More smart solutions enter senior living communities in the U.S.

More smart solutions enter senior living communities in the U.S.
Smart technology makes life easier and this is more likely the case for the elderly. This month two companies introduced new voice technologies specifically designed for senior citizens to help them engage more with the outside world.

Technology company Connected Living has teamed up with food service provider Sodexo to offer the “Smart Living” program for residents in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC).

Sodexo menus are integrated with Connected Living’s content management systems to allow residents to ask Alexa for community information. The program allows residents to ask questions such as “Alexa, what’s for lunch in the bistro next Friday?” or “What’s on the events calendar today?”

Residents can also control smart home devices like lights, thermostats, doorbells and music from their Alexa-enabled devices.

“The program fosters greater engagement by making it easier for residents to access events and information, connect with apps and social networks online, and benefit from assistive technology in the event of age-related or other health challenges,” Sodexo says in a statement.

"These personalized services empower older adults to maintain and create new connections,” said Sarah Hoit, CEO of Connected Living.

Voice assistant LiSA

Cuida Health, a company that develops voice technology for older adults, recently introduced LiSA, which enables users to stay informed of community activities, to connect with friends and family and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

LiSA can run on both Amazon Echo and Google Home. With voice command “Start LiSA,” senior citizens can carry out various tasks: sending and receiving voice messages; checking local events and activities; and getting health advices about nutrition, medication, sleep and exercise.

Pilot testers in the Tierrasanta Village in San Diego, ranging in age from mid-60s to mid-80s, interacted with the platform multiple times a day. They seemed to be fond of LiSA so far. The testing group retained 90 percent of its members during the four-month period. Testers were excited about the functions, with group messaging and text-with-voice being the most popular, according to Cuida Health.

Dan Deniger and his wife Cindy said Cuida Health's LiSA broke the barriers that kept them from connecting with family and friends through text and email.

Pilot tester Laurie Brown, 69, said, "She asks how I slept; did I remember to take my medication; what am I doing for exercise, and reminds me to stay hydrated." Brown said she also appreciated the program accommodates long pauses in her speech.

K4Connect’s smart solution for senior communities

There seem to be more opportunities in the senior community market. K4Connect, a technology company providing smart solutions for older adults, raised US$12 million in a Series B round of funding earlier this month.

K4Connect is already serving 13,000 residents across dozens of senior living communities from Florida to California.

The company K4Community solution integrates various smart technologies, and puts together a number of devices and services, making them accessible through voice or touch.

“K4Connect is the first company we've seen that can bring all these disparate technologies together into a single solution, not only for the senior living community operators, but also for the residents and their families,” said Manish Agarwal, a partner with AXA Venture Partners, which led the funding initiative.

K4Connect integrates virtually any devices (home or wellness), service and applications into a cohesive system.

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