Consumer Market: Primary insomnia affects 10 to 15% of the
American population or 25 to 30 million people. Primary insomnia is mainly
caused by psychological factors, such as stress and inconsistent sleep
schedule, etc. Direct economic impact from insomnia is estimated at over $10
billion annually, with total economic costs of nearly $100 billion annually.
Moreover, sleep related accidents account for over 23,000 fatalities each year.
Most people with insomnia have developed sleep patterns that interfere with
their normal sleep cycle. Efforts to get more sleep often result in getting
less sleep instead. Behavioral treatment of insomnia, on which SleepKey is
based, is more effective than sleep medications, and doesn’t cause problems
like morning sedation or drug dependence.
Tobacco addiction is the leading cause of premature death worldwide. Yet in the
US and Canada alone, over 50 million people smoke and about 10 million people
chew tobacco. These numbers have remained virtually unchanged over the last ten
years, in spite of the vigorous anti-tobacco campaigns in both countries.
Moreover, several studies indicate that these numbers are not likely to
diminish in the foreseeable future, because the drop in tobacco addiction among
adult males is being offset by increased consumption by females and
adolescents. Globally, per capita tobacco consumption in most industrial
countries exceeds the above numbers (e.g. over 50% of Japanese males smoke),and
in developing countries all over the world, tobacco consumption is high and
The second leading cause of premature death in industrial nations is heart
disease and strokes caused by combinations of obesity, elevated cholesterol,
hypertension, and diabetes, all of which are weight related. A third of
American adults are overweight (up 25% from 1980) and under exercised, giving
rise to the huge weight loss and fitness industries. Another third of American
adults are at increased risk of coronary heart disease due to cholesterol
levels above 200. Yet another third of American adults suffer from hypertension
The first treatment of choice for each of these conditions is dietary
intervention. Our DietMate product line conforms to recommended dietary
guidelines for treating these disorders. Globally, most industrial nations
confront one or more of the above health threats, creating a huge market for
PICS' DietMate product line. The outlook for the future is even more promising
for our products, as many of the developing countries follow in the footsteps
of the industrial nations' stress induced, sedentary lifestyle that favors the
deadly combination of overeating and inactivity.
Institutional Market: Most large employers in North America
have been forced to implement restrictive smoking policies because of a
combination of legislation, the threat of lawsuits by non-smoking employees,
and the desire to contain rising health costs. Consequently, many of these
companies have been offering help to quit smoking to affected employees.
Similarly, a growing number of employers have begun offering wellness programs
motivated by cost containment considerations. PICS has been very successful at
capturing a large share of this market, including many Fortune 500 companies
such as IBM and Johnson & Johnson. Furthermore, insurance companies and
HMO's, motivated to invest in prevention tactics, have shown a strong interest
in PICS' product line.
Finally, the commercial diet industry, having been battered by bad publicity,
scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission and forced to back away from its
most enticing claims, and assaulted by a new generation of anti-diet gurus, is
undergoing a shakeout. Even the major players realize that they are overdue for
a makeover and are scrambling to reposition their offerings. Consistent with
well-publicized research, most companies have begun to emphasize general
wellness including stress reduction, cholesterol management, and exercise. Some
are targeting the "forgotten" male dieter (28 million men are obese versus 34
million women) and yet some are looking abroad for new sources of growth. Most
importantly to PICS, some diet companies are finally awakening to the
inconvenience of the meeting format and are pursuing self-help offerings. PICS
is ideally suited to fulfill this vacuum and is actively pursuing many
Professional Market: PICS utilizes a combination of its
proprietary palm-size computer platform and proprietary Windows-based software
to target three professional communities: dietitians and nutritionists,
behavioral scientists, and market researchers. Dietitians and nutritionists are
a growing segment of health professionals who need sophisticated tools to
facilitate the design, implementation, and tracking of specialized diets. At
present, most dietitians have access to adequate software for the design
purposes, but experience difficulty in communicating the result, frequently
complex dietary and exercise regimens to their patients. Reliance on paper and
pencil approaches leads to poor patient compliance and difficulties in
analyzing outcomes and subsequent intervention.
PICS' DietMatePro (www.DietMatePro.com) offers an integrated solution that fits
the needs of both the professional and their patients. Similarly, behavioral
scientists engaged in both patient treatment and scientific research can
benefit from PICS' CERTAS System (www.CERTAS.com). The system facilitates the
development of a broad range of data collection protocols on a desktop
computer. Protocols can then be downloaded into palm-top computers for use by
patients or research subjects for self-monitoring, and data collected can then
be uploaded to a personal computer for analysis. The Professional Marketer
System is conceptually similar to the CERTAS System, but provides a set of
tools developed specifically for the professional market researcher.
Each of the above markets is very large, growing, and international in scope.