Kaiser Permanente is trying to give its 12.4 million members a little bit of calm.
Starting Tuesday, the health-care provider is allowing patients to download the Calm meditation app for free as part of a way to help customers manage anxiety as they deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Calm is the most-popular health and fitness app on Google-powered devices and No. 2 on the iPhone, according to App Annie. Paid subscriptions normally cost $70 a year … Calm was seeing surging growth even before the coronavirus forced Americans to shelter in place and led to skyrocketing unemployment. The San Francisco-based start-up was valued by investors last year at $1 billion, two years after being named Apple’s app of the year back in 2017. The app has been downloaded over 80 million times.
After a very busy month, it’s time now for SharpBrains e‑newsletter to summarize the latest initiatives, tools and ideas for lifelong brain health and mental fitness — and to share a few puzzles and illusions to tease your brain.
A growing number of classrooms in China are equipped with artificial-intelligence cameras and brain-wave trackers. Video: Crystal Tai for The Wall Street Journal.
New neuro-infused education and healthcare initiatives:
- China is harnessing brain-wave trackers and artificial-intelligence to raise better (and more compliant?) students
- Report calls for wide classroom-based adoption of ten brain fitness programs designed to improve foundational executive functions
- The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK considers adding a 5‑minute cognitive test to its annual health check-up
- CVS Health: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) apps may help you more than sleeping pills
New neurotech and digital health tools:
- What does the Facebook acquisition of CTRL-Labs mean for Neurotechnology and Augmented & Virtual Reality?
- Startup Aural Analytics raises $4.3M to monitor neurological health by analyzing speech patterns
- Will personalized meditation apps be able to replicate the experience of working with a coach?
- IBM, VA and Total Brain to test digital mental health platform for veterans and reservists
New thinking on brain and mental health:
- Two great professional development opportunities with renowned neuropsychologist Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg
- Apple/ Eli Lilly’s bet: Wearable and mobile consumer devices may well help us detect cognitive impairment and dementia
- May “industry review boards” contribute to the wider adoption of virtual and augmented reality for physical and mental health?
Finally, a few fun brain teasers for adults and kids alike 🙂
- Tease your brain with the Hermann Grid illusion
- Brain teaser to test your pattern recognition: Fill the void
- Math brain teaser requiring no math — just perception and cognition
Have a great month of October,
The SharpBrains Team
Apple, Eli Lilly research whether devices can detect dementia signs (Healthcare Dive):
“Dementia, which affects roughly 47 million people across the globe, costs $1 trillion worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Early testing for the condition is sporadic and, when conducted, it’s often not sensitive enough to detect early stages of mental decline, creating an opportunity for tech companies like Apple to see whether they can turn a profit.
The “rich, longitudinal information” from wearable and mobile consumer devices can be [Read more…] about Apple/ Eli Lilly’s bet: Wearable and mobile consumer devices may well help us detect cognitive impairment and dementia
This was the hottest app trend of the year (Market Watch):
“Apps were all about inner peace in 2018.
Apple named “self-care” its app trend of the year with its Best of 2018 list released earlier this week, which highlighted what apps, games, movies and music were on everyone’s list — and fingertips — over the past year. “We became mindful of some amazing wellness apps,” the report noted, listing meditation apps such as 10% Happier, Calm and Shine, as well as the Fabulous – Motivate Me life coach and habit tracker [Read more…] about Mental fitness self-care named app trend of 2018
It’s remarkable how quickly things are changing, finally, in brain health and mental health — see for example what’s new with Interaxon, Akili, NeuraMetrix, Apple, Calm, Halo Neuroscience, Mindstrong Health, Novartis, Pear Therapeutics, and lifelong neurogenesis, all in the last 6 months!
- Cognitive training, diet, exercise, and vascular management seen to improve cognition even in people with genetic predisposition for dementia (APOE e4)
- Brain imaging show that patients with Alzheimer’s disease can still remember and enjoy their favorite songs
- Physical exercise doesn’t slow down dementia once it appears, study shows
- Initial study finds promise and limitations in using virtual reality (VR) to treat ADHD
- tDCS coming to an Equinox gym near you: Good, Bad or Depends?
- Could technology help cure depression among older adults? (Short answer: Yes)
- Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills
- Large study to assess impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers
- New book highlights continued brain development throughout adolescence, even into our 20s
- Presentation on Neuroscience, Education and Lifelong Learning (in Spanish)
Have a great month of June,
The SharpBrains Team
“Meditation start-up Calm was so successful during a chaotic and stressful 2017 that Apple recognized it as the app of the year.
“Well done, Calm,” Apple said in December. [Read more…] about Meditation app Calm said to be raising $25M to become the “Nike of the mind”