The National Institutes of Health has awarded $2 million to University of Massachusetts Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute to develop an app for solving stress eating.
The three-year grant will be used for the RELAX app development as well as two phases of clinical trials, with a goal of making users more aware of when and why they stress eat. In addition, the application will also provide data to clinicians to help them develop better coping tools for patients using the app.
“(WPI and our department at UMass) started to pull our ideas together to see how much of the behavioral science and counseling I do we can offload to the app,” said Sherry Pagoto, an associate professor of medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. “That’s how we can offload the cost of care. The more the app can do, the less patients have to come in for expensive visits”
For providers, the log RELAX gathers during time could give more insight into a client’s causes of stress, resulting in more informed treatment.The app will help users be more aware of their stress, eating and exercise habits. Moreover, it would bring in an awareness of when stress might occur or its impacts, providing users with tips and de-stressing exercises.
For providers, the log RELAX gathers during time could give more insight into a client’s causes of stress, resulting in more informed treatment.
The app will be tested in two clinical trials on approximately 120 people. It’s uncertain when RELAX will be widely available, though.