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 Michael Cantor, MD, JD is their chief medical officer, as well as CMO of Uber Health. Intuition release, Fast Company profile of an ElliQ beta tester, aged 81.
It’s a day late for St. Patrick’s Day, but Tunstall Healthcare piloted with several agencies in County Wexford, Ireland, in a 12-week proof of concept test of remote monitoring support of 50 patients with three chronic conditions: heart failure, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The 2021 telehealth intervention measured the impact on the patient’s clinical condition and wellbeing; in-person use of health services; ascertaining patient and clinician perceptions of the intervention and technology; and an analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. The trial used the myMobile patient app and the triageManager clinical management software platform. Participating in the pilot: Age Friendly Ireland, Integrated Care Programme in the HSE, Wexford General Hospital, Tunstall Emergency Response and Wexford County Council-Age Friendly Programme. THIIS. Also in the same publication is a Tunstall take by Gavin Bashar, Tunstall UK & Ireland managing director, on aging in place with technology support.
In another expansion of Walmart into healthcare, they’re partnering with behavioral health-coaching platform BetterUp in a program dubbed ‘BetterUp for Caregivers’. The app will be offered exclusively through Walmart’s Wellness Hub. Caregivers can access support via BetterUp’s live group coaching circles hosted by a BetterUp coach. Release, Mobihealthnews
TytoCare’s quick survey found that their 300 users via a major insurer preferred more access to virtual primary care, which isn’t much of a surprise. Going through the numbers:
- 67% felt they would be more likely to stay with their health insurer long-term as a result of being offered remote physical examinations (always catnip to insurers!)
- 66% of users would consider a digital-first plan
- 87% of respondents indicated they are pleased by health insurers who offer technology for remote visits
- Much of this is a reaction to delayed in-person primary care: 90% of members wait an average of six days to see their primary care physician. Over 45% wait between 1-2 hours or more.
And in the It’s About Time Department, Microsoft’s $19 billion purchase of Nuance Communications closed after the UK cleared the acquisition. It was our Really Big Deal of 21 April 2021. Nuance is a cloud and AI-based speech recognition company with well-known brands Dragon and PowerScribe. Becker’s.