Intel-GE joint offers wellness tablet to seniors

By: Brian Dolan | Jul 22, 2011        

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Connect_MemberPageCare Innovations, a joint venture between Intel and GE, announced a new software platform called Care Innovations Connect this week, which aims to increase wellbeing and decrease social isolation among seniors.

The software includes wellness surveys, brain fitness games, community calendar events, medication compliance reminders, and social networking functionality, all running on a third-party tablet device with an embedded webcam. For care providers, the software suite includes an online portal that includes access to wellness data for multiple patients, news, and community information.

Laurie Orlov of Aging In Place Technology Watch lauded the JV for creating something new: “When the companies combined last year, spun out of Intel’s Digital Health group and GE’s QuietCare business units, I was hopeful that they would transcend limitations of the previous parents,” Orlov wrote. “Especially given Intel’s investment history of researching social needs of seniors, Omar Ishrak’s comment last August really resonated: ‘We recognize that the conditions faced by home health patients are not necessarily clinical. It is part of our core mission [in the Joint Venture] to address social and support needs.’”

Intel, of course, already had a device comparable to a tablet called Intel’s Health Guide. Connect and the tablet it runs on are a clear departure from the Health Guide, not just in form factor but function too. While Health Guide is largely focused on the clinical — tracking biometrics — Connect is a wellness device.

“Research has shown that loneliness, as a health risk factor, is twice as detrimental as being obese, and equal to the risk of smoking cigarettes and alcoholism,” stated Louis Burns, Care Innovations CEO, in a press release. “With Connect, we’re helping senior service providers overcome this issue by helping them identify major health deterioration in their members, while enabling seniors to stay engaged and live more socially connected lives.”

For more on the strategy Burns has in place for Care Innovations, be sure to read our interview with him from earlier this year.

Read the full press release after the jump.

Intel-GE Care Innovations announced Care Innovations Connect this week, a new product designed to address social isolation in older adults. Developed in partnership with seniors and senior service providers, Connect helps professional caregivers monitor the changing needs of seniors while giving older adults the tools that help them build ties to their communities and avoid social isolation and loneliness.

Care Innovations™ Connect includes an easy-to-use digital device that serves as a wellness communication tool and social networking hub. The result of ten years of in-depth user research, Connect is a customizable offering that combines a range of wellness surveys, brain fitness games, medication compliance reminders, and simple social networking tools for seniors to help them “go digital” and proactively engage in their physical, social and mental health.

“Research has shown that loneliness, as a health risk factor, is twice as detrimental as being obese, and equal to the risk of smoking cigarettes and alcoholism,” said Louis Burns, chief executive officer of Care Innovations. “With Connect, we’re helping senior service providers overcome this issue by helping them identify major health deterioration in their members, while enabling seniors to stay engaged and live more socially connected lives.”

The Connect system includes both an in-home digital device for seniors and an online portal where the professional caregiver can customize content for each member, including: wellness surveys, access to wellness data, and community information. By giving staff a tool to quickly assess individual wellness, Connect drives operational efficiency and improves quality of service with proactive, consistent, tailored care.

Recent data shows that one of the biggest obstacles to successful care in senior living communities is members’ lack of information about available social services and the inability to easily socialize with others. Connect overcomes this obstacle by proactively sharing information about available services, enabling seniors to connect with one another and build communities.

  • http://twitter.com/mHealthTalk Modern Health Talk

    Specialized devices = limited market = high cost. Why reinvent the wheel? Why not launch on a mass market iOS or Android device?

    See “An iPad for All Ages” (http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2011/06/ipad-for-all-ages/)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JWRAWPYPZAECUPGOOO56NBPJJI Jamie O'flatery

    I agree with the comment below, especially considering how similair technology is priced even lower and not mention there seems to be little consideration for a certain portion of their consumers who might be living on a fixed income. To put into perspective for my family, I have to consider when I purchased a cell phone for my grandmother last Christmas and took her along to make the choice. She was interested in something like a SmartPhone but between the cost of the plan and the phone itself, it put her way beyond her range and she had to find something more affordable. With some searching, we were able to find a simple flip phone from Tracfone’s senior SVC line that was much more affordable, but she had to deal with less phone options in exchange. I feel the same way with a product like this since she could have the same tablet expererience for like $200 or $300 less with some of the features, but not all of them.