Grant for wearable device incorporating behaviour change
The potential of using wearable technology to tackle global health issues like diabetes will now be explored thanks to a $2.15M grant awarded by the Australian Government through its Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) scheme.
BehaviourWorks is one of six research institutes involved in the Nutromics project, which will develop a digitally-enabled wearable device incorporating a deep learning behaviour change engine to elicit the positive lifestyle behaviour changes required to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable lifestyle disease.
The “Smart Sensor & Deep Learning Behavioural Engine for Personalised Health Monitoring” project involves the University of New South Wales, the CSIRO, Melbourne Health, Monash University and the Baker Health and Diabetes Institute, along with several design and product development companies based in Australia and Silicon Valley.
The application, which was co-led by former BehaviourWorks Senior Research Fellow, Annet Hoek and Research Fellow Alexander (Zan) Saeri, will capitalise on emerging research in the field of personalised nutrition, real-time biosensors and artificial intelligence-driven behaviour change strategies to develop effective early interventions for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
With BWA Research Fellow, Peter Slattery, Zan will lead the behaviour change research stream to design and implement real-time and adaptive dietary interventions for pre-diabetics, who comprise about 50% of the Australian population.
The calibre of the project, which has a total value of $7.5M (of which $2.15M million is the CRC-P grant; the rest is being made up of cash or in-kind contributions), is evidenced by the fact that, in this CRC-P funding round, just 1 in 5 applications were successful.
Nutromics was founded in 2017 with the purpose of leveraging technology to empower individuals to take greater control of their health and minimise the risk of chronic disease.