Startup tech companies use robots, web tools, artificial intelligence to address social isolation, diabetes

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Pillo is a companion robot and voice-first countertop device that leverages voice and health data to guide users on medication and care plan adherence while fostering social connections.
Pillo is a companion robot and voice-first countertop device that leverages voice and health data to guide users on medication and care plan adherence while fostering social connections.

Social isolation, remote patient monitoring and diabetes management are the areas of focus for three healthcare start-up companies with which the AARP is working in its role as a “champion” in PULSE@MassChallenge, a digital health accelerator.

Folia Health, Orbita and Pillo Health “are focusing on some of the biggest health issues of our day,” Andy Miller, senior vice president of innovation and product development at AARP, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, 32 finalist startups from more than 500 applicants entered this year's accelerator program competition. Participating companies each have raised less than $5 million in funding and have generated less than $5 million in revenue.

The AARP and Orbita are studying solutions that use voice to streamline care coordination and reduce social isolation. The Orbita voice experience management platform uses next-generation voice assistant and artificial intelligence technologies in an effort to make it easier for devices to communicate with people in natural language to improve remote patient monitoring, education, care coordination and research, according to the AARP.

Folia Health develops web and mobile tools designed to enable caregivers to capture daily observations and record these data by answering personalized multiple choice questions that can be shared with a patient's physician to improve health outcomes. The goal of this project is to understand how the product may best meet the needs of people with diabetes and their caregivers.

The AARP and Pillo Health are collaborating to study how the needs of people with new diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes can be served through a companion robot and voice-first countertop device. The device, according to the AARP, leverages voice and health data to guide users on medication and care plan adherence while connecting individuals with caregivers and family members.

The 2018 PULSE@MassChallenge finale is June 5 in Boston.

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