The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 19–49 | Cite as

A New Frontier: Integrating Behavioral and Digital Technology to Promote Health Behavior

  • Jesse DalleryEmail author
  • Allison Kurti
  • Philip Erb
Original Article


Modifiable behavioral risk factors such as cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity contribute to over 40 % of premature deaths in the USA. Advances in digital and information technology are creating unprecedented opportunities for behavior analysts to assess and modify these risk factors. Technological advances include mobile devices, wearable sensors, biomarker detectors, and real-time access to therapeutic support via information technology. Integrating these advances with behavioral technology in the form of conceptually systematic principles and procedures could usher in a new generation of effective and scalable behavioral interventions targeting health behavior. In this selective review of the literature, we discuss how technological tools can assess and modify a range of antecedents and consequences of healthy and unhealthy behavior. We also describe practical, methodological, and conceptual advantages for behavior analysts that stem from the use of technology to assess and treat health behavior.


Behavioral assessment Contingency management Health behavior mHealth Technology 



The preparation of this paper was supported in part by Grants P30DA029926 and R01DA023469 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We thank Brantley Jarvis and Paul Soto for helpful comments on a previous draft of this manuscript.


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© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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