It’s a Fact: Text Messaging Program Doubles the Chance of Successfully Quitting Smoking

Agile Health and technology partner GeneXus USA launch interactive, clinically proven smoking cessation program in the U.S. based on motivational text messages

On the wave of New Year’s resolutions, Agile Health, a provider of mobile healthcare technology solutions to employers and other commercial health plan sponsors, together with technology partners GeneXus USA and HSA Global, has launched a clinically proven program that uses motivational and interactive text messaging to help people quit smoking.

Agile Health’s Kick Buts solution is the only smoking cessation program of its kind that has successfully undergone multiple peer reviewed clinical trials. Deployed on the STOMP Health Messaging Engine developed by HSA Global, it delivers structured text messages that provide advice, support and encouragement as smokers try to give up cigarettes.

The program draws from hundreds of clinically validated, personalized messages sent at scheduled intervals, as well as in immediate response to individual text requests for help in overcoming a craving or a slip up. Kick Buts effectively creates a two-way dialogue that engages consumers when and where they need it most.

As demonstrated in a controlled study of nearly 6,000 participants on the STOMP platform conducted in London and published in The Lancet in June 2011, combining regular text message outreach with on-demand interactive text messages can double a person’s chance of successfully quitting.

“It’s like having your own personal counselor in your pocket when and where you need it,” said Agile Health President Scott Werntz.

GeneXus USA, a software company headquartered in Chicago known for its innovation in technology for web and mobile solutions, designed interactive features that enhance the Kick Buts user experience, and assisted in the development of infrastructure to support client data integration and eligibility management requirements. GeneXus USA designed and deployed the Kick Buts web online and mobile experience, using agile development methodologies and its GeneXus development platform to complete delivery on time and on budget.

“GeneXus USA was key to the success of our launch,” Werntz said, “building a strong front end with public and private content that informs, educates and connects with individuals, as well as a flexible back end to support variable client interface scenarios.”

“There are exciting new developments in the roadmap for Kick Buts, including social networking and ultimately mobile native apps that will run on iOs, Android, and Blackberry,” said GeneXus USA President and CEO Dane Drotts. “I have every expectation that this ground-breaking program that leverages technology to change behavior will take off under the leadership team at Agile Health.”

How the Kick Buts Program Works

Organizations (including employers, health plans, government payers, retailers, and more) sign up to offer Kick Buts to employees or customers

>> Multi-faceted outreach and communication drives awareness and engagement within each eligible population

>> Eligible individuals access relevant content and resources and can sign up for the program either online or via their mobile phone, providing their background information and target quit date

>> Text messages are pushed out and mobile/online tools are provided to help program participants:
            - Prepare for their quit date mentally and physically
            - Learn new skills and behaviors to manage cravings and avoid temptations
            - Celebrate milestones as they reach their goals

>> Interactive two-way text messaging is available 24/7 to help program participants:
            - Conquer cravings with practical tips and suggestions
            - Recover from ‘slip ups’ and immediately get back on track when they’ve had a cigarette
            - Reset their program when they have resumed smoking and need to ‘get back on the wagon’

The Kick Buts program, accessible via any text messaging and web-enabled phone, includes a smoking cessation resource center with information on the importance of quitting, what to expect during the process, and tips and techniques to handle cravings. It also includes an online game center to occupy the participant’s attention during cravings, and a product discount center that provides discounts on nicotine replacement therapy and other relevant products.


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