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Draper Mobile Technology Could Aid War on Obesity
Date:12/12/2013

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) December 12, 2013

Draper Laboratory is leveraging its mobile technology currently used in military special operations in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston to aid doctors in the war against obesity, a modern pandemic growing at an alarming rate.

Draper’s smartphone technology, called “Telewar on Obesity” or TWO, aims to harness artificial intelligence and navigation technologies to modify participants’ harmful habits and encourage long-term healthy behavior.

The TWO concept hopes to address obesity’s complex set of causes that include peers, nutritional values, and brain signaling. Since hunger and food intake are essential signals to survival, rewards, and well-being, reliable treatment of obesity has been proven difficult. Unlike other therapeutic strategies, TWO addresses this by aiming to modify the brain’s reward network by supplying constant feedback, help, and incentives.

“Through the use of TWO technology, we speculate we can steer a subject’s social and eating habits reliably and long enough so that behaviors remain instilled even after the intervention is finished,” said Simone Bortolami, technical director of the project at Draper.

The current prototype involves a smartphone paired with a Draper-designed navigation device that can operate without access to GPS signals, inside buildings. The system tracks the movements and activities of the participant and offers helpful feedback and advice throughout the day. Potential users for TWO include adults, adolescents, or whole families who have a history of dieting failures and are willing to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

If the participant adheres to TWO’s timely advice or reaches a designated treatment goal, they will be offered non-monetary rewards depending on what tends to best mo
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