Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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56 Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2018 $55.4 million Commercial Mortgage for a skilled nursing facility in New York $4.1 million Commercial Mortgage for a skilled nursing facility in New York 1. All financing and loans are subject to credit approval. Rates, terms, and conditions vary by state and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2018 Popular Bank. Member FDIC. Still in the pilot stage, Patterson expects to have Lifepod — which will cost $20 to $60 per user per month — commercially available at the end of this year. Other features have been requested by testers, which may be incorporated later. One is an intelligent public address function, which would allow communities to prompt only those residents who expressed an interest in an event to learn about it. The device may also eventually give users reminders about upcom- ing TV shows and offer to turn on the TV automatically. Also, based on a doctor's appointment listed in a calendar, Lifepod could proac- tively ask the user if transportation to the appointment is needed. Robots a literal lifesaver Voice and video are also a key element of Ohmnilabs' social engagement Ohmni Robot, a three- wheeled, anodized aluminum, stick-like device that can move room-to-room, nod up and down, and comes complete with a head- like video screen and camera. Unlike a standard tablet that uses Facetime or Skype to com- municate, the Ohmni Robot's ability to move its screen and scoot around gives it enough of a human-like stance that the elderly become more engaged, says co- founder Thuc Vu. Thanks to its physical flexibil- ity, grandchildren can watch a TV show with a grandparent, by aim- ing the device's video camera at the grandparent's TV screen, and then view in tandem with them; telling the robot to nod up and down in appreciation increases the social interaction, Vu says. The Ohmni has already saved one life. After not being able to reach his mother in Mexico, a U.S.- based caregiver instructed his mother's robot to travel around her home looking for her. Finding her lying on the floor in the bathroom, the caregiver was able to call emer- gency services to rescue her. The device looks skeletal and robotic, Vu said, because anything that looks too human comes across as eerie. Next up for the $1,500 product: a version that includes arms, allowing it to open doors, and turn the stove on and off. More than a med dispenser Eeriness was also on the mind of James Wyman and his colleagues when they designed Pillo, a super- cute tabletop pill compliance device. Unlike more utilitarian pill dispensing competitors from Phil- ips and others, the small-footprint Pillo sports a happy face screen and offers additional features beyond simply dispensing drugs. "It's a mashup of an Amazon Alexa and a Keurig coffee maker," says Andrew Miller, senior vice president of innovation and prod- uct development for AARP. The seniors organization is working with Pillo to determine consumer interest in the product. The full-face screen includes a facial recognition camera; ver- bal mediation reminders are announced only when the recipi- ent is identified and near the device. The screen can also deliver educational videos, answer spoken general-knowledge and weather- related questions, and act as a phone, connecting the user to a loved one through the Pillo device. Pills are loaded through the back of Pillo; an internal camera pre- vents loading the wrong pills or too many of each. While Pillo doesn't know that a user has actually taken his or her medicine, it does know if the dispensing cup has been lifted and replaced, and whether the actual user is in front of the device. Expecting to launch at the end of this year, Pillo Health has raised $3.5 million of a $6 million round of fundraising. The largest inves- tor is Stanley Healthcare, part of Stanley Black & Decker, a sup- plier to over 12,000 senior living communities. Survival not guaranteed Will all these companies be suc- cessful? Most likely, not. Many companies that have har- nessed technology to improve out- comes continue to barely survive after years in business, still look- ing for increased interest among healthcare providers. It's not just about a great solution. It's about making a viable business case, overcoming corporate inertia and convincing potential customers to accept new ways of working. And that's no small task, notes Whitman, of Aging2.0 "In health- care, too many companies con- tinue to use just pen and paper." n Pillo puts a cute, friendly face on a pill- dispensing, monitoring and communications device.

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