In 2016, then-President of AACN, Karen Postal, PhD, and other AACN members (Dean Beebe, PhD, Robert Bilder, PhD, Michelle Braun, PhD, Darcy Cox, PhD, and Daniel Drane, PhD) developed the Disruptive Technology Initiative to encourage development of educational and assessment models that embrace multidisciplinary technological innovations, making neuropsychologists not just consumers of technology, but actual cutting-edge producers of technology.
This spirit of creative evolution complements the goals of the AACN Relevance 2050 Initiative: both focus on the transformation of neuropsychology to be future-directed and relevant. The goals of both initiatives include increasing access to services and creating new markets, designing novel strategies for assessment, and expanding diversity of experts, data collection, and analysis.
Disruptive Technology refers to changes and innovations in a sector that are so profound they alter the way service is rendered or performed–disrupting the old market, and creating an entirely new market, with significant societal impact. Some examples of disruptive technology are the smartphone, digital photography, and companies such as Amazon, Tesla, Uber, and AirBnB.
A confluence of technological innovations has created an opportunity for disruptive technology to emerge in the field of neuropsychology. Internet connectivity is now combined with sensors/data gathering (cars, phones, bodies, fridges, etc.); massive volumes of data are processed and analyzed using machine learning/artificial intelligence, and artificial intelligence technology can perform human cognitive tasks, and mimic human behavior and decision-making.
We believe education should break free from traditional silos and embrace coding, biotechnology, and engineering, among other fields. We believe there is opportunity for radical innovation in the measurement of brain function, cognition and behavior, and reimagining of how these data are analyzed, interpreted, and applied.
As neuropsychologists we are perfectly positioned to leverage strong scientific knowledge and research skills to produce market-disrupting technology and services. We understand the importance of economic value balanced with the clinical utility of our services and are devoted to the concepts of individual differences and diversity. Neuropsychologists developed ground-breaking tools to measure cognition and have used them to inform advances in medical and mental health diagnosis and care. We have clinics, research infrastructure and business relationships that help position us for rapid technological innovation.