At the Transportation Research Board annual meeting last year I attended a talk by Dr. Fredric Wolinsky of the University of Iowa. Along with his colleagues, he conducted an analysis of participants in the ACTIVE clinical trial, the largest study of cognitive training performed to date. He found that people who had done ten hours of Useful Field of View (UFOV) training had a predicted reduction in medical expenditures of $244 in the year following training.
Why would UFOV training reduce medical expenditures? We know that people who do this training maintain their independence1, drive more safely2, drive for longer3, maintain their health related quality of life4, and have a reduced risk of being depressed5. These factors are all important in maintaining a healthy life.
Currently there are about 45 million Medicare recipients in America. An average reduction of $244 equates to an overall saving of about $11 billion per year. At the end of the talk Dr. Wolinsky strongly urged the government to provide UFOV training to Medicare recipients to help keep them healthy and reduce costs.
- The latest version of UFOV training is contained in both BrainHQ and Drivesharp training programs offered by Posit Science.
- The work presented by Dr. Wolinsky at the Transportation Research Board has now been published6.
- Edwards, J. D. et al. The impact of speed of processing training on cognitive and everyday performance. Aging Ment Health 9, 262-271 (2005).
- Roenker, D. L., Cissell, G. M., Ball, K. K., Wadley, V. G. & Edwards, J. D. Speed-of-processing and driving simulator training result in improved driving performance. Hum Factors 45, 218-233 (2003).
- Edwards, J. D., Delahunt, P. B. & Mahncke, H. W. Cognitive Speed of Processing Training Delays Driving Cessation. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2009).
- Wolinsky, F. D. et al. The ACTIVE cognitive training trial and health-related quality of life: protection that lasts for 5 years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 61, 1324-1329 (2006).
- Wolinsky, F. D. et al. The effect of speed-of-processing training on depressive symptoms in ACTIVE. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 64, 468-472 (2009).
- Wolinsky, F. D. et al. The ACTIVE cognitive training trial and predicted medical expenditures. BMC Health Serv Res 9, 109 (2009).