Phone-Connected Nicotine Patch Helps Smokers Quit
California startup Chrono Therapeutics's new product is designed to make the process of quitting cigarettes easier and less costly
A large problem with nicotine patches is that they don’t deliver nicotine quickly enough. California start-up Chrono Therapeutics has created a smart nicotine patch called SmartStop, that is able to deliver a high-does of nicotine much more rapidly to the wearer. The SmartStop patch nicotine delivery system monitors individuals activity and cravings resulting in delivering nicotine to their body at opportune times, making the job of quitting that much easier.
The SmartShop delivers a high-dose of nicotine during three key times of the day. The first is when the wearer first wakes up, considering the company research proved that 80% of smokers have their first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking. The second is right before lunch and the last is in the evening, for those social moments when saying no to a cigarette is most difficult.
The device itself is made of two parts: a liquid nicotine cartridge that needs to be replaced each day and a control unit which monitors the release of the nicotine. The control unit contains a Bluetooth chipset, battery and dispensing motor and the device is considerably larger than a standard nicotine path which is on average is 13mm thick. While the current model of SmartShop is a bit bulky, Chrono Therapeutics is working on a second model which will bring the unit down to 8mm.
The goal of the SmartShop is to eliminate nicotine dependency in approximately 10 weeks, with the device slowly reducing the dosage of nicotine over time and allowing the wearer to slowly break the addition. Considering that quitting smoking is not just a physical issue but a behavioral and psychological one as well, the company built in a way to log cravings, record your sleep patterns and general activity, and also mark when you are having a craving. The idea behind noting your cravings is that overtime smokers will be able to physically see how their cravings have diminished over time, instilling confidence that they are making progress.
Before starting the 10-week program, there is an opportunity to record a video of yourself capturing the reasons why you want to quit. When you give in to the need for a cigarette, the app will show you your recorded video. The app can also link your friends and family to your account, alerting them when you stop using the wearable.
The SmartStop is currently being trialled in the US and Australia.