Latest developments in causes and treatments



BrainWeighve Eating Addiction Telehealth App Expands UCLA Trial

Telemedicine pioneer, eHealth International, announced today the expansion of a UCLA trial of the BrainWeighve weight loss smartphone application to 14-21-year-olds. Previously, the study was only accepting teens. Interested persons can find details at eHealth International is the publisher of AddictionNews and Childhood Obesity News.

BrainWeighve is a self-directed behavior modification app designed to reduce compulsive eating. Based on the theory that unnecessary eating is driven by stressful situations, BrainWeighve first asks users to set up a “Dread List” of stressful situations that might drive them to overeat. The user then develops “Action Plans” for how to handle each stressful situation without resorting to eating.

Some of the suggested Action Plans are simple, such as deep breathing, drinking water, or leaving the room. But there are dozens of healthy ways to dissipate stress without eating. BrainWeighve users are inventive in coming up with their own Action Plans for their unique circumstances. One user, Carly, who began testing the app 10 years ago as a high school freshman and still uses it today shares her story on YouTube:

We’ve covered stories on AddictionNews about the relapse rate of people in drug treatment programs, and the weight gain when people stop using GLP-1 drugs such as Ozempic. Without lifestyle adjustment, the benefits of pharmaceutical interventions may disappear as soon as the drugs disappear. Addicts are condemned to a lifetime of often expensive, often painful medication, unless they can transition.

Successful transition used to require months or years of in-person therapy with a trained psychologist or psychiatrist. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a wave of efforts to deliver addiction treatment services more broadly, more quickly, with the help of smartphone applications.

Recently, addiction treatment telehealth company, Boulder Care, secured $35 million in startup funding in a move to bring qualified care specialists to even the most remote areas of the country for round-the-clock service of patients entered into drug treatment programs. Boulder Care’s telehealth services work to keep people in treatment longer, at a lower cost to insurance plans and employers.

Similarly, we reported on Pelago, a telehealth substance use disorder treatment company, that closed on $58 million in funding to expand their offerings, which include video, audio, and text messaging with counselors, coaches, nurses, and physicians through the Pelago app.

BrainWeighve also includes audio, video, and text messaging with healthcare professionals through the BrainWeighve app. Users can be required to weigh themselves daily, to check-in daily, and to attend video sessions with their doctors, depending on the intervention prescribed by their doctors.

BrainWeighve is designed to intervene at the moment of urge and to provide whatever level of support is needed, from a friendly reminder to a call with a doctor, to help users from becoming substance abusers. If you know someone in the Los Angeles area between the ages of 14 and 21 who would like to be in on the BrainWeighve weight loss trial now underway at UCLA, send them to Thanks!

Written by Steve O’Keefe. First published June 3, 2024.


“BrainWeighve App User Testimonial – Carly,” from the AddictionNews Channel on YouTube, May 29, 2024.

“$35 Million Funding for Telehealth Addiction Treatment Provider,” AddictionNews, May 29, 2024.

“Telehealth Company, Pelago, Raises Additional $58 Million in Venture Capital Funding,” AddictionNews, April 4, 2024.

Image Copyright: eHealth International. Used with permission.


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