As social creatures, humans are not equipped to thrive in extended periods of isolation.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for many of our aging population that has only been amplified by COVID-19 lockdown measures.
While there are countless technologies on the market that aim to engage and connect a younger, tech-savvy audience, few have met the same needs for the elderly... until now.
Cutii is a robotic companion that creates a community for isolated seniors, while also offering live activities and convenient access to telehealth services.
Richard Marshall, Vice President of Business Development for Cutii's expansion in the US, shares about their technology's powerful applications in assisted living and home care environments in the latest Upward Labs Spotlight feature.
UPWARD: Give us Cutii's elevator pitch.
Richard Marshall: Cutii is designed to kill loneliness and isolation for seniors. We hate that people of a certain age spend most of their time not talking to people, and aim to solve that need for companionship.
U: What drives you and your team to accomplish your mission?
RM: As part of Upward's program, several of our Cutii companions are at a Priority Life Care assisted living facility, where, last week, we found out that one was moved in to a resident's room - let's call her "Mary." Mary is a new arrival, and given all the BS of 2020, she's now stuck in her room to quarantine for 2 weeks. A few days after our Cutii companion was moved into her room, I talked to one of our activity providers - a tai chi instructor - who shared that Mary is dreadfully depressed. She was really appreciative that she could talk to someone. Thanks to our device, we now have a whole bunch of kind, caring people talking to Mary. Cases such as these are exactly why we do what we do!
We are lowering the level of hesitance among this population to using technology to improve their current health and wellbeing. - Richard Marshall, VP US Business Development, Cutii
U: Why Upward Labs?
RM: It was the intersection between our stage of development and the fact that Upward's program is so specific to solutions that fit the AgeTech industry. It's right on the money for what we needed to do next in the States - we couldn’t have waved a magic wand and asked for something better.
U: Tell us about your upcoming pilots.
RM: We are currently running a pilot at a Priority Life Care community in Pennsylvania: Independence Court at Quakertown. COVID complexities have delayed our second pilot with Hartford Healthcare Independence At Home, however, it is slated to launch very soon.
U: What is the key takeaway for potential clients, partners, and users of your product?
RM: Cutii is welcoming, pleasant, and faithful companion - it’s not designed to be a soulless piece of machinery. We are lowering the level of hesitance among this population to using technology to improve their current health and wellbeing.
U: Tell us about you.
RM: I am the VP of Business Development for Cutii's parent company, CareClever, in the US, heading up our operations in the States. CareClever and Cutii companions have been out in the French market, but this is our landing pad in the US market. When I'm not in Hartford, I'm home in Massachusetts, where I've lived the last 9 years. Though I've been in the US for nearly a decade, I am always an Aussie at heart!
Visit Cutii's website to learn more about how they are humanizing technology to create meaningful interactions and activities for isolated seniors.
About Upward Labs
Upward Labs is a Connecticut-based venture fund that has developed an ideal ecosystem to fast-track AgeTech and PropTech startups in the U.S. market. The program matches each startup with decision makers from leading Fortune 100 and 500 companies in healthcare and real estate industries. The startups and their corporate advisors work together for six months to first identify the use cases that prove the greatest commercial potential, and then test them in the Labs' numerous sandbox buildings and facilities. As the pilots deliver data and results, each Lab and its advisors work with the startups to refine their product and offering, thus enabling rapid growth and commercial traction. Learn more at www.moveupward.city/startups.