Building on its effort to battle social isolation and support aging in place, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is delivering voice-operated smart technology to the homes of more than 800 older adults.
NYSOFA is working with local offices for the aging and partners to identify older adults who would most benefit from the technology: ElliQ by Intuition Robotics, which is described by the company as a proactive and empathetic care companion.
ElliQ is designed to foster independence and provide support for older adults through daily check-ins, assistance with wellness goals and physical activities, connection to family and friends, and other functions, using voice commands or on-screen instructions.
The technology recently launched commercially after years of pilots and early production deployments. Users have an average of 20 daily interactions. ElliQ is made specifically for older adults to support independence at home. While other technologies are reactive to commands, ElliQ proactively suggests activities and initiates conversations, building context through artificial intelligence to inform follow-up conversations that create a sense of relationship with the AI, the company explained.
To support health and wellness, ElliQ offers sleep relaxation exercises, physical activity exercises, in-depth nutrition-related conversations, and medication reminders for each user’s unique conditions.
In 2017, the U.S. Surgeon General declared social isolation to be a “global epidemic” – one that has only worsened during the COVID-19 health emergency. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, social isolation drives $6.7 billion in additional associated Medicare spending per year.
“This product does so many things to improve health, combat isolation, and improve overall wellbeing and independence,” said New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen. “Designed with input from older adults, the future of supporting and serving older adults includes technology. The future is here.”