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.
Heads-up about a couple fascinating developments over the last few weeks.
1) Verily’s Bold New Project Aims to Predict Depression Using Your Phone (SingularityHub):
“Depression is a shifting, amorphous beast that silently haunts millions. It’s also difficult to pinpoint.
Psychiatry has formulated well-tested questionnaires to diagnose depression. But these tests require patients to reach out and only provide snapshots of their disorder in time [Read more…] about Verily and LivaNova accelerate efforts to detect and treat depression
Join the disruptors of health science (Nature):
Thomas R. Insel’s biggest lesson from his shift from NIMH director to Silicon Valley entrepreneur: academic and technology company researchers should partner up.
“In early 2015, I testified with several other National Institutes of Health (NIH) directors at an annual hearing held by the US Senate. It was my 13th and final year as director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. What struck me most was how [Read more…] about Required: Deep partnerships between industry and academia to upgrade healthcare and biomedical research via Big Data
Time for SharpBrains’ May e‑newsletter, highlighting what’s new in brain health and mental performance, and featuring a very relevant MIT initiative and a thought-provoking study on the “Cognitive Divide.”
- MIT Solve launches Brain Health Challenge: How can every person improve their brain health and mental resilience?
- Mental Health Innovation and Dr. Tom Insel: from the NIMH to Google/ Verily Life Sciences to Startup Mindstrong
- Five reasons the future of brain enhancement is digital, pervasive and (hopefully) bright (related slides here)
- Eight research teams working with DARPA to discover best ways to activate neuroplasticity and accelerate learning
- Researchers propose four “neurorights” to harness neurotechnology for good: cognitive liberty, mental privacy, mental integrity, and psychological continuity
- Is modernity leading to a growing Cognitive Divide?
- Physically-active video games (‘exergames’) boost cognition more than physical activity alone
- Common medication treatments for PTSD can increase the risk of developing dementia
- Study identifies brain circuits enabling four-year-olds to “put themselves in other people’s shoes”
- Want a music system that lifts you up when you’re feeling down? Meet this audio headset with bio-signal sensors (NeuroSky patent)
- Evaluating neural responses via EEG brain data in virtual reality environments (Nielsen patent)
- Connecting cardiological and neurological health (Medtronic patent)
- Start-up Aira raises $12M, showing the way for cognitive science and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the lives of blind and low vision individuals
Have a great month of June and, for those based in the US, a great Memorial Day weekend,
The SharpBrains Team
“Can a smartphone detect whether a user is suicidal or depressed?
That’s the promise of an exploding number of mental health entrepreneurs, who are exploring opportunities to monitor users’ smartphone behavior to detect a variety of symptoms — all with their consent. [Read more…] about Mental Health Innovation and Dr. Tom Insel: from the NIMH to Google/ Verily Life Sciences to Startup Mindstrong
“Two new reports suggest that two of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are secretly working on augmented reality (AR) technology. It may take some time before Apple is going to reveal its efforts in the space, but Facebook may give us a glance at its AR research as early as next month [Read more…] about Next: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) meet brain scanning and human enhancement