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Games for Health Conference Announces First Cognitive Health Track Powered by SharpBrains
Date:5/18/2009

Featured June 11-12 at the 5th Annual Games for Health Conference

PORTLAND, Maine, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Games for Health Project, organizers of the 5th Annual Games for Health Conference, today announced its first Cognitive Health Track powered by SharpBrains, a leading market research company focused on the brain fitness and the cognitive health market.

The Cognitive Health track builds upon previous year's sampling of sessions looking at cognitive health and fitness, expanding to a full two-day track at The Games for Health Conference, June 11-12, Boston, MA. The Conference features the largest gathering of organizations interested in the intersection between videogames, health and healthcare.

"There is already a very active cognitive health videogames industry and field of research," said Ben Sawyer, co-founder of the Games for Health Conference. "We partnered with SharpBrains to bring their expertise in this field our conference planning. Together we have for the first time created a powerful set of sessions and a much needed conversation with researchers, thought-leaders and industry pioneers who will attend the event in June."

The track features a dozen sessions covering research findings and partnerships, implementation in insurance, consumer and clinical settings, and special sessions looking at innovative areas such as driver safety, healthy aging, attention deficits, stroke/traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

"The convergence of interactive media such as videogames with cognitive science opens the door to innovative and scalable approaches to cognitive health that may complement traditional interventions. We see much opportunity -- and much confusion. Our partnership with Games for Health enables a much needed conversation to look far and wide and to ensure the sustainability of using "serious games" to measure and improve cognitive health," said Alvaro Fernandez, CEO & co-founder of SharpBrains, will host the track.

Session and key speakers for the cognitive health track include:

  • Bird's Eye View of Cognitive Health Innovation, including public release of the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, with Alvaro Fernandez
  • The Allstate-Posit Science Partnership: Cognitive Training for Safer Driving, Tom Warden, Assistant Vice President and Leader of Allstate Insurance's Research and Planning Center, and Henry Mahncke, Vice President, Research & Outcomes at Posit Science
  • The Road Ahead: 5 Bottlenecks And Potential Solutions, with above speakers and Evian Gordon, CEO of Brain Resource, and Peter Christianson, President of Young Drivers of Canada
  • Frontiers in Cognitive Neuroscience Research, with Dr. Daphne Bavelier, Assistant Professor at University of Rochester's Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, and Dr. Joshua Steinerman, Assistant Professor of Neurology at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • A Venture Capitalist's View of the Opportunity and Challenges Ahead, with Tim Chang, Principal at Norwest Venture Partners, investor in Lumos Labs)

Complete details for Games for Health 2009 can be found online at http://www.gamesforhealth.org. Registration is open through June 11, 2009.

About Games For Health

Games for Health, the leading professional community in the field of health games, unites the best minds in health care and game development to advance game technologies that improve people's health and the delivery of health care. Through their national and regional events, as well as extensive online resources, Games for Health brings together researchers, medical professionals and game developers to share best practices and forge new, game-based solutions to pressing health and health care challenges. Games for Health is funded primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, which supports innovative ideas that may lead to significant breakthroughs in the future of health and health care. It was founded in 2004 by the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars dedicated to applying innovative games and game technologies to a range of public and private policy, leadership and management issues. For more information, visit www.gamesforhealth.org.

About SharpBrains

SharpBrains is a market research & advisory firm devoted to helping companies, health providers, investors, policy makers and individuals navigate the brain fitness and cognitive health field. The company was co-founded by executive Alvaro Fernandez, member of the Global Agenda Councils initiative run by the World Economic Forum, and neuroscientist Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, internationally renowned for his clinical work, research, and writing. SharpBrains recently released the report The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009, and will publicly unveil the consumer guide The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness during the conference. For more information, visit www.sharpbrains.com.

About Games for Health Conference Sponsors

The Games for Health Conference is held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, which has served as the leading sponsor of the Games for Health Project since 2004. The Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas that may lead to significant breakthroughs in the future of health and health care; having recognized the transformative potential of games, its support has helped Games for Health to become the leading professional community in the growing health games arena.

Humana Inc., one of the nation's largest health benefits companies, will also return as a premiere health care sponsor this year, providing support for several conference activities. Humana will present new initiatives from the Humana Games for Health (HG4H) program, which officially launched at the Games for Health conference in 2008.

Additional Sponsors include: International Game Developers Association, Virtual Heroes, Mass Technology Leadership Council, Muzzy Lane, H.I.L. Forum, Business Resource Team, Entertainment Consumers Association, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Mary-Margaret Network, Breakaway Ltd and MODSIM World Conference & Expo.


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