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New report: Empowering 8 Billion Minds via Ethical Development and Adoption of Neurotechnologies

Empow­er­ing 8 Bil­lion Minds: Enabling Bet­ter Men­tal Health for All via the Eth­i­cal Adop­tion of Tech­nolo­gies from WEF GFC on Neu­rotech­nolo­gies on Vimeo.

A new report (opens PDF) cre­at­ed by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum Glob­al Future Coun­cil on Neu­rotech­nolo­gies, Empow­er­ing 8 Bil­lion Minds: Enabling Bet­ter Men­tal Health for All via the Eth­i­cal Adop­tion of Tech­nolo­gies, pro­pos­es a frame­work to address pri­va­cy, trust and gov­er­nance issues in the use of tech­nolo­gies for men­tal health­care.

Men­tal health dis­or­ders are among the lead­ing caus­es of mor­tal­i­ty and could cost the glob­al econ­o­my $16 tril­lion by 2030. By col­lect­ing and analysing data to inform treat­ment, it is eas­i­er for more peo­ple to access infor­ma­tion and engage with pro­fes­sion­als. While tech­nolo­gies, includ­ing smart­phones, wear­able sen­sors and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, are suc­cess­ful­ly meet­ing the cur­rent gaps in care, there are risks Read the rest of this entry »

Discuss: Should financial advisors help detect and address their clients’ cognitive decline? And, if so, how?

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What Your Finan­cial Choic­es Say About Your Brain (Finan­cial Advi­sor):

…finan­cial advi­sors have to be in the fore­front of the fight against cog­ni­tive decline, which can lead to the finan­cial exploita­tion of the elder­ly,” added Philip Mar­shall, an advo­cate for elder jus­tice. Read the rest of this entry »

Anticipating the Privacy and Informed Consent issues of the Neurotechnology Era

EEGwomanIn con­junc­tion with the new Nation­al Geo­graph­ic pro­gram “Break­through: Decod­ing the Brain,” com­ing this Sun­day, Novem­ber 15, at 9 pm ET, I was asked to pro­vide my per­spec­tive on a very provoca­tive ques­tion:

What if sci­en­tists were able to implant or erase mem­o­ries? For some, like those suf­fer­ing from PTSD this could be life-chang­ing, or do you think this is sci­en­tif­ic inno­va­tion gone too far?

The ques­tion is very time­ly. Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Wider use of mental health screenings in school-based settings

School_Depression_Screening

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Anoka-Hen­nepin Schools May Start Depres­sion Screen­ings (CBS Min­neso­ta):

Minnesota’s largest school dis­trict is dis­cussing screen­ing high school stu­dents for depres­sion and anx­i­ety in the class­room…

Dr. Nita Kumar, a men­tal health con­sul­tant for the dis­trict, said Fri­day that the idea is to get stu­dents to talk about some­thing they may hide from their par­ents or not even under­stand what is hap­pen­ing. The form is the same one many doc­tors’ offices pro­vide Read the rest of this entry »

Allstate: Can we improve Driver Safety using Posit Science InSight?

Insur­ance com­pa­ny All­state and brain fit­ness soft­ware devel­op­er Posit Sci­ence just announced (see press release Pro­tect­ing Penn­syl­va­nia Dri­vers, One Brain at a Time) a very intel­li­gent ini­tia­tive:

Video exer­cis­es aid dri­ving skills (Chica­go Tri­bune)

-“All­state, which called the Posit pro­gram “poten­tial­ly the next big break­through in auto­mo­bile safe­ty,” said it expects its soft­ware exer­cis­es to reduce risky dri­ving maneu­vers by up to 40 per­cent and improve stop­ping dis­tance by an aver­age of 22 feet when trav­el­ing at 55 miles per hour.”

-“We’ll look to see whether over the next six to nine months there will be a reduc­tion in” the num­ber of acci­dents between the group par­tic­i­pat­ing in the video exer­cis­es and those sit­ting out, said Tom War­den, assis­tant vice pres­i­dent of Allstate’s research and plan­ning cen­ter.

Tom Warden Allstate

I am for­tu­nate to inter­view Tom War­den, Assis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent and Leader of Allstate’s Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter, based in Men­lo Park, Cal­i­for­nia.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Tom, thank you for your time. Can you please explain the con­text behind this new ini­tia­tive that you just announced?

Tom War­den: Our research cen­ter is con­stant­ly look­ing for new ideas to improve the dri­ving behav­ior of dri­vers of all ages. Recent­ly we have paid extra empha­sis on ways to improve the safe­ty of old­er dri­vers.

Let me pro­vide some back­ground here. All­state, as a com­pa­ny, has always been one of the pio­neers in help­ing to intro­duce new safe­ty mea­sures. For exam­ple, we were among the pio­neers in the 60s to advo­cate for manda­to­ry use of seat­ing belts, giv­en research stud­ies on the ben­e­fits for dri­vers and pas­sen­gers alike. More recent­ly, we helped lob­by for wider adop­tion of airbags, an effec­tive but expen­sive way of pro­tec­tion that only became main­stream when man­u­fac­tur­ers were required to include them.

Let’s talk now about your agree­ment with Posit Sci­ence. What will hap­pen over the next months?

The first thing we are doing is to con­duct a research study to ana­lyze the real-life impact of Posit Sci­ence InSight, a com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram, on acci­dent rates. We know that as dri­vers get old­er Read the rest of this entry »

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