Independa Partners with LG for Assisted Living Care
Technology giant LG Electronics and Independa, a creator of tech tools to aid assisted living, announced their partnership at the International Consumer Electronics Show last week. Zenith, the United States LG brand, will be able to deploy Independa’s social engagement platform to its televisions. The Independa app, Angela, is a suite that combines video calling, messaging and reminders and was only available on tablets and computers until now.
“The TV, in most facilities when you’re in the room, is almost always on,” CEO of Independa Kian Saneii said. “The sound and the voice of people is soothing.”
Because the TV is one of the most prevalent electronic devices in assisted living homes, Independa is counting on it to be the best way to communicate with residents. For example, while a user is watching TV in his room, a reminder will pop up on the screen that tells him to take his medication. Medication non-adherence takes a huge toll on the United States’ health care system; a study from the New England Healthcare Institute estimated that it costs the U.S. $290 billion annually, and it’s a cost Independa’s system could help make a dent in.
The app also helps users to keep in touch with their family members through email and video calls, an important feature that’s important for seniors’ mental health. Chief Medical Officer of Independa Dr. Richard Della Penna spoke with Health 2.0’s Matthew Holt about this at the mHealth Summit in December (see video below).
“As people get older, mobility typically decreases. Associated with that, often is some depression that sets in, and part of that is all due to the isolation that comes from physical immobility,” Della Penna said.
One of Angela’s main functions is to facilitate social interactions. The platform allows Skype calls to come in over the TV, and users can access email and Facebook as well.
“Through today’s connectivity, they can stay involved with grandchildren or family across the country, they can do things like video calls or receiving digital photographs of family events, grandchildren. They can play games that they enjoy like solitaire ― the cat nip for older people.”