Australia-based digital therapeutics startup Mindset Health has unveiled its latest digital therapeutics offering to help people quit smoking within a month.
Founded in 2018, Mindset Health is building a range of hypnosis-based DTx apps. Its first product, Nerva, is a digital hypnotherapy solution for treating irritable bowel syndrome.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Its latest offering is a DTx app that uses hypnosis to help users stop smoking. Available on iOS and Android devices, the app called Finito offers a four-week programme that includes 15-minute daily self-hypnosis sessions, educational readings, and stop-craving tools. After this, it is followed by a reinforcement programme to help users maintain results beyond four weeks. The DTx programme is said to be ideal for those who have tried to quit but have returned to smoking.
WHY IT MATTERS
Between 2020 and 2021, the National Health Survey found that one in 10 Australians aged 18 and above (10.7%) were daily smokers with men more likely to smoke daily than women. People living in remote areas were more likely to take a puff each day compared to those living in major cities, according to the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. Tobacco use is also one of the leading causes of cancer in the country, contributing to 44% of the cancer burden.
Last year, more than half of adult smokers globally made attempts to quit smoking but only 8% were successful in doing so for six to 12 months. According to research, it could take them up to 30 attempts to quit successfully.
Finito helps people quit smoking within a month by using hypnotherapy to address the underlying reasons why they smoke in the first place. “Hypnotherapy is like meditation but focused on health outcomes,” said Alex Naoumidis, co-founder of Mindset Health.
A past study cited by Mindset Health claimed that hypnosis could be 10 times more effective in helping people stop smoking than quitting without support. It does this by activating areas of the brain associated with attention, motivation, and a sense of well-being.
Another startup in Japan has also developed a similar DTx app for smoking cessation. In 2020, CureApp received the Japanese government’s approval for CureApp SC, a prescription nicotine addiction treatment app and carbon monoxide checker. In the same year, the World Health Organization worked with Soul Machines to pair an AI-powered virtual assistant with nicotine replacement treatments.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand last year, the Health Promotion Agency set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help young adult Māori women to quit smoking. The support tool sends daily messages, distractions, and encouragements to users over a 30-day period.
ON THE RECORD
“Self-hypnosis makes it easy to quit smoking. It’s relaxing, improves sleep, and research shows that a program with multiple sessions, like Finito, is most effective,” Dr Gary Elkins, a renowned hypnosis researcher, commented on the Finito launch.