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Report: The State of the Brain Fitness/ Training Software Market 2008

After many months of work (and we hope many new neurons and stronger synapses in our brains), we have just released our inaugural report on the emerging Brain Fitness Software Market, Brain Fitness Software the first to define the brain fitness and training software market and analyze the size and trends of its four customer segments. We estimate the size of the US brain fitness software market at $225M in2007, up from $100m in 2005 (50% CAGR). The two segments that fueled the market growth: consumers (grew from $5m to $80m, 300% CAGR) and healthcare & insurance providers (grew from $36m to $65m, 35% CAGR).

Highlights from The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2008 report include:

1) 2007 was a seminal year for the US Brain Fitness software market, which reached $225 million in revenues – up from an estimated $100 million in 2005.

2) Over 20 companies are offering tools to assess and train cognitive skills to four customer segments: consumers; healthcare and insurance providers; K12 school systems; and Fortune 1000 companies, the military, and sports teams.

3) The Nintendo Brain Age/ Brain Training phenomenon has driven much of the growth. The consumer segment grew from a few million in 2005 to an estimated $80 million in 2007.

4) There is major confusion in the market, so education will be key. Users and buyers need help to navigate the maze of products and claims.

5) Over 400 residential facilities for older adults have launched computerized “brain fitness centers.” Sales to the healthcare and insurance provider segment grew from $35 million in 2005 to an estimated $65 million in 2007.

6) More than five programs have shown results in randomized controlled trials. Cognitive functions that can be trained include: visual and auditory processing, working memory, attention, and decision-making.

7) A product has obtained 510(k) FDA clearance for rehabilitation of stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury patients. Another product is being used by a growing network of ADHD specialists.

8) Large-scale, fully-automated cognitive assessments are being used in a growing number of clinical trials. This opens the way for the development of inexpensive consumer-facing, baseline cognitive assessments.

9) The potential for K12 Education remains largely untapped due to limited research linking cognitive training to academic performance.

10) Companies, sports teams and the military are finding opportunities to improve productivity. The aging workforce will make this a must.

The report tracks developments at over 20 public and private companies offering tools to assess and train brain functions and provides important industry data, insights and analysis to help investors, executives, entrepreneurs, and policy makers navigate the opportunities and risks of this rapidly growing market. The report discusses the implications of cognitive science on healthy aging and a number of disorders such as attention deficits, dyslexia, stroke and traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, autism, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. The report also provides information and frameworks to help institutional buyers make informed purchase decisions about brain fitness programs.

Table of Contents
List of Figures
Companies Included
End Notes

A few accolades for the report:

“Finally, an insightful and complete overview of the science, companies and trends in the brain fitness field. A must-read for everyone offering products and services to boomers and elders.”
– Gloria Cavanaugh, former President & CEO of the American Society on Aging and founding Board member of the National Alliance for Caregiving.

“This groundbreaking report provides a definitive overview of the emerging brain training market — an important category to watch for every gaming and healthcare executive and investor. SharpBrains’ comprehensive report defines a clear scope for the market and also charts its evolution, path and key trends.”
– Tim Chang, Principal at Norwest Venture Partners.

“Brain health and function is becoming a top priority in our society. This is as true for school children as it is for corporate executives or aging baby-boomers. It is a typical misconception about the brain that there is only one general intelligence to care about. It has been shown that there are many different cognitive abilities each of which may be trained systematically. While physical exercise increases the rate of formation of new nerve cells, mental exercise promotes their survival. It is in this context that an explosion of new “brain-training” software modalities have been developed.
The 2008 State of the Brain Fitness Software Market report is a timely analysis of the status of this new and emerging market. Preliminary results from scientific investigations evaluating several of the programs suggest not only short-term improvement in the trained skills, but a more long lasting and extended response spanning related mental functions. The review clearly states that the impact of mental training on brain aging and dementing disorders remains unknown, but it profiles each approach regarding degree of scientific scrutiny, market segment, modality, and specific parameter being trained. Healthcare and psychology professionals will benefit immensely from this state of the art, comprehensive overview and insightful analysis.”
Larry McCleary, M. D., former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital.

The report is available either in electronic format or hardcopy, both priced at $495. To learn more, and purchase, click Here. We are offering a 10% discount to our blog readers in honor of Brain Awareness Week (Discount Code “BAW2008”), valid until March 20th.

Related information:

– We first announced this report in this MIT/ ASA/ SmartSilvers Panel

– The video of the entire 1.5 hour panel is available in Google Video.

– This post featured the main highlights of the event.

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13 Responses

  1. George Rawalt says:

    As an independant and solo practicing clinical psychologist I could very much use the report information, but the price is prohibitive. Is there any alternative way for me to get the information?

  2. Alvaro says:

    Hello George, comparable reports in other industries usually run at prices over $1,000…so we have tried to make it as affordable as possible.

    What we are doing is approaching associations and companies who may want to buy large quantities, at large discount, for their members or employees. May I suggest that you contact any association or other group you are part of, and encourage them to contact us. Thank you

  3. Terral Lawrence says:

    Termed a ‘Report,’ but isn’t it really a marketing plan for yourselves?

  4. Kent Stewart says:

    You stated that “More than five programs have shown results in randomized controlled trials. Cognitive functions that can be trained include: visual and auditory processing, working memory, attention, and decision-making”. I am working with a very low budget non-profit group on brain fitness. What were the products that have shown results in randomized controlled trials?

  5. Alvaro says:

    Terral: the only way I can understand your comment is if you think we are developing the programs ourselves…which we aren’t. We have no affiliation whatsoever with the companies we cover, and they are the ones developing programs. We provide intelligence, either via consulting or reports like this, to help companies and investors who want to understand this field. And the value we provide is the quality of the information included, so we would be shooting ourselves in the floor if the content was not valuable. In every new market there are analysts who cover it and educate on it, and that’s our role.

    Kent: please contact us with more information on who you are and what you are doing. Giving you 5 names is not going to be that helpful in any case. More important than whether a program has shown effects in a trial is to go deep into what exactly is it that the program trains and the trial showed.

    Finally: my wife and I just had a baby…and the rest of the team is very busy…so our apologies for some slow days in blogging and answering comments.

  6. Parris Kidd, PhD says:

    How can I get this report?
    Thanks for your help!

  7. Alvaro says:

    Hello Parris, the link to learn more and purchase it is

  8. Adva says:

    “A product has obtained 510(k) FDA clearance for…. Another product is being used by a growing network of ADHD specialists”.

    I’m looking for the ADHD product which mention above.Thanks for your help, Adva

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.