The Emerging Cognitive Fitness Market: Status, Trends, Challenges


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My presentation at the Symposium on Co-Adaptive Learning: Adaptive Technology for the Aging, organized by the Arizona State University's Center for Adaptive Neural Systems, on January 8-9th 2009

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The Emerging Cognitive Fitness Market: Status, Trends, Challenges

  1. 1. Co-Adaptive Learning: Technology for the Aging. January 8-9 th , 2009 Alvaro Fernandez, SharpBrains. © SharpBrains 2008. All rights reserved. The Emerging Cognitive Fitness Market: Status, Trends and Challenges
  2. 2. An Introduction to SharpBrains <ul><li>Market Research and Advisory Services focused on education & healthcare applications of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience. </li></ul><ul><li>Flagship report: The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Founded by neuroscientist Elkhonon Goldberg and executive Alvaro Fernandez. </li></ul><ul><li>Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Challenges of Gerontology. </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: member of Scientific American Partner Network. </li></ul><ul><li>Website & blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: [email_address] </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who are our clients? <ul><li>Venture Capital </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aberdare Ventures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Binnacle Capital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Osmium Partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kaiser Permanente </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sutter Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memorial Hospital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research centers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US Army Research Lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harvard Medical School </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oregon Center for Applied Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Associations/ other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AARP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easter Seals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunrise Senior Living </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cognitive Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Posit Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dakim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NovaVision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cognitive Assessments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain Resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CogState </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Computer-based applications specifically designed to assess or train a variety of cognitive functions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized tools – not general solution. Complementary to behavioral options (and scalable). Beyond the Cognitive Reserve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training: The applications take the form of “videogames” in order to engage the user, but can be more than “games.” Interactive, targeted, mental exercises. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment: useful baselines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionally used by neuropsychologists, they are now part of a growing, increasingly mainstream market. </li></ul></ul>The role of computerized tools
  5. 5. 2007 welcomed an emerging cognitive/ brain fitness market. (March ‘08 view) © SharpBrains 2008 Sales of brain fitness products in the US more than doubled from 2005 to 2007: from estimated $100m to $225m. CAGR: 50%. Most of the growth came from consumers, followed by healthcare providers.
  6. 6. A lifelong opportunity: Working Memory capacity as we age (The Overflowing Brain) Source: Klingberg et al Working Memory: the ability to keep several units of information “online”. For example, if I tell you know the 7 digits of my phone number.
  7. 7. Drivers for continued growth (CAGR >30%) © SharpBrains 2008
  8. 8. A dynamic –and confusing- landscape (March ‘08 view)
  9. 9. Future Directions 2008-2015 <ul><li>Brain Fitness goes Mainstream </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing Focus on Brain Maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better Integration of Physical and Mental Exercise (WEF) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public policy initiatives to drive adoption (Baycrest) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leveraging Better Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide Use of Cognitive Assessments as Baseline (Army, OptumHealth) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More and Refined computer-based programs (Jaeggi, Kramer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-tech options to play increasing role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Growing Eco-System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for Professional Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insurance companies will introduce incentives (Allstate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer from military research and applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Training/ Wellness adds a Brain component (Sutter Health, ice hockey) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Challenges <ul><li>Taxonomy, Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Informed consumers and caregivers </li></ul><ul><li>Informed professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Funding to track long-term effects </li></ul><ul><li>Culture for Cognitive Health? (cognitive exercise coaches?) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Information to empower consumers – and professionals ( <ul><li>1. Are neuropsychologists behind the program </li></ul><ul><li>2. What peer-reviewed research supports it </li></ul><ul><li>3. Is there a solid Scientific Advisory Board </li></ul><ul><li>4. What are the specific benefits claimed </li></ul><ul><li>5. What cognitive function does it train </li></ul><ul><li>6. How many hours/ days per week to use it </li></ul><ul><li>7. Do the exercises teach something new </li></ul><ul><li>8. Always challenging </li></ul><ul><li>9. Does the program fit user’s specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>10. No stress </li></ul>© SharpBrains 2008
  12. 12. New: Research Executive Briefs <ul><li>Focus: Non-invasive technology to assess/ enhance cognitive & emotional abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Briefs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scientific Advisory Board </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carl Eisdorfer, Miami </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joaquin Fuster, UCLA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elkhonon Goldberg, NYU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kenneth Kosik, Santa Barbara </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arthur Kramer, Illinois </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baba Shiv, Stanford </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. More <ul><li>Blog, newsletter, reports, resources: </li></ul>