A friendly robot will help New York seniors feel less alone
Skuler met Greg Olsen, acting director of the Office for the Aging, at a conference in 2021 about how technology can address the social determinants of health in older adults. They formed the partnership within months.
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ElliQ is a round, voice-activated robot that sits on dressers or counters and comes with a touchscreen device that users can use to select programs or communicate with the robot. It’s designed to be proactive and friendly – so friendly that it kept interrupting Crain’s interview with Skuler. ElliQ, he said, has been living in seniors’ residences across the country for a cumulative 100,000 days, a beta period during which the company was able to determine that seniors use the product about 20 times a day. on average. ElliQ, which launched as a commercial product in March, is available for $30 per month for an annual subscription.
In this New York partnership, Intuition Robotics will measure the success of ElliQ through engagement: tracking how often people use it, how it helps meet individuals’ mental or physical health needs, and how it contributes improve quality of life over time. Two measures of success are a ‘loneliness score’ and ‘healthy days alive’, a standardized quality of life survey that will help determine if seniors are growing healthier the longer they use ElliQ. . Skuler referenced widely accepted research that shows the social determinants of health have the greatest percentage influence on health outcomes.
The partnership with the Office for the Aging is Intuition Robotics’ first with a state government. The company hopes to expand its partnerships to other states, Skuler said.