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Fred Hutch going into tech business with ‘SmartQuit’ smoking cessation app

The 'SmartQuit' app is the first smartphone-delivered app scientifically proven to help smokers quit, according to Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (2Morrow, Inc. image)

Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research is getting into the tech business, partnering with a Seattle company to bring what it says is the first smartphone-delivered app scientifically proven to help smokers quit.

The ‘SmartQuit’ app was created by Jonathon Bricker, PhD., a researcher in the Public Health Sciences division at Fred Hutch.

“There are more than 400 quit-smoking apps on the market and none of those apps are backed by research that proves they work. We have to do better,” said Bricker.

Bricker led the first randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of smoking cessation apps delivered by smartphone.

The app will be brought to market in a licensing agreement with Seattle-based 2Morrow, Inc. Last week, the company landed a $250,000 Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund – Proof of Concept Grant to pilot a new program based on this research.

“In a world where many people prefer a do-it-yourself approach, it is becoming increasingly important to test the programs being delivered via these new technologies. Partnerships between research institutions and innovative companies like 2Morrow are critical to assuring that the public has access to programs and information that is based on evidence, and not just popularity,” Bricker said.

Under the licensing arrangement, 2Morrow will use the results of Bricker’s research to create a version of the app for sale by the end of the year. It will be targeted to companies, health plans and states to aid in smoking cessation efforts.

“Many groups are producing mHealth apps because people want them, but few are based on evidence and even fewer have ever been tested,” said 2Morrow CEO, Brandon Masterson. “Evidence based apps are increasingly in demand as the public’s appetite for health related apps increases. This collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will allow 2Morrow to meet that need now and in the future.”

All of the proceeds from the licensing will benefit the Hutch and its programs.

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