Binge eating is a core maladaptive behavior characteristic of several forms of eating pathology, including bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED). These chronic conditions affect approximately 5 percent of the population, and cause significant psychosocial and physical impairment. However, a number of barriers prevent the implementation of effective treatments, including poor treatment adherence, a paucity of specialized therapists, and high rates of drop out. The guided self-help version of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT-GSH) is a brief 8-session highly scalable treatment to reduce binge eating. Moreover, CBT-GSH is a cost-effective empirically supported treatment that has been demonstrated to reduce total health care costs. The purpose of the proposed Phase II STTR study is to test the primary efficacy of a novel mobile app, 'Noom Monitor,' in a large population of binge eaters relative to a well-established treatment as usual (TAU) control condition. Noom Monitor facilitates the delivery of CBT-GSH by utilizing a patient interface that increases adherence and provides between-session reminders of CBT-GSH principles. In addition, the Noom Monitor includes a therapist interface with weekly feedback to the provider about patient progress. This application has several primary objectives, including: building a secure server infrastructure, testing the real-world effectiveness of the Noom Monitor for clinical settings, and establishing a database of training materials for Noom Monitor. Another main aim of the application is to integrate the Noom Monitor with electronic medical records (EMRs). Noom Monitor data may then synchronize with EPIC EMRs, positioning Noom for the successful launch of a commercial version of Noom Monitor with demonstrated utility and public health significance. The knowledge gained from the current study will contribute to our understanding of the role of new emerging mobile technologies in augmenting existing treatments.

Public Health Relevance

Binge eating is a core maladaptive behavior among individuals with both bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Given the public health impact of these conditions, successful dissemination of evidence based treatments is crucial. Our application aims to test a novel smartphone application to facilitate delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy-guided self-help compared with treatment as usual among individuals with binge eating behaviors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants - Phase II (R42)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-C (10)B)
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Haim, Adam
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Noom, Inc.
New York
United States
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Hildebrandt, Tom; Michaelides, Andreas; Mackinnon, Dianna et al. (2017) Randomized controlled trial comparing smartphone assisted versus traditional guided self-help for adults with binge eating. Int J Eat Disord 50:1313-1322