New Year's celebrations are behind us and, millions of people made solemn promises to change for the better. This year, two of the most popular resolutions, to lose weight and to quit smoking, will be aided by high tech solutions: palm-sized computers that deliver state-of-the-art behavior change programs. For the past ten years, PICS, Inc. has been blending psychology with technology to produce user friendly products that can help people change even the most stubborn bad habits. The DietMate computer provides a sophisticated, yet easy to use, nutrition and exercise program that is tailored to each user's nutritional requirements, food preferences, and habits. By providing hundreds of nutritionally balanced menus which can be customized as desired, DietMate picks up where calorie counters leave off.
DietMate also tracks calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It provides daily nutritional targets, charts progress and even creates a shopping list. DietMate has been proven effective in both weight and cholesterol reduction, in clinical studies funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. (DietMate is available from PICS, Inc. by calling 1-800-343-8628 spells 1-800-DietMate.)
For those addicted to nicotine, LifeSign, a credit card sized computer, provides a gradual schedule for quitting that is based on each user's unique tobacco habit. The program works by prompting smokers or chewers when to use tobacco, then gradually increases the time between uses until they quit. LifeSign has been proven effective in helping both smokers and chewers quit in clinical studies funded by the National Cancer Institute. (LifeSign is available from PICS by calling 1-800-543-3744 spells 1-800-LifeSign.)
According to Al Behar, President of PICS, "Our mission is to mass market behavior change programs and the best medium for doing so is the hand held computer. Health-related software for desktop computers is useful for educational purposes, but is usually not very effective for changing lifelong habits. Changing a habit requires following very specific rules about what to do and when to do it. A hand-held computer can be very effective in this capacity because it serves as a "behavior coach" that is with you at all times to provide this much needed guidance." Both LifeSign and DietMate are equipped with easy to read large screens and self explanatory buttons such as "smoke" and "help". "Even my seven year old can operate the DietMate. It's that simple to use." said one satisfied user.
Editors note: Al Behar, President of PICS, Inc. is available for interviews. Please call Yamit Willentzik at (703) 758-1400 or E-mail