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NeuroCoach secures patent to create interactive psychological training app for NeuroSky headsets

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UK Government funded technology company NeuroCoach announced today that it had secured an important new patent (US Patent No. 8,517,912) to offer an innovative new approach to delivering interactive, personalised brain training. Available on the Apple App Store, the NeuroCoach app is utilising the NeuroSky MindWave brainwave headset, providing mental health therapy, brain training and brain fitness to a wider audience.

In our interview with NeuroCoach’s CEO Jon Clare we already reported about the company’s mobile app that uses brainwaves to drive an intelligent media player for delivering psychological training content. The app uses analysis and logic to try to determine and personalise the optimal timing of the delivery of instructive and suggestive content, for the desired behavioural change, based on identifying a user’s most receptive state of mind.

Developed over the last 5 years with the aid of two UK government grants, NeuroCoach marks an innovation in biofeedback technology to enable improved brain fitness and sustained behavioural change in health, performance, learning and well-being. According to Dr Anton Emmanuel, Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital in the UK, the NeuroCoach app – with relatively minor modification – would be a useful tool for patients with the irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, chronic idiopathic constipation and toilet phobia.

With a particular focus on the growing stress management sector, NeuroCoach also recently signed a partnership agreement with market leading retail EEG headset provider NeuroSky. This partnership enables NeuroCoach to leverage the expanding retail interest in the new wave of affordable EEG sensors combined with the potential of mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone.

NeuroSky CEO, Stanley Yang also commented “As the market leader in retail brainwave monitoring headsets, we are very pleased to partner with NeuroCoach to deliver their patented, interactive psychological training app. Delivering content which is personalized to the individual based on their brain and body data is certainly the future. Also, with the rapidly increasing demand from healthcare providers for computer delivered, wide scale and cost effective mental health therapies, we believe NeuroCoach is very well placed to take a leadership role in this exciting area of digital health and brain fitness”.

A NeuroCoach session is designed to follow a process similar to that provided by a trained therapist and monitors for brainwave markers associated with mental focus, relaxation, and receptivity to suggestions. The app uses this data to create a personalised therapy session, that adjusts itself in real-time according to changes in your brainwaves.

Using proprietary algorithms, the NeuroCoach app automatically delivers individual clips of content specifically selected to be delivered at the appropriate time for optimum effectiveness. Once the system calculates that you are in a suitably attentive, focused and receptive state, NeuroCoach switches content type and delivers instructional content designed to produce the behavioural changes you are seeking to make.

NeuroCoach has also recently entered discussions with the UK’s National Health Service, via UCL Hospital, about using this technology to address Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a stress related disorder. The NHS already extensively uses alternative and computerised mental health therapies to address mental health issues such as IBS, and NeuroCoach is seen as a potential automated solution which could provide help to a wider audience at a significantly reduced cost.

As for future development plans, NeuroCoach’s CEO Jon Clare is considering raising further product development capital via the many times proven crowdfunding platforms.