Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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New Summit Speaker: David Nill, Chief Medical Officer at Cerner

DavidNillWe’re proud to announce a new and excel­lent speak­er at the upcom­ing 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Sep­tem­ber 19-20th), to dis­cuss an ambitious ongoing initiative to embed brain health solutions into corporate wellness.

Dr. David Nill, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Cerner Corporation, is responsible for innovation of clinical aspects of health and care services for Healthe , an initiative aimed at increasing the resilience and wellbeing for Cerner associates. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Predictions on How Digital Platforms will Transform Brain Health in 2013

Just a quick note: we’ll host a webinar on January 30th to discuss key market predictions based on “The Digital Brain Health Market 2012-2020: Web-based, mobile and biometrics-based tech­nol­ogy to assess, mon­i­tor and enhance cog­ni­tion and brain functioning”, our new market report.

Here are 10 predictions, many of which will likely be realized before the end of 2013: Read the rest of this entry »

Nationwide Insurance’s Kath­leen Herath on Brain-Based Corporate Wellness Initiatives

Kathleen will run an educational workshop on How Nation­wide Insur­ance rolled-out a Brain-based Cor­po­rate Well­ness Ini­tia­tive. An in-depth case study out­lin­ing busi­ness ratio­nale, ven­dor selec­tion, pilot test and roll-out, and return-on-investment, at the upcoming 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (June 7-14th, 2012).

Kath­leen Herath is the Asso­ciate Vice Pres­i­dent Health & Pro­duc­tiv­ity at Nation­wide Insurance. Kath­leen Herath, RN, BSN CRRN, over­sees the Health and Pro­duc­tiv­ity strat­egy Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Training Trends – Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work

Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, leading Cognitive Reserve researcher at Columbia University, and then with a group of 25 lifelong learners in Arizona who attended a brain fitness class (hello, Robert and friends!) based on our consumer guide The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. On reflection, I found both conversations to be very stimulating for the same reason: they were forward-looking, focused not so much on status quo but on how emerging research, technology and trends may impact our society and lives in years to come. Let’s continue the conversation. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ forecasted in our book, and then ask you, sharp readers, to add your own 2 cents to the discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

FAQ about SharpBrains Council for Brain Fitness Innovation

We have received many good questions about the new SharpBrains Council for Brain Fitness Innovation – below you have some answers.

Question: We are based in Asia/ Australia/ Europe. Will time differences prevent us from participating in monthly briefings and benefiting from the Council?

Answer: We will do our best to facilitate a truly global community and exchange. Please consider that…

  1. we will schedule monthly briefings at 2 separate times, one at 9am US Pacific Time, the other at 4pm US Pacific Time, both covering the same topic (but perhaps with different guest speakers). And briefings will be recorded.
  2. most activities and resources are asynchronous anyway. Our market intelligence reports and other materials are available via this members-only online community 24/7, same as online discussion forums, focused groups to track/ discuss specific topics, the ability to ask questions to and connect with other members…

Question: Will something change regarding SharpBrains.com blog and monthly newsletter, which are great free resources?

Answer: We plan to  maintain those free resources, focusing on content of a general interest for everyone with a brain. The Council’s purpose is to create a new valuable in-depth resource and community for professionals and organizations active with brain fitness initiatives, so we can all learn and share during the year, and help the field mature. That will include Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Is Grey the New Gold?

Here you have the June edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

The full schedule of the SharpBrains’ powered Cognitive Health Track at the Games for Health Conference, June 11-12th in Boston, is now available online. 13 sessions will feature 18 innovators and thought-leaders representing developers, universities, clinicians, consumers, insurance companies, and more. You can learn more and register.

Longevity Dividend

Ever heard of the Longevity Dividend? Perhaps Grey is the New Gold: The Kronos Longevity Research Institute has released a new report summarizing the state of aging research that includes an excellent introduction into the Longevity Dividend, a “theory that says we hope to intervene scientifically to slow the aging process, which will also delay the onset of age-related diseases. Delaying aging just seven years would slash rates of conditions like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease in half.” With that context in mind, is the National Institute on Aging getting its fair budget share?

Resources

Visual Representation of the State of the Market 2009: Paul Van Slembrouck summarizes and beautifully presents the main findings of our 150-page market report, The State of the Brain Fitness Market 2009. Enjoy this excellent graphic.

Book Club Discussion Guide: The goal of our just published book, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, is to inform you, but also to open a much needed debate to contribute to our collective brain fitness. We encourage book clubs to read and discuss the book, and suggest 10 questions to kickstart the conversation. Please do send us your answers and impressions!

Education & Learning

10% Students may have working memory problems: Why does this matter?: A recent study screened over 3,000 school-aged students in schools in the UK and found that 1 in 10 was identified as having working memory difficulties. Working memory is our ability to store and manipulate information for a brief time, and difficulties in this brain function may lead into difficulties in reading and mathematics. Dr. Tracy Alloway reviews the study and elaborates.

Brain Scientists Identify Links between Arts & Learning: Nicky Pentilla comments on a recent report sponsored by the Dana Foundation and a related Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit. “Arts education influences learning and other areas of cognition and may deserve a more prominent place in schools.” Of particular note is the finding that showed significant brain plasticity as a result of instrumental music instruction are repeated practice.

8 Tips To Remember What You Read: Despite television, cell phones, and  twitter, traditional reading is still an important skill. Dr. Bill Klemm offers some tips to read with good speed and comprehension: Read with a purpose, Skim first, Get the reading mechanics right, Be judicious in highlighting and note taking, Think in pictures, Rehearse as you go along, Stay within your attention span and work to increase your attention span, Practice.

News

Corporate Wellness, Cognitive Assessments and Memory Fitness Programs: a great MarketWatch article provides an overview of how major insurers and large employers are starting to add brain health to their corporate wellness activities.  The Stanford Longevity Center released a statement urging consumers who buy a range of memory products to make informed decisions (we released the book above precisely with that goal in mind).

Have a stimulating month of June!

Corporate Wellness Programs start to include Brain Health

Brain-fitness games join workplace, as well as senior center, arsenals (MarketWatch)

– “Consumers and retirement homes have made brain-fitness games and exercises a commercial hit, but now some insurers and employers are incorporating them into wellness programs that promote health not just for the body but also for the mind.”

– “Improving brain health can result in less presenteeism, the tendency to be at work but be distracted and not able to focus,” he added. “If you look at disability costs, absenteeism and presenteeism account for most of the medical costs, and that’s a good reason for employers to be focused on brain health.” (according to Dr. Eugene Baker, vice president at OptumHealth’s Behavioral Solutions division)”

The article reviews innovative practices at OptumHealth, Nationwide Auto Insurance Company, Humana, Penn Treaty American Corp, Allstate, and the US Army. I am glad to see the media start to notice the importance of cognitive assessments and the growing activity by insurers. Read the rest of this entry »

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