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New 'emotional networking' product aims to complement telehealth

CHICAGO – Emota, a technology startup company based in Menlo Park, Calif. that develops software and services for care of elderly patients, has announced its new "emotional networking" product, which it says will help clinicians, caregivers and families support wellness for the aged, enabling connectedness over long distances.

Emotional networking complements existing telehealth solutions, seeking to address not just clinical health, but emotional and social aspects of elder care.

The new EmotaMe, which was unveiled at the Aging in America Conference in Chicago and will be available this spring in a limited beta release, makes use of the new wave of affordable and intuitive touch screen Internet tablets and picture frames that are easily used by elderly patients. That unique user interface and awareness technology can give caregivers and providers a non-intrusive connection to patients, allowing them to encourage medical compliance and support wellness.

"With the introduction of EmotaMe, we are focusing on addressing the widely prevalent isolation of the elderly living at home," says Paul To, CEO and founder of Emota.net. "This isolation can lead to depression, an extremely common condition among the elderly, and often accompanies chronic conditions including congestive heart failure, diabetes, and COPD. EmotaMe is an ambient system. We're not trying to compete with a telephone or a PC. Instead, we are enabling the kind of subtle and minimal communication that, based on scientific research, carries much stronger social and emotional values over a long term."

For the Elderly, Emota is a simple and graphically appealing application which can run on touch screen picture frames or tablet computers such as the new Apple iPad. It combines concepts from computer games, social networking, "social screensavers, and videoconferencing into a series of engaging user experiences designed specifically to keep the at-home elderly socially engaged and cognitively active.

At the same time, its communication technologies – the program runs on most smartphones and on any modern Web browser – allow loved ones and caregivers to stay in touch with the elderly, and provide timely emotional, social and physical support in moments of need.

For clinicians and health professionals, Emota’s dashboard lets them simultaneously monitor multiple patients and proactively engage and provide support as needed. Built on an open collaborative platform, it allows rapid integration with Patient Care Management, PHR/EMR Applications, Remote Patient Monitoring, and Telehealth applications.

Friday, March 19, 2010