Q&A with James Chappell about recording his brain waves during the Broad Street Run

Cogwear Life

Q&A with James Chappell. Runner and Cogwear employee.

April 11, 2023
Q&A with James Chappell about recording his brain waves during the Broad Street Run
james chappell

Cogwear will make history this week during the annual Broad Street Run when James Chappell, a local runner and Cogwear employee, measures his brain waves as he competes in the 10-mile race. James will be the first person in the world to gather his brain data with clinical-grade accuracy during an actual race — a feat that, until now, has not been possible due to technological limitations. We sat down with James to find out why he’s doing it and what he expects.

Q: Why did you decide to run with Cogwear?

A: I decided to run with the Cogwear headband to showcase the technological development of the device. We have been working hard to develop an electroencephalography (EEG) device that will provide clinical-grade insights into brain health. This effort will show that we can provide the clinical grade data and that it’s comfortable enough to wear for a 10-mile run!

Q: What do you expect from the race and what do you expect you might see in the data?

A: I’m expecting to see significant shifts in the fatigue and attention models from the datasets before, during and after the race. I believe the headband will deliver interesting insights into how a runner experiences an important race. I’m also hoping to see positive emotion signals after the race with the rush of endorphins – but we will have to wait and see how it goes!

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: I’m excited to talk to other runners about our device and share the new technology with the running community. I’m also thrilled to be running my 4th Broad Street Run, which is my favorite race in Philadelphia. The quick course, scenic route through Center City, and the thousands of people that come out to race and cheer make for such an exciting day.

Q: Tell us what it’s been like building this device.

A: It’s been a great journey building the Cogwear EEG headband. I began my career as a process engineer in life sciences with little background in electrical engineering and electroencephalograms. It has been an awesome experience learning from and collaborating with our CEO David Yonce, who is an excellent electrical engineer and leader. Over the last few months, we’ve been working with our partners and making slight modifications to enhance our design and the user experience, and we have so many exciting developments to roll out over the next few months. 

Q: What potential do you see for Cogwear in the world? 

A: We are hoping to deliver clinical-grade cognitive feedback anywhere, anytime, and we think there are several markets where these brain insights will be leverageable. Behavioral health and brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, athletic and human performance, and academic and consumer research all come to mind when thinking about the scope of impact of this powerful device – and we’re just getting started!