Quitting smoking is getting a high-tech approach - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Quitting smoking is getting a high-tech approach

A new start-up has raised a millions to develop a computerized nicotine patch. (Source: KPIX via CBS) A new start-up has raised a millions to develop a computerized nicotine patch. (Source: KPIX via CBS)

HAYWARD, CA (KPIX/CBS) - A Bay Area start-up could soon help people kick smoking for good by using a high-tech solution to transform the traditional nicotine patch.

Biotech start-up Chrono Therapeutics in Hayward, CA, says a computerized nicotine patch is the key for putting down cigarettes for good. It works like a regular transdermal nicotine patch, but is really a tiny computer that regulates dosage.

"We’ve combined smart drug delivery where we've timed the delivery of the nicotine to deal with the patient's or consumer's cravings," Patrick Ruane, Chrono's vice president for research and development, said.

The device sends in more nicotine when it's needed and less when it's not, and it's smarter than you may think. It can talk to your smartphone and knows when it's time to change to a fresh patch.

"We've actually built a censor into the device," Ruane said. "You will get a message, or your family members if you decide to include them in the journey. They will get a message going, hey, don't forget to put in a new cartridge."

Investors are so impressed with the early trial results that Chrono raised $48 million to fund the project. The company says now they can go forward with large-scale trials starting next year.

Meanwhile, testing continues. There a lot of variables still being confirmed, but the work to help solve one of the world's most pressing problems is making progress.

"If you can find a better way to help people quit smoking, you could essentially eradicate lung cancer and could save millions of lives globally," Guy Guidipirro, Chrono's founder, said. "Over 550 Americans die every year from smoking. Ninety percent of lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking, so we really can make a difference."

Copyright 2016 KPIX via CBS. All rights reserved.

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