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Redwood City, CA, United States

HopeLab is a 501 private operating foundation based in Redwood City, CA. HopeLab researches and develops technology-based products to improve human health and well-being. The foundation now focuses on resilience research as part of a strategy to design products that support the psychological and biological health of individuals and communities. The foundation was established in 2001 by Pam Omidyar and is part of the Omidyar Group of philanthropic enterprises founded and funded by Pam and her husband Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay.HopeLab has been named a Social Enterprise of the Year by Fast Company magazine and was recognized by President Barack Obama and the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation for pioneering work to improve the health of young people. For her work with HopeLab, Pam Omidyar received the inaugural Peter Samuelson Award for Innovation at the Starlight Children's Foundation in 2007. Wikipedia.

Cole S.W.,HopeLab | Yoo D.J.,Stanford University | Knutson B.,Stanford University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

This study sought to determine whether playing a "serious" interactive digital game (IDG) - the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients - activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. Healthy undergraduates were randomized to groups in which they were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) as they either actively played Re-Mission or as they passively observed a gameplay audio-visual stream generated by a yoked active group subject. Onset of interactive game play robustly activated mesolimbic projection regions including the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, as well as a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus. During interactive gameplay, subjects showed extended activation of the thalamus, anterior insula, putamen, and motor-related regions, accompanied by decreased activation in parietal and medial prefrontal cortex. Offset of interactive gameplay activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate. Between-group comparisons of within-subject contrasts confirmed that mesolimbic activation was significantly more pronounced in the active playgroup than in the passive exposure control group. Individual difference analyses also found the magnitude of parahippocampal activation following gameplay onset to correlate with positive attitudes toward chemotherapy assessed both at the end of the scanning session and at an unannounced one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that IDG-induced activation of reward-related mesolimbic neural circuits stems primarily from participatory engagement in gameplay (interactivity), rather than from the effects of vivid and dynamic sensory stimulation. © 2012 Cole et al.

Kwak M.,University of Michigan | Zebrack B.J.,University of Michigan | Meeske K.A.,University of Southern California | Embry L.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | And 6 more authors.
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2013

Objectives Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have been identified as a meaningful indicator of distress in cancer survivors. Distinct from young adult survivors of childhood cancer, young people diagnosed with cancer as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face unique psychosocial issues; however, there is little published research of PTSS in the AYA population. This study examines prevalence and predictors of PTSS among AYAs with cancer. Methods As part of a longitudinal study of AYAs with cancer, 151 patients aged 15-39 years completed mailed surveys at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Severity of PTSS was estimated at 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the predictive effects of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics on changes in PTSS over time. Results At 6 and 12 months, respectively, 39% and 44% of participants reported moderate to severe levels of PTSS; 29% had PTSS levels suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder. No significant differences in severity of PTSS between 6 and 12 months were observed. Regression analyses suggested that a greater number of side effects were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 6 months. Currently receiving treatment, having surgical treatment, diagnosis of a cancer type with a 90-100% survival rate, remaining unemployed/not in school, and greater PTSS at 6 months were associated with higher levels of PTSS at 12 months. Conclusions Post-traumatic stress symptoms were observed as early as 6 months following diagnosis and remained stable at 12-month follow-up. The development of early interventions for reducing distress among AYA patients in treatment is recommended. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Zebrack B.J.,University of Michigan | Corbett V.,Michigan State University | Embry L.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Aguilar C.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | And 5 more authors.
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2014

Purpose: Identifying at-risk adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and referring them to age-appropriate psychosocial support services may be instrumental in reducing psychological distress and promoting psychosocial adaptation. The purpose of this study is to identify trajectories of clinically significant levels of distress throughout the first year following diagnosis and to distinguish factors, including supportive care service use, that predict the extent to which AYAs report distress.Methods: In this prospective multisite study, 215 AYAs aged 15-39 years were assessed for psychological distress and psychosocial support service use within the first 4 months of diagnosis and again 6 and 12 months later. On the basis of distress scores, respondents were assigned to one of four distress trajectory groups (Resilient, Recovery, Delayed, and Chronic). Multiple logistic regression analyses examined whether demographics, clinical variables, and reports of unsatisfied need for psychosocial support were associated with distress trajectories over 1 year.Results: Twelve percent of AYAs reported clinically significant chronic distress throughout the first 12 months following diagnosis. An additional 15% reported delayed distress. Substantial proportions of AYAs reported that needs for information (57%), counseling (41%), and practical support (39%) remained unsatisfied at 12 months following diagnosis. Not getting counseling needs met, particularly with regard to professional mental health services, was observed to be significantly associated with distress over time.Conclusions: Substantial proportions of AYAs are not utilizing psychosocial support services. Findings suggest the importance of identifying psychologically distressed AYAs and addressing their needs for mental health counseling throughout a continuum of care. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

News Article | October 20, 2015
Site: www.xconomy.com

Welltok has acquired a health tool for children and their families called Zamzee that it plans to incorporate into its health optimization software called CaféWell. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Zamzee attempts to engage children through games, allowing them to use an activity tracker as they attempt to complete challenges that require physical activity. Denver-based Welltok’s CaféWell program helps organize health and condition management programs, and uses social, gaming, and cognitive techniques to try to engage users, the company says. Welltok purchased Zamzee from HopeLab, a Redwood City, CA-based nonprofit focused on creating technology that improves health. HopeLab was created by Pam Omidyar as the R&D organization of The Omidyar Group, which Pam created with her husband Pierre, the founder of eBay and media organizations Honolulu Civil Beat and First Look Media. This is the most recent in a string of acquisitions for Welltok, which includes Burlington, MA-based machine learning company Predilytics and Seattle-based mobile healthcare app Mindbloom. David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

News Article | December 13, 2013
Site: www.cultofmac.com

Marc Brackett wants to put a Mood Meter on every smartphone. That way, in addition to helping us get through our daily lives, iPhones can make us more attuned to why and when we feel cheerful, tired or annoyed. The director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has been working with a team from HopeLab on an app with a simple interface where users rate their energy and pleasantness using four colors and a five-point scale. He tested it out on conference goers Stanford’s first ever Technology and Compassion conference, organized by the Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education. Asking for a show of hands, most participants noted they were somewhere in the green (pleasant) perhaps creeping up towards yellow (high energy). If you’re at all like New Yorker Brackett, you’ll frequently find yourself in the red. And that’s a not necessarily a bad thing. “I like being angry. It drives me to change education policy,” Brackett said. His presentation substituted a scheduled one about empathy and video games. Despite the pinch hit, his talk resonated strongly with participants and echoed several of the ideas presented in the projects presented in a later competition. Speaking with Brackett afterwards, I wondered whether my own first reaction — which usually involves some gradation of annoyed (irritated, peeved, irated) would move into another realm through diligent tracking. “Not really, but that’s all right. To a certain extent if you can name it, you can tame it. But compassion for all of your states is a better goal.” Brackett recounted his own struggle with mood states, realizing he doesn’t like to be in the yellow (high energy, high pleasantness) after experimenting with it in a Crossfit class. “I’m not pumped like the trainer, or the rest of the guys. I’m never going to be like that. I’m a red or blue kind of guy.” The app (digital mood ring 2.o?) is expected to be available for public consumption by April 2014, if not sooner, in Android and iOS versions. It’ll face competition from dozens of mood tracking apps on the market – ranging from MoodyMe to The National Center for Telehealth & Technology’s T2 Mood Tracker. While many of the ideas presented during the conference weren’t new — at least if you’ve been to a few meet-ups or tech accelerator showcases in the Bay Area — it comes at a time when the tech boom is seen as an antagonistic force rather than a one that helps change society change for the better. You’re going about your business on a regular workday when a text message pops up on your iPhone from an anonymous number: “Stop texting me you jerk!” How would you answer? If you participated in a study from the University of Michigan about empathy, there are higher chances you might text something back like “Sorry you’re having a bad day! I think you’ve got the wrong number.” Sara Konrath, an assistant research professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, says the results of the study that used texting prompts to “train” people in compassion were not conclusive, but the follow-up done six months after the conclusion of the study with the potentially hackle-raising text shows that our phones may help smooth out the rougher edges of our personalities. “Men in particular less likely to agree that aggression was a good thing,” Konrath said. “It increases pro-social behavior, but not necessarily empathy.” As part of the texting research, part of the John Templeton Foundation’s Character Project, participants thumbed their way through exercises designed to test for empathy reactions. Six times a day, they reported mood, feelings of connectedness, the number of people interacted with since the last text message and several other factors. Some were prompted to text messages that were empathy boosters (“send a nice text to someone close, try to make them feel loved”) while others were asked to reflect on someone they had trouble getting along with. Konrath says that while empathy is heritable to an extent, she likens it to a muscle we can all work on strengthening. Conference goers found the results intriguing. “I can imagine structuring peer review around this concept and helping my students approach each other’s work more constructively, with greater focus on how they can become compassionate responders,” said Alyssa J. O’Brien a lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford. Next up for Konrath? Trying to compare face-to-face empathy with text messages and possibly work on an app. Because we’re all different IRL. During the second half of the one-day conference, apps in the empathy space killed each other with kindness in a friendly competition. (Several of the speakers gave a nod to the other presenters and their ideas, opening the doors for collaboration once the gloves were off.) The 10 finalists each got a chance to tell judges and conference goers, who could vote by text message, why their idea would extend the reach of compassion with tech. High school senior Sam Reiss was a shoe-in for first place, with a project that brings pen pals to the generation that grew up with Skype. Dubbed X-Change the World, its goals include “enhancing the cultural and global spectrum of youth throughout the world, improving the level of conversational English of our participants and building cross-cultural bridges that lead to greater global curiosity and compassion.” The platform pairs students from the U.S. with teens in countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Tanzania and Kenya in a virtual classroom. The project, which already won second place in a national youth service challenge, walked off with the $10,000 prize. Two other projects won $5,000 each plus a consultation with a a growth capital fund exec and a chance to meet the Dalai Lama. They included a taxi game called Compassion in Motion and wellness tracker SeekChange, which includes Siri-like component called Dara to track your moods and activities.

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