Intuition Robotics Ltd. last week announced that it is expanding the ability of primary care teams to use its ElliQ companion robot to increase patient engagement and the quality of care for older adults at home. The Ramat Gan, Israel-based company said its proprietary cognitive artificial intelligence can help people develop long-term relationships with technology and improve their quality of life.
“ElliQ has proven to be an invaluable resource for our older adult users, who often choose to share something personal with the companion robot on a daily basis,” stated Dor Skuler, co-founder and CEO of Intuition Robotics. “While our original focus for ElliQ was to promote independent living and 'aging in place' by combating isolation and loneliness, we realized that they were mere components of the bigger picture: helping to holistically improve care for older adults.”
“Working with healthcare professionals over the last year, we now see that ElliQ has the potential to support the full spectrum of care, physically, mentally, and socially,” he added. Intuition Robotics was founded in 2016 and has offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Greece. Its investors include Toyota AI Ventures, Samsung NEXT, and iRobot, among others.
ElliQ designed to promote engagement
Primary care providers encounter two major challenges in engaging older adult patients, according to Intuition Robotics. The first is lack of visibility on the accurate state of their patient in between touchpoints. Leading primary care providers have about touchpoint a month with each patient, but most have less than one per year. As a result, day-to-day changes in older adults' clinical conditions are largely unknown, the company said.
The second challenge is consistent and timely communication and engagement with patients, said Intuition Robotics. The combination of early detection when changes in clinical conditions occur, along with effective communication that strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, can increase the quality of care and help reduce avoidable emergency room visits and hospitalizations, it added.
“ElliQ is the first-ever empathetic digital companion robot designed to help curb loneliness and social isolation among older adults,” claimed Intuition Robotics. “ElliQ is a proactive goal-based system that was developed with years of research and user studies combining psychology, behavioral sciences, and advanced cognitive AI capabilities.”
“The companion robot has spent over 30,000 days in older adults' homes over the past two years, and on average, each older adult completed about 150 successful goal-oriented interactions with ElliQ per month,” it said. “ElliQ engages older adults, connects to family, promotes wellness and helps older adults stay sharp.”
The company said its extensive experience demonstrated that older adults form meaningful bonds with ElliQ, treating it less like a device and more like a friendly roommate who provides comfort and companionship. Intuition said ElliQ projects empathy to deliver engagement, trust, and collaboration between the AI-driven agent and the older adult, while offering levels of engagement for positive behavior.
Robot brings healthcare to the home
The COVID-19 pandemic not only increased the isolation and loneliness of many seniors, but it also heightened the recognition of the importance of bringing healthcare into homes of older adults. ElliQ is aimed at keeping older adults healthy, active, and independent at home, bridging the gap between them and their healthcare providers.
Intuition Robotics said the expansion of the robot's capabilities will help improve the overall patient experience, while offering primary care providers continuous actionable data and insights for early detection and intervention.
“ElliQ is in a unique position to help providers improve quality of care by creating a direct channel of communication between providers and patients,” explained the company. “ElliQ proactively engages the patient in conversations and activities throughout the day, collects self-reported data, and, with the patient's consent, shares data with the primary care team.”
“Primary care providers can adjust the type and frequency of self-reported data that ElliQ collects on a per patient basis, as well as communicate with patients seamlessly through the robot,” it said. “These capabilities allow patients to ask their doctors questions, assume greater control of their condition and treatment, enjoy peace of mind, and receive higher quality of care. Ultimately, by increasing communication and engagement within the home, ElliQ helps strengthen the relationship between doctors and patients.”
Intuition Robotics hires CMO, widens pilots
As part of Intuition Robotics' move into healthcare, the company recently hired Dr. Michael Cantor as its first chief medical officer (CMO). Cantor is a geriatrician with extensive experience in managing population health for provider organizations and payers. In his last role, he served as the CMO of Bright Health, a Medicare Advantage payer.
Intuition Robotics said it is now compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA is the primary U.S. regulation governing the security and privacy of personal health information used by health insurance plans and other covered entities.
In addition, the company announced a pilot with Family Doctors, a Mass General Brigham-affiliated practice in Swampscott, Mass.
“ElliQ is already a great resource for older adults to maintain a healthy and engaged lifestyle at home, providing them with much-needed companionship, entertainment, cognitive stimulation, and health and wellness suggestions,” said Dr. Peter Barker of Family Doctors. “The new capabilities provide physicians with visibility into the patient's condition at home while allowing seamless communication are every doctor's dream, as it can assist me and my team in early detection and mitigation of health issues, and it increases patients' involvement in their care through more frequent engagement and communication.”
Intuition Robotics is planning on expanding its partnership with additional value-based care physician groups, primary care providers, and health plans serving older adults in the U.S. Once data emerges from these pilots, the company plans to begin offering ElliQ widely to the healthcare ecosystem.
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