Pointing the Way to Connected Living
Mobile application and Alexa skill helps older adults live independently.
Living independently—while remaining connected to family and friends—is easier than ever for older adults with the help of Sundial™. The new mobile application and Alexa skill connects them with loved ones in their Care Circle. It helps coordinate and communicate activities like reminders and to-do lists and provides a line of communication for check-ins with a personal connection.
How It Works
The Sundial skill for Alexa and the mobile app work together to connect older adults (the Center) to their loved ones (Care Circle). The Center uses the voice and touch enabled Sundial skill for Alexa (optimized for the Amazon Echo Show) to interact with their private Care Circle of family and friends. Once invited, Care Circle members can download the Sundial mobile apps to interact with the Center and each other. When the skill is enabled and the mobile apps are connected, the Center simply says “Alexa, open Sundial” to enjoy the Sundial features.
- Quickly check-in and communicate
- Access the interactive dashboard with voice commands for a scrolling list of daily activities
- Coordinate tasks among Care Circle members
- Send photo memories with personalized captions from the mobile app directly to the older adult’s Echo Show
This service and skill are not replacements for home healthcare or emergency services. Sundial is a subscription-based product. Details regarding services and price are available on the Sundial website: www.sundial-labs.com.
Connect on a Personal Level:
“We were eager to try the product,” said Curtis Simpson, a State Farm technology manager and participant in the pilot program. Simpson’s mother lives in Florida and he formed a Care Circle with her and his brothers from Illinois using Sundial.
“My mom being far away and living on her own concerned us. With the app and skill, we now have frequent daily check-ins. We love it, she loves it. It allows us to connect without feeling intrusive.”
Christen Zook and Tara Hayman are also State Farm employees who participated in product testing.
“My dad lives in Michigan. He is very independent and sharp,” Zook said. “But he’s not an app person or mobile-oriented. Sundial’s simplicity helps.”
For Hayman, Sundial helps to provide reassurance and helps bring the family closer to her mother in Maryland. “I like that our family can check in together. We share photos and information at the same time,” Hayman said.
"Sundial grew from a passion to be a positive part of the lives of our older adults,” says Mike Fields, Vice-President of Sundial Labs. “We want to help foster closer, caring relationships with loved ones creating a daily connection, no matter the distance. It is an important part of Sundial’s mission to provide digital tools and solutions for older adults and their care circles that can reduce time and worry managing daily life while increase confidence through a personal virtual touch.”
The Need for Innovation:
Over the next decade, the U.S. will see an important demographic shift. By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. According to the US Census Bureau, this means that 1 in 5 residents will be retirement age. A 2018 survey by the AARP also revealed that three out of four older adults want to stay in their homes as they age.
For those coordinating care, the current landscape could be a challenge. According to Sundial Labs research, only about a third of those surveyed feel current technology is useful in helping find new solutions to assist their older loved ones. Yet, more than half expressed interest in trying out an app that would help them find new solutions.
A report released last year by a White House Task Force focused on aging adults says technology can help. For older adults, voice assistants have the highest rate of adoption (AARP ). Innovation that assists older adults with daily life and strong social connections will be key in helping older Americans “age in place.”
The service was created by Sundial Labs LLC, a separate company in the State Farm® family of companies. It is focused on combining technology and innovation to develop new, creative solutions that help older adults live life to its fullest potential. Sundial Labs, LLC was formed in 2019. With our population aging, Sundial has two main goals – helping older adults live life on their terms as they age and to help those who care for them with support and assistance from anywhere. For more information on Sundial, visit their website at www.sundial-labs.com or their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.