In the news

Selected news articles, conferences and presentations

News articles

“London-based Digital Therapeutics has re-imagined the support network for smokers who actively want to quit. CEO Yusef Sherwani says there are ten million smokers in the UK, two-thirds of whom want to quit, but only three percent who are successful because face-to-face behavioural support isn’t sustainable. The app he has helped develop, Quit Genius, gamifies the process, while working towards a quit date.

“Quit Genius builds on decades of evidence-based therapy in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy and it just makes [the journey] more cost effective and scaleable. So we’re repacking that patient therapy relationship with a patient and an app,” he told WIRED.”

“A framework to gamify anti-smoking apps, and potentially improve adherence to non-smoking regimens, has been developed in a study conducted by Yusuf Sherwani, Imperial College London, London, UK, and colleagues. Today, smoking represents 19% of all the deaths within the UK, costing the National Health Service (NHS) a total of £5.2 billion, and has been announced, at present, as the biggest cause of premature mortality on a global scale.”

“Over the last year, the researchers have also been involved in translating the research findings into an app that serves as a blueprint for the framework in action. The gamified app for smoking cessation, called Quit Genius, is hoped to provide effective behavioural support to smoking cessation programmes. They note that future research is required to further appraise the effectiveness of their proposed gamified framework against current behavioural interventions.”

“The support required to address their reasons for smoking and motivations for quitting will vary drastically from person A to person B. To tackle this, we are developing our flagship product, Quit Genius, a behavioral intervention for smokers looking to quit, capable of intelligently identifying and adapting to all aspects of the user’s thoughts and feelings about smoking.”

“To truly make a dent on a global scale, digital health startups must recognize the importance of creating highly structured and personalized evidence-based behavioral therapies to tackle specific risky health behaviors. To achieve this, one approach is to create a close cross-collaboration between clinicians, behavioral psychologists, designers and developers to conceptualize, build and clinically test behavioral interventions programs.”

“Imperial medics are readying the launch of a smartphone app they’ve developed that uses CBT and principles of game design to help people quit smoking.”

“As well as a presentation of their research, the students gave a sneak peak of their app in a closed-room demo. The app is currently in beta-testing and is expected to be ready for public launch in January 2017—in time for all those New Year’s resolutions.”

“A “stop smoking” game for smartphones has been developed that incorporates elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The app, designed by a group of medical students, is the first to deliver personalised behavioural support to those wanting to quit tobacco.”

“Yusuf Sherwani, a medical student at Imperial College London – who led development of the app, said: “As medical students, almost every day we see patients who are suffering from the consequences of smoking cigarettes; many of whom want to quit but lack the necessary support.”

“The app, which was designed by medical students, uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) concepts to help smokers resist the urge to reach for a cigarette.”

“The details of the project were presented at the British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting in London. A consultant lung specialist and chair of the Society’s Tobacco Special Advisory Group called the project ‘really interesting’ and said it had the added benefit of being ‘cost-effective’ because of smartphone technology. ‘We’ll await further results with interest,’ said Dr Sanjay Agrawal.”

Speaker engagements

European Respiratory Society International Congress 2016

7th September 2016

The ERS International Congress 2016 is the world’s largest respiratory meeting, attended by tens of thousands of respiratory physicians, scientists and allied health professionals over three days. At the 2016 conference, we presented seminal research in behavioural economics and gamification, demonstrating Quit Genius to a live audience for the very first time!

Science Museum Lates: Could computer games be the key to battling addictions?

27th July 2016

We answer the question, “Could computer games be the key to battling addictions?”, by presenting novel research in the best possible way – a live gameshow!

British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2015

4th December 2015

We present the results of a year long academic study examining how digital health interventions can revolutionise smoking cessation, remarked by the session chair, Prof. John Britton, as the ‘best presentation ever seen at the British Thoracic Society’.

We regularly speak at university events, startup panels and academic conferences. For speaker engagements, email us at

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