San Diego - Independa has entered the beta testing phase of its Angela tablet device, designed to remotely monitor the health of elderly care recipients while engaging them with social interaction through games, video chat, email and social-networking capabilities.
The Angela tablet integrates Independa's existing health and well-being monitoring service, introduced at International CES in January, and adds a social-engagement suite tied to the design of the tablet's interface.
"Angela is unique, powerful and inviting - truly angel-like," said Independa CEO Kian Saneii. "We see it as the next Wii or iPad for the golden generation. It's especially designed to entertain and engage while being convenient for those who care for the elderly. Imagine being able to see mom or your patient right away, or engage them through emails, Facebook or even video chat. Now imagine them doing all this plus a whole lot more, like playing games and surfing the Internet, without any prior computer knowledge."
Designed specifically for aging adults, Angela's GUI offers larger screen fonts, higher contrast and brighter colors than most tablets on the market, Independa said. The preconfigured tablet features an intuitive interface with secure, one-touch access to video chats, email, the Internet, Facebook, games and puzzles, and other interactive content. No general computer knowledge is needed to operate Angela, the company said.
"Angela is the latest building block in the integrated suite of solutions Independa is rolling out to help family members and home-care professionals stay in touch with and watch over care recipients when they can't be with them," Saneii said.
Angela builds and enhances upon Independa's Smart Reminders app. Launched in January, Smart Reminders uses proprietary technology to enable caregivers to set up automatic reminders for care receivers to take their medications, keep medical and social appointments, and record life stories. Angela adds visual notifications to existing telephone alerts as options for receiving reminders, as well as confirmation to a family member or professional caregiver that a reminder was acknowledged and confirmed, closing a common daily communication loop for medication compliance.
Independa sees Angela as "an antidote to the critical problem of social isolation and loneliness among the elderly."
The Angela tablet began beta testing July 1 and is expected to be generally available in September. After the beta period, the software will be available for monthly subscription, with tablet pricing to be determined.
Care recipients need Internet access to their homes to stay connected to the service.
Plans call for the option of a 10-inch or 22-inch tablet screen upon full rollout. A 10-inch screen is being used by beta testers.
Independa intends to market the tablet and subscription services to both the consumer market and the assisted-living and health care provider enterprise channels.