Panasonic tries tablet service for assisted living homes

Tablets that issue reminders could help elderly patients in nursing homes

Panasonic North America is launching a tablet-based service for residents of assisted-living homes. The devices can issue daily schedule reminders and connect users with loved ones and caregivers.

Panasonic North America is launching a tablet-based service for residents of assisted-living homes. The devices can issue daily schedule reminders and connect users with loved ones and caregivers.

If you're worried about a loved one languishing in an assisted living home, Panasonic has a tablet service to keep you connected.

The electronics giant's North American arm is launching a "telehealth" service designed to put users in contact with loved ones and caregivers as well as generate reminders. It's meant to keep users socially engaged while promoting their independence.

The On4Today service will feature tablets that provide daily reminders, both visually and aurally, for elderly users who may suffer dementia and cannot remember appointments easily, which can be a source of anxiety.

"As the aging population is increasing, there is a growing need and increasing demand for healthcare solutions that are flexible," Bob Dobbins, Vice President, New Business Development, wrote in an email.

"The On4Today service addresses needs that are unique to supporting social engagement and independent living for seniors."

Aside from daily schedules, the tablets will work through Wi-Fi and webcams to put users in touch with family and caregivers. The screens will feature large fonts, audio and visual prompts and touch scrolling for easy navigation. They will also have photo and video galleries.

Panasonic said it is working with various tablet manufacturers to choose the best device for a particular setting and set of user interface requirements.

On4Today, the first offering from Panasonic North America's Health and Wellness Solutions business group, will launch in November with a monthly subscription pricing model, which has yet to be announced. The service is being targeted at long-term care and assisted living facilities.

The company's Osaka-based parent company Panasonic has been developing a range of technologies for elderly and bedridden users including robotic beds and hair-washing machines.

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