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ElliQ companion robot, NYSOFA partner for NY older adult assistance

In a step to move robotics more widely into the home, the recently launched ElliQ voice-controlled small-size companion robot from Intuition Robotics will be offered in a pilot program to about 800 seniors in a NYSOFA (New York State Office for the Aging) program. NYSOFA and Intuition Robotics will work with over 830+ case managers to nominate the best candidates for the program. The NY state office is the company’s first state government partner. This is the second initiative in robotics for NYSOFA, the first being an animatronic pet program from Ageless Innovations/Joy for All that reportedly reduces self-reported loneliness... Continue Reading

Wednesday news roundup: Oracle-Cerner reportedly OK’d by EU, VitalTech RPM raises $14.1 M, Aging 2.0 interoperability challenge, what do rough times mean for investors and startups, employees cause 39% of healthcare IT breaches

One regulatory hurdle down for Oracle’s $28 billion Cerner acquisition? The EU has reportedly given an unconditional EU antitrust clearance to Cerner, three sources informed Reuters. The formal announcement will be made 1 June. In the US, the long and winding road of Federal antitrust scrutiny and review began in February by the usual alphabet agencies–DOJ, FTC, and SEC–that show no sign of wrapping up [TTA 11 Feb]. Cerner continues to run into headwinds in its VA EHR implementation including spotty interoperability with the Military Health Service DOD version [TTA 18 May]. In a small confirmation that RPM is on... Continue Reading

Perspectives: Where next for technology-enabled care after 2025?

...a huge demand for a new set of tools that can, for example, flag everything is OK today or when an early intervention may be required. These tools will work on an individual personalised basis and all the way up to the population level. Joining up data and using insight provided by analytics will enable new high value timely personalised interventions and provide improved outcomes for all stakeholders. The good news is that there are a huge variety of companies already working on these challenges from start-ups to SME’s, larger companies, and even global players. The real challenge will be... Continue Reading

Alertacall receives Queen’s Award For Enterprise: Innovation

One of the items that whizzed by this Editor while she was in Pepper the Robot mode was the highly prestigious Queen’s Award For Enterprise: Innovation, awarded to one of the pioneering companies in UK telecare, Alertacall Ltd. Their CEO and founder, James Batchelor, is an old friend of TTA from early days with Editor Emeritus Steve. (Editor Donna hadn’t even thought of marketing health tech at that time.) Alertacall provides tablet touchscreen connectivity to the housing, care markets, and personal markets, from OKEachDay checkins to smart home systems controlled by the touchscreen. Alertacall was founded in 2004 by James,... Continue Reading

Some thoughts on Teladoc and the Week That Was in telehealth

Yes, your Editor has, for the past few weeks, felt like Pepper the Robot, moving at two speeds–crazed and off. (‘Off ‘ to the left. Now cart me off.) Home renovations, with strangers tramping through your abode, noise, dust, and the corresponding moving of furniture, packing and unpacking, pre- and post-cleaning, then trying to put things right and get your life back will do that. Add to that an unexpected gushy kitchen sink that took three ‘fixes’ to get actually fixed. Then there were technical problems with our email sender that Editor and Administrator Emeritus Steve had to work through.... Continue Reading

Friday short takes: ElliQ companion robot launches, Tunstall pilots chronic condition support in Ireland, Walmart Better(s)Up, TytoCare surveys virtual primary care, Microsoft closes $19B buy of Nuance

ElliQ, a small size companion robot, was officially launched this week by its developer, Intuition Robotics. From the release, it’s a national launch but concentrated in senior-rich south Florida. ElliQ responds and ‘learns’ by voice commands and through a connected tablet. It has gained some notice for its unusual shape (like a small lamp), animation in place, and initiating conversation that resembles chit-chat. Behind this is interactivity–the companion part–checking in to say “good morning,” pointing towards sleep, but also informing family or friends that you’re OK and helping track appointments and medications. We noted at the end of January that... Continue Reading

Friday short takes: Uber Health taps geriatrician CMO (updated), Sensyne Health completes £11M financing as part of formal sale, ATA + ECHAlliance ally, add GHCP Summit, Reimagine Care home-centered cancer care lands $25M

...update on Dr. Cantor: his CMO position at Uber Health is part-time, according to his LinkedIn profile. He will be continuing at Intuition Robotics as their CMO, having started with them in May 2021 (release). Intuition developed the ElliQ robot companion and is extending it to healthcare for older adults. Hat tip to Laurie Orlov for the info. Some dismaying news from Oxford is that Sensyne Health, a clinical AI company for life sciences companies that analyzes data from US and UK health system EHRs, is having financial difficulties that have caused them to enter a Formal Sale Process (FSP).... Continue Reading

Telehealth Wars: Amwell’s raises game with buys of SilverCloud and Conversa Health (updated); Teladoc’s slow member, hospital growth lead to $133M Q2 loss

...company is all that far along–SilverCloud has total funding of only $26 million but is more established with 750,000 clients and 300 organizations. Conversa’s Series B was a tiny $8 million for total funding of $34 million. Amwell also paid a premium price. According to Healthy Skeptic, a blog written by long-time UnitedHealth Group senior healthcare executive Kevin Roche, their combined revenue was $15 million–more than a 20x multiple of the purchase price. The other challenge for Amwell? Making all the systems work together in a meaningful way–and to market what can be a confusing picture properly. Amwell press release,... Continue Reading

The King’s Fund annual conference returns in November, virtually

...December, but not in person quite yet. It will be full virtual, first live then on demand through the end of the year. Content will center around: the role of the NHS and the wider health and care system in tackling health inequalities what the new health and social care Bill means for the system in England how the recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is being managed and plans to meet the backlog challenge how to meet the needs of the health and care workforce. For more information, registration, and sponsorship opportunities, check their conference page here.... Continue Reading

2021 UK-RAS Network Robotics Summer Showcase 5 May-30 July and UK Festival of Robotics 19-25 June

...people manage, control, and cooperate with remote robots from the safety of a control room. The Ethical Black Box in Human-Robot Dialogue (13th July 2pm – 3.30pm BST) – virtual demonstration of the Ethical Black Box platform – developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and Bristol Robotics Lab – which collects data for use in the event of an accident. The Showcase closes in July with virtual award ceremonies for the prestigious international Surgical Robot Challenge and Medical Robotics for Contagious Diseases Challenge, the much-anticipated launch of the UK-RAS Network 2021 White Papers, and concludes with the Robotics... Continue Reading