Subscribe via RSS Feed

Anna Cares for Australian Seniors

December 2, 2014 0 Comments

The advances in technology for assisting Australian Seniors keeps raising the bar, and Anna Cares boosts it higher still.

Anna Cares is a tablet-based virtual personal assistant (also know as a relational agent or a clever avatar) designed to help Australian Seniors in their daily lives.

The software was designed to assist seniors to stay independent in the community. This clever avatar provides reminders for anything from when to take medication through to alerts about upcoming appointments. Anna Cares can pass messages between the senior, their carer, family members and friends. Families can even remotely enter appointments and reminders into the online calendar. They can also check that daily activities are being taken care of by their loved one(senior) without intruding on their independence or ‘stepping on toes’.

Anna Cares Touch Screen Capabilities

Image courtesy of Clevertar (c) Copyright 2014

Following the welcome trend in the field of software development and apps, Anna Cares is very user friendly and perfect for people with little to no experience with computers and tablets. Users of the software easily interact with Anna by simply touching the option on the tablet screen.

Anna Cares’ origins began in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of Flinders University. Researchers realised that their ‘relational agent’ software could provide assistance to the health care sector. Clevertar (founders of Anna Cares) took the technology further with a focus on helping Australian Seniors retain their independence so they could remain in their familiar environment – their own home.

Studies show that relational agents or clever avatars make computer-based interaction more ‘compelling and trustworthy’. As research shows that the human brain is wired for communication with other humans, rather than being just a machine, users engage with the avatar and are more likely to perform the tasks and activities required, eg. taking scheduled medication, etc. It’s a little like a friend reminding them.

Anna is animated, intelligent, and speaks like a real human, with an unlimited English vocabulary. Anna also has some speech recognition capabilities. But this feature has been “deliberately constrained to avoid frustrations about ‘not being understood’” by the senior.

Anna Cares Calendar Screenshot

Image courtesy of Clevertar (c) Copyright 2014

Even Aged Care Providers are enjoying the benefits of Anna Cares as it allows them to monitor their client’s interactions and daily activities in real-time. Time saving and cost saving have been other benefits as the care provider can now stay in touch more often or monitor their clients 24/7 via the software – still adding that personal touch through the friendly face that the senior sees each day, Anna – but allowing the client their independence.

Currently, Anna Cares is available to the families and networks of Australian Seniors with service providers who have purchased Anna Cares for their organisation.

While Anna Cares has been designed primarily for use within residential care the benefits to seniors and health care providers throughout the world is boundless. Indeed, the technology will benefit a wide variety of industries, and Clevertar are currently developing projects for the disability services market.

Filed in: Technology

Leave a Reply