TORONTO (November 19, 2019) - Highmark Interactive (Highmark) and the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) announced today a multi-year partnership that makes Highmark the Official Neurological Assessment Tool of the NHLAA. This partnership sets forth a unique and innovative alliance that merges the support of professional athletes with a company using transformative mobile, gamified technology to implement preventative and protective solutions in brain health.
The NHLAA has been active over the past year in pursuing brain health research and betterment solutions for its 3,800+ members who played in the National Hockey League. Building on that effort, the NHLAA views this relationship as an opportunity to support an advanced technology that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of anyone, from their own NHL alumni to the general population of all ages.
"I have seen how concussion affects athletes in their prime and for decades after they leave the sport, manifesting in everything from mental health issues to a lack of functional integration with their world," said Glenn Healy, Executive Director of the NHL Alumni Association. "With EQ, you play a few quick games and critical data on brain function is instantly available. Whether you are an athlete or not, young or old, our brain is the most important thing we have to protect. From concussion to other brain health issues, having EQ on your phone to help monitor brain performance is invaluable."
Highmark Interactive's 'EQ Brain Performance' platform recently received FDA clearance as a Class II Medical Device, following its earlier clearances in Canada, Oceania and the European Union. It features quick, mobile (phone/tablet) video games that are actually tests, capturing vital data from multiple areas of brain function. From the family home to schools, and from hockey arenas to locations across the world, EQ's mobile tests can be done anywhere at any time. This data can then be made available for qualified professionals to assess concussion and other neurological issues in real-time.
"The NHL Alumni Association has been an unrivaled leader in sport for pursuing solutions to the multitude of brain health issues that athletes encounter, so it is an absolute privilege to partner with such an esteemed group," said Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of Highmark Interactive. "Our technology aims to provide all individuals, whether they be NHL heroes from our childhood or aspiring youth playing at the community rink themselves, a fun, engaging way to look after their brain health. Our FDA-cleared tests produce data that medical professionals are excited to have, as it provides a better understanding of brain function, thus facilitating a diagnosis and treatment plan for neurological issues that range from concussion, to impairment, to cognitive issues we face in our later years."
As part of this partnership, the NHLAA and Highmark will be making donations of EQ Brain Performance to selected schools in the United States and Canada, including appearances by NHL alumni, encouraging athletes and school sport programs to enhance their concussion protocols in a meaningful way. Further information on these programs will be available in the coming months.
To add to the engagement factor of EQ Brain Performance, groups of NHL Alumni will be embedded within the gamified testing, featuring five elite groups of hockey heroes to cheer and encourage EQ users as they use the gamified testing platform.
"Many of us grew up with these great athletes as our heroes, so the ability for people to have the likes of Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque and others cheering them on within the EQ platform just adds to the fun and excitement when playing," said Dr. Sharma.
Brett Hull, Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick
The Edmonton Cup Winners
Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri
The Puck Stoppers
Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Grant Fuhr
The European Stars
Teemu Selanne, Igor Larionov, Mats Sundin
De-fence! De-fence! De-fence!
Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis
Highmark's EQ Brain Performance is being used by clinicians, athletes and individuals in 29 countries around the world and it was the first mobile, game-based, neurological assessment tool to be scrutinized and receive clearance by the FDA. It has six EQ products that are tailored towards specific user bases, including elite athletes, the elderly, cannabis users, heavy industry workers, school-aged youth, and the general population. Featuring an Advisory Board of esteemed medical professionals and professional athletes, Highmark is combining the expertise of leaders in medical science with the input of accomplished athletes in order to change the paradigm in how technology can improve the brain health of people around the world.
The NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA), established in 1999, is a charitable organization in Canada and the US that serves as a passionate advocate devoted to bettering the lives of its members (all former NHL Players). The NHLAA exemplifies this commitment to its members in many different ways including financial assistance, commercializing players' rights, emotional support, physical care, post playing career transition and family aid all in furtherance of its efforts to 'Honour the Past'. Since its inception, the NHLAA has acted as a liaison with its 29 local chapters and has become the largest membership association for retired professional hockey players.
About Highmark Interactive
Founded in March 2017, Highmark Interactive was created to change the paradigm of neurological testing and management. The company vision was to become leaders in digital diagnostics and therapeutics by fusing the engagement of mobile gaming with machine learning. Its core product line, EQ Brain Performance, was launched in January 2019 and is utilized on HIPAA and GDPR-compliant cloud-based technology, offering secure data manage