Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Working with Healthcare Stakeholders towards Brain-Based Personalized Medicine

(Edi­tor’s Note: this is Part 3 of the new 3‑part series writ­ten by Dr. Evian Gor­don draw­ing from his par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine World Con­gress on Jan­u­ary, 23, 2012 at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.)

Work­ing with Health Care Indus­try Stake­hold­ers: Clin­i­cians, Pharma/Biotech, Pay­ers, PBMs, Lawyers, Medicare, FDA

Clin­i­cians seek clear val­i­dat­ed “rules of thumb” that can be eas­i­ly imple­ment­ed and fit into their work­flow and reim­burse­ment regime. Many are explor­ing “Clin­i­cal Deci­sion Sup­port (CDS)” tools on the web and solu­tions linked to “Elec­tron­ic Health Records” (EHR’s). CDC and EHR’s are seed­ing the ground for clin­i­cians to adopt robust Bio­mark­ers that are shown to be unam­bigu­ous­ly clin­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Games for Health Conference Announces First Cognitive Health Track Powered by SharpBrains

This is a press release that went through the wire ear­li­er today. If you are inter­est­ed, in attend­ing the con­fer­ence, you can learn more and reg­is­ter Here

Note that below you can find 5 out of the 12 ses­sions — we will announce the full track tomor­row. To get a 15% off reg­is­tra­tion fees, you can use dis­count code: sharp09, when you reg­is­ter.


The Games for Health Project, orga­niz­ers of the 5th Annu­al Games for Health Con­fer­ence, today announced its first Cog­ni­tive Health Track pow­ered by Sharp­Brains, a lead­ing mar­ket research com­pa­ny focused on the brain fit­ness and the cog­ni­tive health mar­ket.

The Cog­ni­tive Health track builds upon pre­vi­ous year’s sam­pling of ses­sions look­ing at cog­ni­tive health and fit­ness, expand­ing to a full two-day track at The Games for Health Con­fer­ence, June 11–12, Boston, MA. The Con­fer­ence fea­tures the largest gath­er­ing of orga­ni­za­tions inter­est­ed in the inter­sec­tion between videogames, health and health­care.

There is already a very active cog­ni­tive health videogames indus­try and field of research,” said Ben Sawyer, co-founder of the Games for Health Con­fer­ence. “We part­nered with Sharp­Brains to bring their exper­tise in this field our con­fer­ence plan­ning. Togeth­er we have for the first time cre­at­ed a pow­er­ful set of ses­sions and a much need­ed con­ver­sa­tion with researchers, thought-lead­ers and indus­try pio­neers who will attend the event in June.”

The track fea­tures a dozen ses­sions cov­er­ing research find­ings and part­ner­ships, imple­men­ta­tion in insur­ance, con­sumer and clin­i­cal set­tings, and spe­cial ses­sions look­ing at inno­v­a­tive areas such as dri­ver safe­ty, healthy aging, atten­tion deficits, stroke/traumatic brain injury, schiz­o­phre­nia and mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis.

The con­ver­gence of inter­ac­tive media such as videogames with cog­ni­tive sci­ence opens the door to inno­v­a­tive and scal­able approach­es to Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Cognitive Fitness Events of 2008 (Webinar)

We have just announced an upcom­ing webi­nar to pro­vide a mar­ket update:  Top 10 Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness Events of 2008 — A Mar­ket Update.

cognitive fitness When: Thurs­day Decem­ber 11th, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm Pacif­ic Time. The same webi­nar will be repeat­ed on Thurs­day Decem­ber 18th, from 9:00 to 10:00 pm Pacif­ic Time.

The Top 10 Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness Events that will be dis­cussed include:

1) Feb­ru­ary: Dakim secures a $10.6m invest­ment from Galen Part­ners. Jack LaLanne becomes spokesper­son.
2) April: The Gov­ern­ment of Ontario, Cana­da, invests $10m in Bay­crest to devel­op and com­mer­cial­ize cog­ni­tive fit­ness tech­nolo­gies.
3) April: Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan researchers reveal in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences how com­put­er­ized work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing can gen­er­al­ize and improve flu­id intel­li­gence in healthy adults.
4) May: Humana unveils Games for Health ini­tia­tives, not renew­ing its agree­ment with Posit Sci­ence.
5) June: The US Army launch­es a new pol­i­cy requir­ing cog­ni­tive screen­ings of all sol­diers before deploy­ment (in order to Read the rest of this entry »

The Cognitive Health and Fitness Market On The Move

As you have prob­a­bly seen, the Cog­ni­tive Health and Brain Fit­ness field is rapid­ly evolv­ing, so let me high­light some of the main recent devel­op­ments affect­ing the field:

1) Pub­lic pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives:
— The Gov­ern­ment of Ontario, Cana­da, announced a $10m invest­ment in Bay­crest Research Cen­ter to help devel­op and com­mer­cial­ize brain fit­ness tech­nolo­gies. This $10m invest­ment was matched with an addi­tion­al $10m by local investors.
— In the US, The Paul Well­stone and Pete Domeni­ci Men­tal Health Par­i­ty and Addic­tion Equi­ty Act of 2008 was signed into law, includ­ed in the recent­ly-approved eco­nom­ic bailout bill. The pas­sage of this law has sig­nif­i­cant impli­ca­tions for health­care providers and tech­nol­o­gy ven­dors alike.

2) Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments Used by the US Mil­i­tary:
The US Army launched a new pol­i­cy requir­ing cog­ni­tive screen­ings of all sol­diers before deploy­ment (in order to bet­ter diag­nose poten­tial prob­lems such as PTSD and TBI upon return). ANAM was the select­ed com­put­er­ized bat­tery of tests.

3) Ven­ture & Angel Fundrais­ing for Cog­ni­tive Train­ing com­pa­nies:
A num­ber of devel­op­ers have raised mon­ey. Cog­niFit received $5m (from Milk Cap­i­tal), Lumos Labs $3m (First­Mark Cap­i­tal ‑pre­vi­ous­ly called Pequot Ventures‑, Nor­west Ven­ture Part­ners), Sci­en­tif­ic Brain Train­ing $1.5m (issued shares), Viv­i­ty Labs $1m (undis­closed angel investors), This is, of course, on top of the Feb­ru­ary $10.6 invest­ment in Dakim (Galen Part­ners) that we already includ­ed in our mar­ket report.

4) Major Ini­tia­tives by Insur­ance Com­pa­nies:
— All­state launched a large-scale research project to mea­sure impact of Posit Sci­ence InSight (visu­al pro­cess­ing train­ing) on dri­ver safe­ty for adults over 50.
— OptumHealth announced a 3‑year, $18m agree­ment with Brain Resource to offer web-based cog­ni­tive assess­ments as part of clin­i­cians’ deci­sion sup­port sys­tems.
— Humana decid­ed not to renew its agree­ment with Posit Sci­ence to offer Posit’s audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing train­ing pro­gram to Medicare mem­bers.

5) New Research:
— In a sig­nif­i­cant new study, a team from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan pub­lished a high-qual­i­ty paper in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences show­ing how com­put­er­ized work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing can gen­er­al­ize and improve flu­id intel­li­gence (one of the domains that tends to decline with age).
— Learn­ing and Teach­ing Scot­land released an inter­nal study show­ing how Nin­ten­do Brain Train­ing can help children’s math and con­cen­tra­tion skills. The study gained sig­nif­i­cant media atten­tion, despite the fact it hasn’t been pub­lished in a respect­ed jour­nal.

Note: This is an excerpt from the 6‑Month Mar­ket Update we will  release lat­er this month, cov­er­ing the many impor­tant devel­op­ments that have occurred since we launched the inau­gur­al Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket Report in March this year. This spe­cial report will be avail­able exclu­sive­ly for our Pre­mi­um Research Spon­sors.

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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