MomentStrong aims to change behavior at the time and place users are most likely to cave

By Aditi Pai

MomentStrongMomentStrong offers people who want to quit smoking, lose weight or fix another health-related behavior a way to remind themselves to stay strong during those moments they are usually weakest.

The app, which is only available through employee wellness programs, uses geofencing technologies to send helpful message to the user when they are in a specific place that user has previously designated as a place where they are likely to make a bad health decision.

Pierce said a similar strategy was proven to be effective. She pointed to a study done in the UK last year that found text message support at random times of the day helped people quit smoking. Unlike that study's method, she added, MomentStrong isn't random and it also sends pictures and GIFs or can even phone a friend.

"Take, for instance, a recovering alcoholic," Pierce said. "He lives in the same place [as he did before], works in the same place, and drives home at night past the same bar he used to go to for happy hour. And he cannot go there anymore. He would load his MomentStrong [app] with that particular bar and if he ever pulls into the parking lot of that bar, MomentStrong will launch a phone call to his sponsor."

MomentStrong will soon launch a trial with the University of North Florida to test the app's efficacy. (Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the trial was with the University of Florida.)

When users first launch the MomentStrong app, they can watch a video that explains the different kinds of moments that users can track. Pierce says MomentStrong also holds sessions at employees offices to help get them started. Part of this session is helping them come up with moments to include on their apps.

Since the launch of the app in June of last year, the company has added 20 customers. Each employer pays $5 per year, per employee.

MomentStrong says it has also seen direct to consumer interest. Given the interest, the company is weighing a direct to consumer launch with a paid app in the Apple App Store.

MomentStrong also plans to add other support areas for people with different health conditions and look to add a rewards feature for those that have improved through the program. They also want to integrate with wearables like Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand, and Jawbone UP.

"MomentStrong focuses on the 90 percent of the world that is not super fit," Pierce said. "The super fit don't have these moments but the rest of us do. With MomentStrong you get behavioral modification via a wearable by showing them something that is meaningful to them. We believe -- and the experts that we work with agree -- that this is a unique thing."