MEET LiSA, THE FIRST VOICE-BASED SOCIAL WELLNESS APP FOR SENIORS
New hands-free virtual assistant keeps older adults connected with ease
SAN DIEGO – OCTOBER 23, 2018 –
She’s helpful, she’s funny, she’s well connected, and now residents of senior communities and virtual villages throughout the nation can invite LiSA, a first-of-its-kind voice-activated social networking platform, into their homes. LiSA, developed by San Diego-based Cuida Health, aligns with the boom in older adults seeking resources and networks to help them age in place. LiSA enables users to learn about community activities, connect with friends and family, and engage in healthy living – solely through voice interaction.
“Today’s senior citizens, a group that spans three decades, are living longer, reinventing themselves, and striving to remain independent yet lack infrastructure to support that desire,” said Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D. a psychologist, author and business consultant. “That is where LiSA comes in. She is a supportive voice and an easy-to-use tool that helps us connect with each other and the services we need,” said Josefowitz, 92, a Cuida Health content advisor.
LiSA communicates with users, and empowers them to reach out to others, through affordable digital assistant technology already in many homes, including Amazon Echo and Google Home. No other special equipment is required. Cuida Health is the leader in optimizing voice-first technology for the needs and communication style of older adults.
With a simple: “Start LiSA,” users can access content curated specifically for their needs and presented in a friendly, conversational tone that incorporates humor:
- Send and receive voice messages and announcements from their community or village, completely hands-free, regardless of their previous ability to text or email.
- Check for local events and activities.
- Receive health coaching about nutrition, medication, sleep and exercise.
- Receive daily bursts of information such as health tips, technical tips, history and more.
It’s like I’m talking to a real person when I talk to LiSA,” said Dan Deninger, 75, of Oceanside, who pilot tested LiSA. Deninger doesn’t use a computer or text and has macular degeneration. As a result, he relied upon his wife, Cindy, to send texts and messages, as well as look for information online. “LiSA has been a big relief because it broke down barriers to keeping me connected. My self-esteem is a lot higher than it used to be,” Deninger said. He especially appreciates how much easier it is to message his busy son and grandchildren.
LiSA is a social wellness platform specifically designed for older adults, said Tom Watlington, Cuida Health co-founder and chief executive officer. “Staying healthy and connected is important to those wanting to age in place,” he said. “LiSA is unique in having an entertaining and conversational personality to engage users and deliver a useful and enjoyable experience.”
“Cuida Health obviously put a lot of time and good thought into how to make LiSA more specific to the older-adult population than other voice assistants on the market,” said Don Stewart, 66, an IT professional who participated in the pilot study. Stewart is a member of Tierrasanta Village San Diego (TVSD), a nonprofit virtual village of people 50 and over, living in the same area of San Diego, who share social and educational opportunities, as well as a network of service providers and volunteers. TVSD residents have tested LiSA for four months.
“We heard positive feedback from people in the pilot study about the ease of using LiSA to organize activities and facilitate group communications, which other apps could not accommodate,” said Chris Gutierrez, Cuida Health co-founder. LiSA is also easy to install and begin using immediately, Gutierrez said.
The TVSD pilot testers, ranging in age from mid-60s to mid-80s, interacted with the platform multiple times a day, Watlington said. The testing group retained 90 percent of its members throughout the four-month period. Testers were excited about multiple functions, with group messaging and text-with-voice being the most utilized.
“She makes me smile and feel like someone is concerned for me when she says: ‘Good morning, Laurie,’ always using my name,” said pilot tester Laurie Brown, 69. “She asks how I slept; did I remember to take my medication; what am I doing for exercise, and reminds me to stay hydrated,” said Brown, who uses LiSA several times daily. Brown also appreciates that the program accommodates long pauses in her speech and doesn’t talk over her. And LiSA’s language is not demeaning or condescending, she said.
For its initial roll-out, Cuida Health is making LiSA available through senior and age-restricted active adult communities. Residents of these communities interested in subscribing to the service should contact their community leadership to inquire about LISA’s availability. More information is available on the company’s website.
About Cuida Health
Cuida Health is a leader in adapting voice-first technology for seniors. Our mission is to help older adults avoid the isolating effects of aging in order to live active and independent lives. We specialize in creating conversational personalities for consumer voice-assisted devices that help seniors expand connections with friends and family, stay socially active and focus on both their emotional and physical health. Find out more at cuidahealth.com.
# # #