A research team at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur is developing a mobile application to help smokers quit by raising an alarm everytime they try to lit a cigarette.
The app, a prototype of which has been developed by researchers led by Ram Babu Roy, assistant professor at Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship at IIT-Kharagpur, is capable of monitoring the activities in daily lives along with the smoking habits.
It can be integrated with a fitness band or a smartphone for automated recognition of addictive and depressive behaviour.
Using a sensor-based technology, the app works with a real-time approach and offers interventions in the form of a text/audio/video messages or a phone calls from family members/friends/doctor to convince the smoker to stop smoking while he is at it.
The app creates a smoking behaviour profile of the user, based on which estimates of the cumulative effects of smoking on the individual would be done.
“The profile can help in designing incentive plans (may be used by insurance companies to increase/decrease the health insurance premium) as well as setting up of customised intervention plans,” said Roy.
“Those who reduce their smoking may get some congratulatory message about reduced risk/increased lifespan,” he added.