I have been teaching piano for over 15 years in tristate NYC area. Most of experienced piano teachers can tell something is cognitively "off" about the new student in 1 to 2 lessons. I have always wondered how I could apply such accuracy of identifying cognitive issues through musical activities and have developed a method, which is now our product at Project Ipsilon, the cognitive assessment startup company.
I am currently in Eindhoven, The Netherlands for the startup accelerator program for our cognitive diagnostic product. Otherwise, I live in NJ, USA.
In our view, our product helps especially for those who are suspected of dementia or early stage of dementia when it is hard what to expect for the caregiver. Having clear perspective on which stage the elderly is at definitely helps. So, we believe that having comparable data is important to seek further medical attention and/or to raise questions to the physicians for additional consultations to help minimize the progression of the dementia.
In addition, our product also functions as brain fitness activity. Musical activities are known for inducing plasticity to keep your mind fit and young. We hope to offer the care receiver fun activity as their mental exercise which may also help the caregiver and the care receiver to cherish the time together as common activity. The progress tracking (as assessment) also helps to have goals to achieve slightly better in each try.
Also, dementia tends to affect the personality of the care receiver as it progresses. According to current studies, personality traits and happiness have close relationship to dopamine and dopamine seems to decrease as we age. Music activities are also known to have great impact on dopamine levels in the brain. We believe that not only the cognitive training our system can offer but it may also help to preserve the care receiver's personality as much as naturally possible. Having seen my grandmother gradually losing her character to dementia, this is one of the most devastating part of the dementia we hope to reverse or at least delay as much as possible.
In the community, it would be interesting to see the feedback from the elderly centers where they offer daytime activities. The more user data we can get, the more improvements we can make to accelerate the time to the market launch. We already have the Parkinson's disease group clinical trial under way (grant pending) and we would like to see how our system works especially for the early dementia and dementia suspected population groups.
Thank you and look forward to more questions and suggestions!