June 30, 2021
Intuition Robotics, which develops empathetic digital companion robots, has announced an expansion of its ElliQ AI-driven robot, to enable the extension of primary care teams’ presence into older adults’ homes. The expansion aims to increase patient engagement and improve the overall patient experience, while giving primary care providers continuous actionable data and insights for early detection and intervention. The company also announced a pilot with Family Doctors, a Mass General Brigham-affiliated practice in Swampscott, Mass.
Intuition said primary care providers face two major challenges when engaging older adult patients that ElliQ aspires to address. The first is a lack of visibility on the accurate state of a patient between touchpoints. While leading primary care providers have about one touchpoint a month with each patient, most have about one touchpoint per year, meaning that day-to-day changes in clinical conditions are largely unknown. The second challenge is consistent and timely communication and engagement with patients. The combination of early detection when changes occur, along with better communication can strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, increase the quality of care, and help reduce avoidable emergency department visits and hospitalizations, Intuition said.
The ElliQ digital companion robot is designed to help curb loneliness and social isolation among older adults. The robot is a goal-based system that was developed with years of research and user studies that combine psychology, behavioral sciences, and advanced cognitive AI capabilities. The company said the robot has spent more than 30,000 days in older adults’ homes over the past two years, and on average each older adult completed around 150 successful goal-oriented interactions with ElliQ per month. The ElliQ can engage older adults, connect to family, promote wellness and help older adults stay sharp.
The company said its experience has demonstrated that older adults form meaningful bonds with ElliQ, treating it as less of a technology device and more like a friendly roommate who provides a source of comfort and companionship. The recent COVID-19 pandemic not only increased the isolation and loneliness of many seniors, it also heightened the recognition of the importance of bringing healthcare into older adults’ home, the company said.
The new capabilities lets the robot engage the patient in conversations and activities throughout the day, collecting self-reported data, and with the patient’s consent, shares data with the primary care team. 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 through the robot. This allows patients to ask doctors questions, assume greater control of their condition and treatment, enjoy peace of mind, and receive higher quality of care.
As part of its move into healthcare, Intuition Robotics recently hired Dr. Michael Cantor as its first chief medical officer. Dr. Cantor is a geriatrician with 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. The company also announced it is now compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs the security and privacy of personal health information used by insurance plans and other covered entities.
“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,” said Dor Skuler, CEO and co-founder 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.”
Intuition Robotics said it plans to expand its partnership with additional value-based care physician groups, primary care providers, and health plans that serve older adults in the U.S. Once data emerges from its pilots, the company said it plans to begin offering ElliQ widely to the healthcare system.
For more details on the robot, visit the Intuition Robotics website.