Posts Tagged ‘cogmed’

Brain Fitness Pro Jr, our journey begins

Monday, January 30th, 2012

My son started using Brain Fitness Pro Jr last week. He is 9 years old, and has been diagnosed with ADHD, primarily inattentive. His test scores show major deficits in the areas of working memory and executive function, and he struggles with basic skills such as memorizing multiplication tables, spelling, etc., though his verbal scores are very high as are his math problem-solving skills. When he was about four years old and I started teaching him to read and play piano, it was like groundhog day: he would forget a word he’d read in the previous sentence and have to sound it out each time he encountered it. The next day would be the same thing again. While he did learn to read and play piano, it was slow-going, hard work for him, despite his love of books and music. Printing and cursive writing were more of the same, it took a lot of one-on-one training sessions to get his cursive writing to a functional level–he would often forget what a letter should look like.

Our psychologist recommended trying CogMed, but due to the high cost involved, I decided to try Brain Fitness Pro Jr first as I have the time to spend with my son to ensure he completes the exercises, and feel I have a good understanding of the subject from the reading I have done. I am hoping to see some improvement in his working memory and focus. He is beginning to understand that he has issues in these areas, and is somewhat self-conscious and intimidated at school as a result.

Week 1: He started with Straightahead. His scores for the first five sessions were: 4.63, 6.13, 6.5, 5.63 and 5.75. He was curious and motivated for the first few days, but the tedium set in fairly quickly.The sessions last 12 minutes, and that’s enough for him. I see his focus start to wander after the first five minutes or so and his performance declines. Next week we still try Switchback.

Week 2: My son’s scores on Switchback were 2.63, 3.88, 5.38, 4.00, and 4.63. Interesting that it follows the same rise-fall-rise pattern as the first week on Straightahead. I haven’t timed it, but it seems that my son starts to lose focus after the first 5-6 minutes, I see his performance decline after that point. As a note to the software designers, while my son and I both find the Looney Tunes voices of Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam cute when they are encouraging, I have to say that I didn’t care for the “No, no, no, you’re doing it all wrong!” message you get after giving too many incorrect responses. Being blasted with “You’re doing it all wrong!” when struggling with a tedious but hard task didn’t do anything to boost my son’s spirits, even if it was said by Daffy Duck. He KNOWS he’s doing it wrong and already feels badly about it.

Next week we will go back to Straightahead.

Sharp Brains Brain Fitness Market Report – 2009

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Below I have reproduced from its highlights of its 2009 Brain Fitness Market report.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect for me to note as a provider of an affordable brain training product are the statistics of satisfaction and value for money:

These are the stats for the question, “I got real value for money” – 65% Agree

Puzzle Books – 60% Agree

Posit Science – 52% Agree

Nintendo – 51% Agree

And for “I have seen the results I wanted”

Posit Science – 53% Agree – 51% Agree

Puzzle Books – 39% Agree

Nintendo  – 38% Agree

Here are the highlights in full…

Top Highlights from The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009 Report

1) Growth market: Consumers, seniors’ communities and insurance providers drove year on year sustained growth, from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008. Revenues may reach between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015, depending on how important problems (Public Awareness, Navigating Claims, Research, Health Culture, Lack of Assessment) are addressed.

2) Increased interest and confusion: 61% of respondents Strongly Agree with the statement “Addressing cognitive and brain health should be a healthcare priority.” But, 65% Agree/Strongly Agree “I don’t really know what to expect from products making brain claims.”

3) Investment in R&D seeds future growth: Landmark investments by insurance providers and government-funded research institutes testing new brain fitness applications planted new seeds for future growth.

4) Becoming standard in residential facilities: Over 700 residential facilities – mostly Independent and Assisted Living facilities and CCRCs – have installed computerized cognitive training programs.

5) Customer satisfaction: Consumers seem more satisfied with computer-based products than paper-based options. But, satisfaction differs by product. When asked “I got real value for my money”, results were as follows: (65% Agree), Puzzle Books (60%), Posit Science (52%), Nintendo (51%) agreed. Posit Science (53% Agree) and (51%) do better than Puzzle Books (39%) and Nintendo (38%) at “I have seen the results I wanted.”

6) Assessments: Increasing adoption of computer-based cognitive assessments to baseline and track cognitive functions over time in military, sports, and clinical contexts. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America now advocates for widespread cognitive screenings after 65-75.

7) Specific computerized cognitive training and videogames have been shown to improve brain functions, but the key questions are, “Which ones”, and “Who needs what when?”

8) Aggressive marketing claims are creating confusion and skepticism, resulting in a distracting controversy between two misleading extremes: (a) “buying product XYZ can rejuvenate your brain Y years” or (b) “those products don’t work; just do one more crossword puzzle.” The upcoming book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness aims to help consumers navigate these claims.

9) Developers can be classified into four groups, based on our Market and Research Momentum analysis: we find 4 Leaders, 8 High Potentials, 3 Crosswords 2.0, and 6 Wait & See companies.

10) Increased differentiation: Leading companies are better defining their value proposition and distribution channels to reach specific segments such as retirement communities, schools, or healthcare providers.

Related links:

Lumosity Review

Cogmed Review

Posit Science Review