as the basis
will provide the theoretical framework that experts have indicated is necessary
to develop more effective and cost-effective interventions.
The proposed TTM based expert system weight management intervention is capable of
high recruitment rates, accurate assessment, and individualized interventions that have
the ability to create high impact on a population basis. We envision such interactive
technologies for entire populations delivered at relatively low costs through the mail or
over the Internet or an Intranet. Commercial applications include marketing to healthcare
providers, namely managed care organizations, and employers who share the burden of
healthcare expenses.

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

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