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By: Alvaro Fernandez
Copyright (c) 2013 SharpBrains

Compared to physical fitness, the fitness of the brain is often overlooked by both individuals and health systems, but it is easy to see positive and broad changes on how brain health is defined, monitored, maintained, and enhanced across the lifespan, and digital platforms are going to play a key role.

Here are 10 pre­dic­tions, many of which will likely be real­ized before the end of 2013, based on "The Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket 2012-2020: Web-based, mobile and biometrics-based tech­nol­ogy to assess, mon­i­tor and enhance cog­ni­tion and brain func­tion­ing", the new mar­ket report tracking how emerging brain science and technologies are being applied to improve consumer and patient health.

1- More than one mil­lion adults in North Amer­ica alone will take a self-administered annual brain health check-up via their iPad or Android tablet.

2- More than one mil­lion ama­teur ath­letes will bet­ter man­age pos­si­ble con­cus­sions by tak­ing cog­ni­tive base­line tests via a mobile device.

3- More than 150,000 teenage and adult AAA mem­bers will access web-based brain train­ing to become safer drivers.

4- Biometrics-aided med­i­ta­tion will become the next big thing in cor­po­rate and con­sumer wellness.

5- iPad-based cog­ni­tive screen­ings will inform more diag­noses of Alzheimer's dis­ease and MCI than neuroimaging.

6- Patients with Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis in at least 10 coun­tries will be offered online cog­ni­tive train­ing together with drug-based ther­apy to help address their condition.

7- Insom­nia and depres­sion will be first-line treated with com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Behav­ioral Ther­apy in at least two national health services.

8- The industry's first brain-based bio­marker to pre­dict depres­sion treat­ment responses will be cleared by the FDA.

9- Brain train­ing firm Lumos Labs and/or biometrics-based devel­oper Neu­roSky will file for an IPO.

10- At least one major insurer will launch an edu­ca­tional cam­paign to help adults proac­tively take charge of their own "brain fit­ness" nav­i­gat­ing emerg­ing research and dig­i­tal brain health tools.

As a growing number of consumers, innovators, and decision-makers invest in digital technologies to better monitor and enhance cognition across the lifespan, we are witnessing the rapid growth and development of a new digital brain health marketplace. We can expect several drivers to fuel continued growth and innovation. Equipment that used to be expensive and cumbersome is becoming user-friendly and inexpensive, and tablets and mobile phones are becoming a major delivery vehicle for digital brain health solutions.

Now it is your turn. Do you agree or disagree with these predictions? Is any of them directly relevant to you, your family, your work? Please add your two cents to the conversation via Twitter, Facebook, ...


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Alvaro Fernandez is the Co-Author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, recently featured as one of the Best Books on Brain Fitness. SharpBrains.com http://www.sharpbrains.com is the leading clearinghouse website tracking the latest information on cognitive training, cognitive health and brain fitness, combined with brain teasers and games to test your brain.
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