Keiron Sparrowhawk is able to use his skills and intelligence to come up with an initiative that serves the community well. I think we all should give high regards to our mental health, and Keiron, seeing that need, has catered to that. What’s more interesting is that he was able to creatively incorporate this with technology. Truly an admirable quality of a Founder!
Keiron Sparrowhawk is an author, a former neuroscientist, a Cambridge University visiting lecturer, Westminster Business School Alumni, and a successful entrepreneur. He has over 40 years of medical product development expertise and experience. Since 2013, he has led MyCognition, whose vision is to improve lives by assessing and improving cognitive health through adaptive, targeted brain training.
Previously, in 2003, he co-founded PriceSpective, which became a major global, biopharmaceutical consulting company. He also serves on the board of several health and personal development companies. Prior to his own businesses, his 27-year pharmaceutical career included R&D, marketing and market access, culminating as leader of global reimbursement and pricing at GSK. He helped many, mainly neuropsychiatric products, to successfully reach the market.
Keiron Sparrowhawk has a MSc in the Neurophysiological Basis of Behaviour (London Metropolitan University) and is an MBA (Westminster University). A Past President of UK Entrepreneurs Organisation, he has undertaken voluntary work throughout his life and has two grown-up children. He lives with his partner in London.
Why did you start MyCognition?
Around 2003, I saw a video of a functional MRI scan of a person while they were playing a video game. The MRI showed different areas of the brain lighting up, indicative of neuronal pathways being energised. I thought, if this is happening by chance, could we also direct it? Many conversations later, MyCognition was born. We assess a person’s cognition, and automatically train it using tasks embedded in a video game, with the most intense training in the areas where they have the greatest weakness.
How do you educate your audience about the importance of cognitive health?
We give a lot of examples that relate to physical health. Our cognitive assessment is a brain health check. It’s like having a physical assessment from a physiotherapist, only we do it through an app. We give examples as to what it is like to have good cognitive health vs poor cognitive health. We include this education in our programmes. I’ve also written a book on the subject: Executive function cognitive fitness for business, which goes into detail.
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organization, especially when it comes to training games and other educational materials?
It is good to have people working with us that understand gaming technology and all that it entails. However, even among these people, the levels of creativity and innovation vary greatly. To encourage creativity, you must empower people to use it, knowing that they are taking a risk, but also knowing that if they fail, they will not be penalised. Indeed, we argue that only by pushing what we are doing and seeing failure is a way of knowing that we have gone as far as we could.
What risks are you currently facing and how do you deal with it?
MyCognition is developing new technology that requires technical innovation and development, plus testing through clinical trials and real-world pilots. There are a lot of moving parts to consider. Keeping all of this in place is a risk, but having embarked on it we are determined to see it through.
What are your primary objectives that you seek to achieve?
To measure, monitor, prevent and treat mental illness using cognitive assessment and training programmes. Break that down to:
- assessing cognitive health.
- Training cognitive health.
- Showing a benefit.
What motivational advice would you give to people suffering from cognitive disorders?
That whatever your cognitive health, this is your starting point and you can get better… through understanding your condition; through training, improving your lifestyle and improving the environment in which you live and work. YOU CAN GET BETTER.
MyCognition is a health-tech company dedicated to improving cognitive health. They have designed, developed, produced and tested cognitive assessment and training tools, combining them in programmes to benefit people of all ages and cognitive health. In doing so, they enable people to function better, have improved quality of life and lead a happier, more successful life. Their business model is to create the programmes and work with partners to take these out into the range of markets.