Is Meditation for Cognitive Wellness the Next Big Healthcare Trend?

Mindfulness by Darragh O'Conner on Flicker
Photo credit: Darragh O'Conner on Flicker

Can meditation practice train the mind as physical training does the body?

As I am preparing for my mhealth summit presentation “Using the Digital Tools of Play to Personalize Health,” I am wondering if meditation, like gaming, will become a driver of wider acceptance of mind-training interventions for cognitive wellness.

Meditation has been in the news recently:


Tools to help you meditate

My first venture into mindfulness was attending a UCLA Mindfulness class. Like many good intentions of behavior change, I got busy and did not stick with the program!

Next, I discovered Headspace, “the world’s first gym membership for the mind,” a fun and playful way to learn meditation and mindfulness on my schedule, whenever and wherever it fit into my day.

A recent discussion with Charlie Hartwell, the operating partner of the Bridge Builders Collaborative, which has invested in Headspace, aptly described my own enthusiasm about their approach which takes, “a 3000 year old practice and puts it into a modern context. The animations make it accessible to consumers and gives it a fun twist.”

Meeting Rich Pierson, a co-founder of Headspace, who is a passionate supporter of the healing powers of meditation, made me wonder about the potential applications in chronic pain and autoimmune disease.

“Although brain games may deal with the outer shell, meditation works as the hard drive and can reprogram you for life,” he proclaimed. “With 1 million users, split equally among men and women mostly in the 25-45 range across 150 countries” might a mobile mindfulness training app help chronic pain sufferers rewire their brains to live more comfortably?

In 1982, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., developed an outpatient program using mindfulness for chronic pain. Perhaps Headspace will lead the way while putting the LA tech scene on the map. What do you think?


First posted on Dr. Bonnie 360 11/12/2013

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As principal of DrBonnie360, Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA brings a triple lens to her consulting, writing and speaking- that of an entrepreneurial dentist, a Wall Street analyst and a digital health analyst and consultant. Most recently, she has interviewed more than 200 digital health companies, while attending more than 50 meetings, always asking the question of how new digital tools and data help us each of us. Her research on “Big Data in Healthcare Hype and Hope” has been enjoyed by over 50,000 global professionals. Her work has been featured in O’Reilly Strata, Greatist and Forbes. She has been an invited speaker at the Stanford Medicine X, Bio-IT, Data to Drugs to Diagnostics, StrataRx, the Burrill Digital Health Conference, Games for Health, the Center for Connected Health, the Nye Collaborative Digital Health Summit, and the mHealth Summit. Her latest research has uncovered a large and growing need in the autoimmune community to apply new data and digital tools to improve treatment. She welcomes collaborative partners in this initiative.


  1. Any modality that helps control the chatter in our minds is helpful. 80% of our thoughts are repetitive and useless. Much of this 80% is regretting the past and worrying and planning for the future. Meditation gives us a rest from this mind chatter. As you do more meditation the control of the mind becomes easier. Being is a state of awareness without mind chatter is quite relaxing.
    Jim Salber