With a diet rich in fish and vegetables, universal healthcare, and citizens who visit their doctors, on average, fourteen times a year, Japan boasts some of the healthiest humans on the planet. And yet the upshot of this statistically anomalous A+ on its health report card means that one fifth of Japan’s population is now 70 years old or older, with all of the geriatric and end-of-life health concerns that this entails.
In other words, uber-healthy Japan, with four fifths of its younger citizens well within the realm of hale and hearty, ironically now finds itself at the forefront of the complexities of elder healthcare for those at the far end of its bell curve, including seeking new and innovative methods to prevent memory loss and dementia.
Enter our recent, out-of-the-box partnership with Dai-ichi Life, the second largest life insurance company in Japan, serving one of the world’s largest aging populations. As Elli Kaplan, our CEO, explains, “I was inspired to start this company after having witnessed firsthand the devastation of dementia and memory loss within my own family. Partnering with such an important and impressive life insurance company as Dai-ichi is a significant milestone on our journey to improving people’s overall health and the way that we age on a global scale.”
Our aim at Neurotrack is both moonshot and simple: we want nothing less than to fundamentally change the ways in which the world thinks about taking care of their brains: not when it’s too late, and the amyloid plaques have already set in, but early and often. Moreover, our mission is to influence how the aging population manages both early cognitive dysfunction–the “Now where did I put my keys again?” moments–as well as issues surrounding the more serious onset of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s related dementia.
And though the ink on our November partnership with Dai-ichi has yet to dry, the company plans to start selling a dementia insurance product as early as late December that will allow each of its members, should they so wish, to take our five-minute Imprint Memory Assessment test via a program that tracks eye movement. The results of these tests will provide crucial and useful scores to assess memory health, making it possible for anyone in the Dai-ichi family to begin tracking and monitoring their brain health over time.
This innovative partnership between improbable allies has the potential to radically change the way we both think about and manage the early stages of cognitive decline, before it becomes irreversible. Though Alzheimer’s has become one of the biggest health crises in the world, it is still also one of the least understood. Prior to Neurotrack’s Memory Assessment test, there were no widely accessible diagnostic tools to monitor the risk of Alzheimer’s in its early stages. When paired with Neurotrack’s Memory Health Program, we make it possible to hold cognitive decline at bay.
How? Through cutting edge tools, designed in house, that will enable everyone with a less-than-stellar score on our memory test to take charge of their cognitive health through a multi-disciplinary program addressing specific lifestyle factors that are known to influence dementia risk. Evidence shows that these types of programs can improve or maintain cognitive function in older adults at risk for dementia. For now, however, even taking this first step with Dai-ichi, of assessing the memory function of its participants, has the power to transform not only how Dai-ichi approaches memory health but how we begin to tackle the issues of memory health globally.
Kaplan could not be more thrilled about the new partnership. “It is clear,” she says, “from Dai-ichi’s commitment to our partnership–and by how deeply invested they are in the innovation of our products–that they truly care about their customers’ quality of life and health, especially as they age. That commitment aligns perfectly with our mission at Neurotrack to transform the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive decline from the hopelessness of late-stage palliative care to early detection, prevention, and treatment. In fact, this partnership, without exaggeration, stands to become the very fuel of our future development as a company.”