This morning satellite TV company DISH announced that it has teamed up with engagement company Independa. The deal, which is aimed at helping seniors manage medical care and providing entertainment, means that Dish’s voice remote will now be compatible with Independa AnyTV Companion.
Seniors using AnyTV Companion are able to use the device to schedule appointments as well as receive medication and schedule reminders. The technology will also let seniors watch entertainment programs.
“Television is the main source of entertainment and news for many older Americans,” Alistair Chatwin, vice president of Dish Business, said in a statement. “By combining the Independa system with our technology, we’re turning the TV into a solution that delivers services to help provide a better quality of life, as well as operational efficiencies for organizations in senior care.”
The service lets seniors connect through video conferencing and get messages from family and caregivers. The program also has a supportive help feature. According to a statement, Dish’s voice remote includes two buttons — one to launch the Independa system, and another to get in touch with care professionals and family for support. The system can also interpret natural language to help make selections.
“Independa and Dish are delivering an industry first, where a second remote is not needed for the operation of the Independa system,” Kian Saneii, founder and CEO of Independa, said in a statement. “Simplicity and ease of use are key factors here, and Dish customers can now enjoy all the benefits of an Independa system right on their TVs, without the need for a computer, tablet, or smartphone. No passwords, no software updates — nothing new to learn.”
The companies said the technology can be used in both private residential homes or in senior living facilities.
Aging in place has been a hot discussion topic in healthcare as the US population continues to age. Voice technology is one avenue that many experts see as a way of the future. The technology allows people with physical impairments and disabilities, who may not be able to tap or swipe, a new way to use the device. Dish isn’t the only one to jump on voice technologies, as several platforms have integrated with Amazon Echo and Google’s Dot.