Friends, Family, and Food: Interactive Virtual Environments for Children with Food Allergies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42HD075524-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42HD075524
Amount: $991,965.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NICHD
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-09-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-07-31
Small Business Information
2440 LAWRENCEVILLE HWY, STE 200, Decatur, GA, 30033-3267
DUNS: 010776370
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 MARGO ADAMSLARSEN
 (701) 777-4278
 margo.adams.larsen@und.edu
Business Contact
 LARRY HODGES
Phone: (404) 634-3400
Email: hodges@virtuallybetter.com
Research Institution
 RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL
 593 EDDY STREET
PROVIDENCE, RI, 02903-4923
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Pediatric Food Allergy FA is recognized as a serious public health concern that affects approximately percent of children with symptoms affecting multiple organ systems including skin the respiratory tract and the GI tract Food induced anaphylaxis which is a rapid potentially life threatening reaction can occur in more serious cases Despite the substantial burden of disease management and associated negative quality of life effects very few resources exist to promote effective strategies for managing FA Moreover most resources targeting this population emphasize information dissemination and education either in person or via the web and typically focus on parents with few resources designed for affected children The central goal of Phases I and II of this SBIR STTR is to develop an engaging interactive game based intervention for school aged children with FA that will increase knowledge improve self efficacy to manage the disease and ultimately reduce risk of negative outcomes Software based interventions targeting children for various pediatric conditions have increased in availability and accessibility Interactive game based approaches available on multiple platforms computer mobile devices offer distinct advantages over traditional interventions in providing highly engaging formats of psychoeducation and skills based practice This Phase II application builds on the highly promising prototype of the Friends Family and Food App F A App produced through the successful and synergistic collaboration of our Phase I team The F A App consists of four related parts a an interactive game based application that is the core of the program b the experiential scenarios in interactive environments e g school cafeteria vignette that target knowledge and behavioral skills practice in social contexts c two engaging multi level games to build skills i food avoidance Label Learning Like it or Lose it! and symptom assessment Reaction Action! and d a multi tiered reward system that uses token economy based reinforcement to enhance motivation and engagement SeaLife Spectacular Feasibility and efficacy testing of our initial prototype indicated the F A App was very well received by parents and children with FA facilitated child knowledge acquisition and increased FA self efficacy in key areas of FA management Qualitative reports indicated the F A App also enhanced communication between parents and children regarding FA management In this Phase II project we propose to produce a fully developed version of the F A App including added content and enhanced features to pilot the new version in a small sample n and to evaluate the final product in a randomized clinical trial n This intervention will surpass existing approaches for child focused software programs in interactivity ease of use acceptance by parents and promotion by health care professionals We envision that the F A App will serve as a template for interactive game based interventions for children with other chronic conditions requiring self management such as asthma diabetes and celiac disease The promise of commercial opportunity is significant in an era in which there is an increasingly widespread access to and everyday use of computers smart phones and tablet technologies PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Pediatric Food Allergy FA represents a serious public health problem with an estimated percent of children affected with dramatically increased prevalence over the past decade Currently there is no cure for FA management of this condition requires consistent avoidance of the allergenic food and prompt treatment of symptoms upon ingestion In this project titled andquot Friends Family and Food Interactive Virtual Environments for Children with Food Allergies andquot we will build on a promising prototype created in a successful Phase I project to further develop and evaluate our engaging interactive game based intervention for school aged children with FA the F A App We will leverage next generation technology methodologies inherent in current software for education training and entertainment to increase engagement and interactivity which will facilitate broader adoption and use of the program This project represents an exciting collaboration between thought leaders in the fields of FA chronic disease management clinical psychology and modeling simulation The final version of this program to be developed in this Phase II project has great potential to be a clinically effective interactive game based intervention that is engaging affordable and widely available with potential for adaptation to other childhood chronic conditions

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

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