Until recently, mental health was a relative blip on the radar of venture capitalists. But over the past few years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, private investors have made a dramatic run for this space, pouring $3.1 billion into mental health ventures by the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to Rock Health, a seed fund that supports startups working in digital health. That represents a third of all digital health funding for 2021, more than 7 times the amount of funding placed in such ventures in 2015. [Read more…] about APA: With digital mental health going mainstream, will/ should psychologists be able to “prescribe” interventions?
Looking forward to the virtual summit next week…we can’t wait to explore and discuss, on Tuesday, December 6th — how to Take cognitive/ emotional assessments and therapies to scale. Three digital health entrepreneurs–who have collectively raised over $75 million in venture capital in the last 18 months– and an investor will discuss their respective visions and approaches to revolutionize brain and mental health in areas such as ADHD, substance abuse, and general brain fitness.
- Chair: Rita Carter, Science writer and BBC Contributor
- Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director at Merck Ventures
- Dr. Eddie Martucci, CEO of Akili Interactive Labs
- Dr. Corey McCann, CEO of Pear Therapeutics
- Derek Luke, CEO of InteraXon
How do you know when something is fast moving towards a Gladwellian tipping point? When health insurance companies and public policy makers launch significant initiatives.
For example, the government of Ontario recently announced a $10 million investment with Baycrest Research Centre who will partner with MaRS Venture Group to develop and commercialise brain fitness technologies. The investment was matched by an additional $10 million from private sources.
Another important development was the $18 million agreement between the Australian-based Brain Resource Company (ASX:BRC) and OptumHealth in the US. This will allow for the provision of web-based cognitive assessments as part of a clinician’s decision support systems.
These are some initiatives covered in a webinar Top Ten Cognitive Fitness Events of 2008 presented in December for SharpBrains’ clients. Alvaro Fernandez described the state of play and main drivers behind the growth of the burgeoning brain fitness market — which I will try and summarize here.
The key drivers seem to be [Read more…] about Brain fitness & training heads towards its tipping point
We have just announced an upcoming webinar to provide a market update: Top 10 Cognitive Fitness Events of 2008 — A Market Update.
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 more…] about Top 10 Cognitive Fitness Events of 2008 (Webinar)
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Have you ever wondered how we can maintain SharpBrains’ website, blog and newsletter without selling any products and with only limited advertising? The answer is, we offer market research to organizations such as healthcare providers, research centers, technology developers, venture capital firms, consulting and training companies, and more.
Our new Premium Research Sponsors program will allow pioneering organizations to collaborate with us to shape the future of the brain fitness and cognitive health field, by sponsoring and accessing the most up-to-date information on the science and best practices to assess and improve cognitive functioning across the lifespan. You can learn more about the Premium Research Sponsors program Here.
The Cognitive Health and Fitness Market On The Move: As you have probably seen, the Cognitive Health and Brain Fitness field is rapidly evolving. Here we highlight some of the main developments affecting the field over the last 6‑months: public policy initiatives in Canada and the US, the growing role of computerized assessments, several venture capital rounds, major initiatives by insurance companies, and significant research findings.
The Big Picture
Executive Summary of the Brain Fitness Market: Let’s step back and ask ourselves, “Why is the field evolving in such a fast way? What is hope, what is hype, what is reality?” A spate of recent global news coverage on brain fitness and brain training reflects a growing interest in natural, non drug-based interventions to keep our brains sharp as we age. This interest is very timely, given an aging population, the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s rates, and soaring health care costs in the US that place more emphasis than ever on prevention and lifestyle changes. This article summarizes the main market dynamics, open questions, and top trends to watch for.
Nourishing Our Brains and Minds
Philosophy as the Missing Link in School Curricula: Kimberly Wickham answers provides some good answers to the question, “Why would anyone want to teach philosophy to pre-adolescent children? that will engage your critical thinking skills.
A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: Drs Simon Evans and Paul Burghardt hope (as we do) that the emerging emphasis on cognitive exercise and fitness helps complement ‑not substitute- other lifestyle factors important for the “physical health of the brain and all the systems it communicates with”. Think: nutrition, exercise, sleep.
Excellent Reader Comments: Our last newsletter generated a round of excellent comments by readers on cognitive training, Posit Science and Alzheimer’s Australia, gerontology and the brain, and the value of videogames. Come enjoy this collective wisdom and participate as you wish.
river with haikus
flowing in since the summer
keeping us afloat
The Challenges of Gerontology?: The World Economic Forum has asked me, as one of the 16 members of the Global Agenda Council on the Challenges of Gerontology, for “an 800 word summary of your most compelling actionable idea on the challenges of gerontology.” Feel free to help me out by offering your own actionable ideas, either related to the discipline of gerontology itself or on ways to best engage the growing number of brains over the age of 60 in our planet.
Have you ever wondered how we can maintain SharpBrains website, blog and newsletter without selling any product and with only limited advertising? People often ask us that question, especially once we explain that we don’t sell products (selling products would present a conflict of interest given our mission to “provide individuals, companies and institutions with high-quality, research-based, information and guidance to navigate the growing cognitive and brain fitness market”.)
The answer is, we offer proprietary market research and advisory services to organizations such as these. They want to fully understand emerging Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health trends, opportunities and challenges, in order to make better-informed decisions. Examples:
- leading healthcare providers evaluating cognitive assessment and training options.
— universities and research centers trying to bridge brain research and practice.
— developers of technologies that help assess and/ or train cognitive functions who want a better view of market size, trends and the competitive landscape.
— consulting and training companies interested in understanding market trends to scope their own potential offerings.
— venture capital firms looking for investment ideas and due diligence on existing/ potential deals.
We chose to focus our efforts on providing quality market research and advisory services given the growing confusion in the marketplace and the need for an independent and qualified source of information, market data and best practices. The brain fitness software field (defined as software applications that help assess or train cognitive functions) is projected to exceed $2B by 2015, fueled by an increasing amount of applied research on neuroplasticity and cognition; a rapidly evolving marketplace of products making cognitive claims; and growing consumer and institutional demand. Large and small organizations are already taking the first steps to leverage those technologies.
We are now launching a new Premium Research Sponsors program to partner with pioneering organizations who want to collaborate with us to shape the future of [Read more…] about Announcing the Premium Research Sponsors program