Peak – Brain Training is a mobile app that focuses on cognitive remediation using short interactive games. When the user opens Peak for the first time, he is asked to set personal goals he/she would like to improve: memory, linguistic skills, focus, problem solving, mental agility, or emotional processing. Following the selection, a virtual coach guides the user through the program. An initial assessment is conducted with a following feedback on their performance, which includes a comparison to an age group or a profession. The developers recommend practicing 3 times a week. Each exercise is adaptive to the user’s level of performance and provides feedback in the end. The basic free version allows only a limited number of randomly selected daily exercises, whereas the paid Peak Pro allows unlimited access to all 40+ exercises, along with personalized training sessions and elaborated feedback (mostly percentage and graphs) on progress.
Peak– Brain Training is engaging and easy to use. Its overall design fits the mobile phone delivery method, utilizing short interactive games and practices that can be easily incorporated into the daily routine. The program will probably suit mostly those who seek some kind of cognitive practice to maintain or regain functions (like the elderly population or people suffering from mild cognitive impairment). However, important to note that because of its nature as a mobile app, some level of experience and practice with mobile devices is requires. Peak’s free version includes video advertisements which could be very irritating. On the up side, the Peak Pro paid version is reasonably priced. The program’s developers state the program is intended to be used to challenge and practice cognitive abilities and do not claim to improve function or slow decline, like stated in other cognitive remediation programs.
It is still important to note that although some research has shown a link between the practice of specific cognitive tasks and the improvement or slow of decline in deteriorated functions (like memory, driving, etc.), the current cumulative knowledge in the field of cognitive training does not match the extent of knowledge in other treatment orientations that target other clinical aims (e.g., CBT for depression). In addition, the ability of cognitive training to partly rehabilitate or slow down cognitive impairments related to specific illnesses – such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s – is still being evaluated. Therefore, users should be aware of these limitations when utilizing the program.
Peak could be used as a supplement to treatment for patients looking to mend or retain cognitive abilities through the utilization of mobile apps. Clinicians might want to consider and examine such program’s applicability for elderly patients, people at risk for cognitive decline, or people with conditions in which their cognition may have been affected (e.g., Schizophrenia). The therapist can assist in providing ongoing support towards the continuous use of the program. Finally, clinicians are highly recommended to explain the limited empirical knowledge that currently exists in this field.