Triggered-Suggestion Device with Therapy for Weight Loss

Period of Performance: 06/01/2001 - 11/30/2001

$119K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Progenesis, Inc.
Redmond, WA 98052
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Obesity represents a significant public health concern and is associated with medical complications that include premature mortality. The proposed Phase I study will evaluate the feasibility of the Triggered Suggestion Device (TSD) as a therapeutic aid in the behavioral treatment of overweight individuals. The TSD is a custom wristwatch that provides visual, auditory, and tactile cueing to the wearer. Signals from the TSD are linked to therapeutic goals that are developed with a therapist/counselor and augmented with an audio CD that is focused on weight loss and healthy living. Individuals with BMIs of 25 to 35 will be recruited and randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups, behavioral therapy alone or behavioral therapy plus the TSD. After 8 weeks of treatment, the following primary and secondary variables will be measured: change in BMI, satisfaction with treatment method, change in physical activity, and life satisfaction rating. Study results will provide significant support for the commercial viability of the TSD as a therapeutic tool for weight loss. Strong anecdotal evidence from psychotherapists supports the application of the TSD to weight loss and further scientific investigation is warranted. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The TSD will be of value to mental health professionals and physicians who provide treatment for weight loss, clinical eating disorders, and patients with weight-related illnesses. Its nonpharmaceutical design makes it an appropriate choice for groups such as adolescents and pregnant women. The TSD is currently in commercial production under the brand name "HabitEX- Manage Your Weight Successfully" and is being used in private psychotherapy practices.