What is your current job title and organization, and what excites you the most about working there?
As the President of Cogniciti, a spin-off from Baycrest reseach center and hospital, I am excited to help transform brain health from a reactive, “suffer-in-silence” space to a proactive, “let-me-take-control-of-my-health” space.
Please tell us about your interest in brain health and performance. What areas are you most interested in? What motivated you to pursue work in your field?
Same as cardiac health has been transformed through earlier diagnosis and treatment, there are big opportunities in taking the same early-warning approach to brain health. Given that many adults don’t see their doctor with a memory concern until their symptoms are well progressed, there needs to be a better care model that starts directly with consumers. I want to put that direct-to-consumer warning system in place. And, in so doing, to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.
What is one important thing you are working on now, and where can people learn more about it?
Cogniciti has worked with the scientists and researchers at Baycrest to develop an online Brain Health Assessment. It’s private, free, and validated for adults ages 50 to 79. To take it, simply go to www.cogniciti.com.
What are 1–2 key things you’d like every person to understand about his/ her own brain and mind, that you think are commonly misunderstood?
As a society we tend to rely exclusively on the health care community to promote health and prevent and treat disease, and I believe that is a serious mistake. Sure, diagnosis and treatment should be the domain of the professionals, but we need to give them a hand by helping adults take better care of themselves, including empowering them to know when they should visit a doctor.
Where do you see clear “low-hanging fruit” to shape the future and the practice of brain fitness?
I see a significant opportunity in providing meaningful, validated self-assessments of brain health to individuals of all ages, especially to those 50+.
What would you like the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit to accomplish?
Previous SharpBrains Summits have helped us see the bigger picture, and make multiple initial connections with research and industry champions to make that picture real. Now that we’re bringing an innovative self-assessment to the market, I’d love to engage the community in findings ways to multiply its availability in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond.
Finally, if I may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
As a change agent, which, by definition, carries its share of stress…I exercise and eat healthy to keep that stress in check. Add to that having teen-age twins who enjoy keeping Dad real and well-grounded, especially when I start to take myself too seriously…
—This conversation is part of a new interview series with Sponsors & Speakers @ 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (October 28–30th). You can register with a 10% discount using promotional code: sharp2014. Please join us!