Leveraging gaming industry technology and principles, avatar characters help conduct online population health assessments
MEQUON, Wis., Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Figaro Avatars Inc., a newly formed healthcare assessment technology firm, announced today that it introduced natural language technology into its patient care assessment technology solutions. Through a new partnership with California-based Geppetto Labs, a leading avatar technology company, Figaro Avatars offers this state-of-the-art technology in its population assessment solutions, a first for the healthcare industry.
"Natural language technology is a groundbreaking step for the healthcare industry," states Norrie Daroga, CEO Figaro Avatars. "We are excited to bring these avatar concepts and technologies from gaming and education industry applications to real-world healthcare settings. It has the potential to dramatically impact patient care assessments."
Figaro Avatars delivers artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies to provide highly customized solutions to the healthcare industry. These solutions improve process flow and efficiency, as well as capture valuable analytics data. The solutions help patients with low literacy to obtain access to healthcare services without an intervening healthcare provider, clinician or intake provider.
This cutting edge technology uses analytics to measure the emotional content of what the user says, and with enhanced versions, can capture information from facial expressions. Preliminary evidence indicates patients are more likely to give honest answers and engage with avatars than an actual person because they do not feel judged by the avatars. Figaro's avatars are available 24/7, enabling the system to capture a patient's data when he/she is emotionally ready to have the conversation.
"The technology allows individuals with addiction problems, Cancer, Alzheimer's, COPD and other chronic ailments to provide information and communicate when they are ready, even if a traditional care provider is not available to record it," notes Mark Stephen Meadows, CEO, Geppetto Labs.
"The data is stored and can be analysed to provide accountable care organizations and risk management companies with the ability to triage patient populations, analyse risk factors (type of disease, cultural bias, caregiver relationships to name a few) and provide highly targeted intervention programs to reduce healthcare costs," adds Daroga.
A Figaro Avatar client, T-CARE Navigator, LLC is an exclusive licensee of a proprietary caregiver support system developed by the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The TCARE® system will offer avatar technology as part of its highly tailored caregiver assessment program. The avatar characters will help perform screenings, conduct assessments and integrate data into the TCARE® software directly. By freeing TCARE personnel from the need to focus on collection of data, TCARE® trained care managers can spend more time on care plan development and consultative services to the caregivers they support.
"We are very excited to offer this new technology for our caregivers and patients," states Dr Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, Founder of TCARE®, "The ability to provide access to service on a 24/7 basis, to talk to an avatar which is trained to respond with natural language, facial and body gestures, especially when the caregiver is emotionally ready to have the conversation, is a powerful advancement."
Dr Montgomery adds, "It also provides a significant advantage for serving multi-cultural populations and those who have low literacy rates because the technology can easily accommodate different languages."
Daroga adds, "This technology also captures discharge nurses' information to perform predictive modelling for patient re-admission into a clinical setting within 30 days of discharge, and stores knowledge libraries to assist in remote diagnosis and treatment of primary and acute care ailments."
ABOUT FIGARO AVATARS
Figaro Avatars Inc. provides technology solutions to the healthcare industry that focus on cost reduction and revenue enhancement. Leveraging avatar technology, their platforms use Natural Language Processing, Semantic and Affect Analytics to streamline healthcare practices to capture valuable data real-time for caregiver organizations, hospitals, and healthcare agencies. www.figaroavatars.com
TCARE Navigator, LLC is a Wisconsin-based company founded by Dr. Rhonda J.V. Montgomery, an internationally renowned researcher in the field of family caregiving and the Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. TCARE® is used by more than 250 area agencies in 17 States. TCARE Navigator, LLC provides private insurers, accountable care organizations, self-insured employers and US government agencies with an evidenced based care management support software system called Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral®. www.tcarenavigator.com
ABOUT GEPETTO LABS
Geppetto Labs, LLC is a California based company that leads the way in developing natural language capabilities for online characters, robots and avatars to communicate with natural speaking voices, gestures and facial expressions. Founded by Mark Stephen Meadows, Geppetto's CEO has founded three companies and has worked at the world's top research labs, including Xerox-PARC, SRI, The Waag. Mark has written four books that examine technology and their social consequences, including the award-winning books I, Avatar and We, Robot, and he is a frequent speaker on these topics. His client portfolio includes LucasArts, Sony Online, Oracle, and several global government agencies. www.geppettolabs.com
Norrie J. Daroga
Mark Stephen Meadows
Media Contact: Norrie Daroga, Figaro Avatars Inc., 262-643-4740, [email protected]
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SOURCE Figaro Avatars Inc.