Bupa brain health app now available in the UK

The release of a new app in the UK which is the world’s first app for brain health has been announced jointly by the Alzheimer’s Association and the BUPA Health Foundation. This tool is said to be the latest digital tool in the ongoing fight against dementia.

Based on the very latest research that has linked a healthy brain and a reduced risk of developing dementia with a healthy cardiovascular system and heart, the ‘BrainyApp’ is the first iPhone app designed to reduce the risk of dementia by helping people to monitor and thus improve the health of both their heart and their brain.

This new app was designed in by the BUPA Health Foundation is conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia and has already claimed the number 1 spot in Australia and New  Zealand from Facebook in the list of top free apps. It has also clocked up over 130,000 downloads in these two countries alone.

Now available to people in the UK, ‘BrainyApp’ helps users monitor and improve the physical, mental, dietary and social aspects of their lifestyle.

There are currently 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is predicted to rise to over a million by 2021. Delaying the onset of dementia by just five years would reduce deaths directly attributable to dementia by 30,000 a year.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Most people know how to reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke but they don’t realise that the same healthy lifestyle choices may also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia.  The idea is that what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.”

‘BrainyApp’ allows users to take a brain-heart health survey about their diet, exercise patterns and lifestyle. It then provides suggestions and ideas about how to make improvements to each. It also includes all-new brain games, and encourages users to build brain-heart points by staying physically and mentally active, socialising with friends and family, and sharing their progress on Facebook.

One of the brain games – ‘Word Tennis’ – requires players to unscramble anagrams in order to move a paddle and hit a ball back to their opponent.

Director of dementia care for Bupa Care Services, Dr Graham Stokes, said: “There is evidence to show that keeping the mind exercised can stave off the onset of dementia but ‘BrainyApp’ highlights that good physical health also has a part to play. Best of all it’s good fun.”

‘BrainyApp’ is available as a free download for users of iPhone, iPod and iPad devices from the App Store. There are plans to develop an Android version in early 2012.

More information about BrainyApp is available at www.bupa.co.uk/brainy-app.