Staying connected to loved ones via video chat can be burdened with complications for many older adults. Sometimes there are simply too many buttons, inputs and apps to track. Onscreen Inc. hopes to simplify the video call process with its newest offering, the Onscreen Moment.
“Our device is all the magic, it’ll turn the TV on if the TV is off,” Onscreen CEO and cofounder Costin Tuculescu explained to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “It’ll say ‘Costin is calling’ and then it says, ‘automatically answering in 30 seconds’ and gives a countdown so that Mom can get ready. And boom, I’m on her TV. That’s really all there is. Mom doesn’t have to find a remote. She doesn’t have to hunt for anything.”
The Moment is a small device that mounts on the top of the television and connects via HDMI cables such as a Roku box. It uses a camera, microphone and various lights, and is designed with simplicity in mind. A monthly subscription cost of $19.99 gives the customer the device for the television, a smartphone application for setup and a guided call to help with installation.
The technology may be small in size, but it is primarily being used to tackle a big problem in home care: loneliness.
“Documented by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], loneliness and social isolation is considered the same as smoking a pack a day. It can increase depression and anxiety, onset of dementia, even things like heart disease from loneliness and isolation,” said Tuculescu. “We feel like being able to have virtual visits can delay all of those things.”
While the technology is mainly being used for home care purposes, Tuculescu and Onscreen would be interested in seeing the Moment applied in a medical setting in the future. Imagine: no more waiting room magazines.
“We’re working to cover telemedicine on our platform as well,” Tuculescu said. “We don’t have it today but you know we’re hoping in the future doctors or nurses can just check in with the patient with the older adult through their TV. Studies have been shown that video calls are essentially equivalent to an in-person visit whereas phone calls where you don’t see each other are more challenging.”
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