A New World of Personal Neuro Devices

Want to be able to see and monitor your brainwave activity on your smart phone? There’s an app for that – or there will be by the end of this year, based on demonstrations shown at the Neuro Gaming conference this month in San Francisco.

By using consumer friendly EEG recording sensors, packaged in a wireless headband linked to a smartphone, companies like Toronto based InteraXon are pioneering the development of personal neuro devices that will be used for a wide range of wellness and entertainment applications.

Other neuro device companies include Samsara Labs, developing a transcranial direct stimulation (TDCS) headband, Personal Neuro Devices, a company developing neuro games for smartphones and tablets, and Blue Marble Game Company, developing immersive games for neuro-rehabilitation and repair, after brain injuries such as stroke and severe, debilitating concussions.

We believe this emerging market will develop along two main paths:

    1. A lightly regulated market for consumer wellness neuro devices and applications, with companies using the standard disclaimer along the lines of “This product has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
    2. A formally regulated market for medical devices and applications. Some companies will choose this somewhat arduous and expensive route because it establishes a higher level of credibility with the buyers, which in this case will be the health care insurance companies.

The disruptive technology and distribution models being developed by neuro device companies also bring the additional possibility of a parallel, unregulated gray-market, where enterprising free agents combine neuro devices and applications in new ways to provide a cognitive high performance edge to people willing to pay for a perceived competitive advantage (think about the sports performance doping market among pro athletes, and you can see where this could go.)

Welcome to the emerging world of personal neuro devices!

See also: Brain Training: Does it Work?