We’re all for a healthy dose of competition, especially when it’s in the name of, well…health. Earlier this year, Drexel University and Shire Pharmaceuticals challenged researchers to develop a self-management tool to aid patients with behavioral health disorders. From the initial University-wide pool of candidates, eight teams were selected to develop proposals and, of those eight, only two were selected to move forward with prototype development.
And the winners were (drumroll please) both in the Department of Psychology! The teams, led by Evan Forman, PhD, and Brian Daly, PhD, have been given seven months and $250,000 each from Shire Pharmaceuticals to develop their prototypes. Forman’s team (TakeControl) is collaborating with members of Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics to develop a multi-function smartphone app to aid individuals with binge-eating disorder, while Daly’s team (Mind Fun) is working with researchers across the University to develop a gaming module to aid children with ADHD and challenges with executive function.
At the end of the seven-month timeframe, the Shire-Drexel Oversight Committee will determine if the prototypes are ready for commercialization or require further development. Additional funding and a maximum of 17 months will be considered for development efforts post-prototype.