The benefits of an AI-driven social robot for area agencies on aging

The benefits of an AI-driven social robot for area agencies on aging
April 26, 2024
Healthy Aging
Staying Connected
Health Plans
Healthy Aging
Staying Connected
Health Plans

ElliQ is an AI-powered social companion robot purpose-built for seniors to help alleviate loneliness and connect and engage with their community and family. In this article, you’ll learn more about loneliness and how it contributes to the overall well-being of seniors.

Loneliness and social isolation are key health priorities for senior care.

Loneliness in seniors, as researchers have pointed out, is not just a feeling of distress but a significant health issue. It arises when the quality or quantity of one’s social relationships fail to meet their perceived needs. This issue is particularly acute among seniors who often experience various forms of loss over time.

What’s more, researchers from Duke and Cornell found that social robots “may reduce loneliness through direct interactions between the user and the robot, through the robot serving as a social catalyst between people in an environment.”

Why loneliness is worth solving for:

  • More than a third of seniors are lonely (UMich)
  • Loneliness is associated with a 29% higher risk of heart disease, 32% higher risk of stroke, and 50% increased risk for dementia, among other chronic conditions, according to the Surgeon’s General report.
  • Loneliness is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (PBS)

This comes on the coattails of the Surgeon General’s report that came out almost a year ago. In it, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy shared that “social isolation among older adults alone accounts for an estimated $6.7 billion in excess Medicare spending annually, largely due to increased hospital and nursing facility spending.”

What is ElliQ?

ElliQ is a proactive, AI-driven social robot with multiple social and health coaching functions specifically designed to address loneliness and support older people.

Although ElliQ is not a medical device, “the social relationship created between the user and the robot may help contribute to better health outcomes by providing stimulation, reminders for adherence, reducing loneliness and improving mood.”

27% of older adults in the US live alone, a higher rate than that of the rest of the globe. And ElliQ is one emerging solution to this dynamic. “When you live alone, coming home to an empty house can be a drag sometimes,” shared an ElliQ user, Susan T. ElliQ can proactively start conversations, prompt people to remember to take their medications, and stay entertained throughout the day.

How ElliQ delivers proven outcomes

To evaluate how effective ElliQ is, researchers deployed the CoBot-I-7 survey to older adults. It asks “short, easy-to-understand questions and assesses loneliness, health, cognition, and mood.”

The findings:

  • “80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt less lonely when the robot was with them.”
  • “56% agreed or strongly agreed that the robot helped them to connect to other people.”

What’s more, New York State deployed the program and found that ElliQ reduced loneliness by 95%. People also engaged with their robot 30 times a day, 6 days a week.

Your case managers have a lot on their hands and ElliQ is available to help:

  • Medication reminders. Most older adults take 4 or more prescriptions, and having to remember which ones to take, how many to take, and at what time, ElliQ can keep users on track and monitor and record any symptoms. This keeps users, families, and case managers in the loop and prevents hospital admissions and reduces preventable hospital stays.
  • Help people reduce and prevent falls. ElliQ has a number of education modules, including balance exercises. By focusing on exercises that emphasize balance and strength training, older adults can proactively work on reducing fall-risk. This significantly impacts their ability to age in place and, of course, their quality of life in general.

There are many in-person interventions available to help seniors, however, “there may be issues with scalability and accessibility when they are delivered by a human therapist,” researchers shared. Home care is another option that area agencies on aging may recommend, however, for companionship and less “complex” needs, the care isn’t covered by third-party payers and cost can be a barrier to accessing care.

By partnering with area agencies on aging, ElliQ can be provided to older adults at no-cost, to enable them to experience companionship on their own terms.

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Intuition Robotics Team

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