San Francisco, CA – January 14, 2008 – Posit Science® Corporation, the leader in brain health, announced today that it has acquired Visual Awareness, Inc., developer of the UFOV® assessment and cognitive speed of processing programs. The UFOV® system consists of a computer based assessment that reliably predicts crash risk in drivers and a vision-based training program that improves driving performance. Posit Science and Visual Awareness share design principles and are the only companies that have demonstrated the efficacy of their methodology through peer reviewed, published research. Alvaro Fernandez, founder of Sharp Brains, says that in just two years revenue from brain fitness for adults in the US has grown from an estimated $4 million to $80 million.
The area from which people can extract visual information at a glance diminishes as people grow older as does the time it takes to process that information. Published studies show that drivers who do poorly on the UFOV® assessment are 2 to 4 times more likely to crash than those who do well. They also show that UFOV® training improved driving skills, including a 50% reduction in dangerous driving maneuvers, like unsafe lane changes. These benefits persisted for at least 18 months. The ACTIVE study, a multisite clinical trial published in JAMA, found that UFOV® training keeps older adults functioning at high levels. Longitudinal studies show participants trained in speed of processing had significantly better health-related quality of life outcomes than participants in control and other activities. Other studies show UFOV speed training improves performance at instrumental activities of daily living.
“We decided to work with Posit Science because there was such a good fit scientifically and in our missions,” said Karlene Ball, PhD, a Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and co-founder of Visual Awareness.
The Post Science Brain Fitness Program™ is an auditory-based computer training program that improves memory and speed of processing. The IMPACT Study, the largest nationwide clinical trial ever done on a commercially available product, found that the program improves auditory memory by more than 10 years and improves speed of processing by 131%. IMPACT also showed that the improvements generalize into every day life.
Posit Science Corporation works with leading collaborators from around the world, including Stanford, the University of California at San Francisco, Mayo Clinic – – and now the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“Posit Science now provides the only two products that have been proven to work by studies coming out of major universities,” said Jeff Zimman, CEO and co-founder of Posit Science. “The reason they work is that they were developed by leading researchers and use the same scientific methodologies. People who use our programs can be confident that the programs have been shown to make a positive difference in their lives.”
This acquisition advances the Posit Science mission of bringing the latest scientific research in brain health to the public. UFOV® speed of processing training will become a key component of Posit Science’s visual training program that will be released in early 2008.
About Visual Awareness, Inc.
Visual Awareness develops science-based programs to improve the driving skills of people over 55 as well as enhance overall mental function. The company is supported by over 20 years of research by Dr. Karlene Ball, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and by Dr. Daniel Roenker, J. Clifford Todd Professor of Gerontology Research and a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Western Kentucky University. Visual Awareness draws on the expertise of independent collaborators worldwide. Funding to evaluate the company’s products has exceeded $50 million from the National Institutes of Health as well as other funding organizations. The company’s UFOV® programs are distributed though Visual Awareness, Inc. and TransAnalytics, L.L.P. The company and its researchers have won countless awards. For more information visit http://www.visualawareness.com or call Kristi Berg, President, at 818-780-5353.