top of page wins National Institute on Aging award to further development and commercialization of its socially assistive artificial intelligence (AI) platform

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 wins commercialization readiness program (CRP) grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA)., a California-based company, has been awarded a $3 million commercialization readiness program (CRP) grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The CRP project will expedite the commercialization and scalability of a conversational healthcare coaching platform driven by a unique combination of human staff and artificial intelligence (AI). The platform serves many low-income older adults, including those aging with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD).

The CRP project builds upon past work funded by the NIA that resulted in a suite of machine learning AI models for automatic recognition and response to natural speech with best-in-class accuracy, including the technically challenging speech of individuals with ADRD. The company has integrated its AI models into the Engine™, which currently drives the conversational automation of its Avatar™ and Fara™ solutions. It has also developed the CORE™ program, a range of evidence-based health and wellness coaching plans delivered through conversations with Avatar™. The CRP project will help scale and commercialize these solutions, and be led by Dr. Chantal Kerssens who joined in 2021.

The overall mission of is to improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans within five years, including those aging with ADRD.

The aforementioned research & development (R&D) projects are supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers SB1AG082634 and R44AG062014. The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit the NIH website.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research. To learn more, visit NIA website.

The Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) funds late-stage technical assistance and R&D to facilitate the transition of previously or currently funded SBIR and STTR Phase II and Phase IIB projects to the commercialization stage. Projects must be related to the programmatic interests of one or more of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) based on their scientific missions.

About builds personal relationships and coaches healthy behaviors at scale, through empathic workforces and AI. The company is funded by US Congress, National Institutes of Health, and investors including StartUp Health and AARP. Current customers include Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) health plans, 2 of the 3 largest Medicare Advantage (MA) insurers nationally, state Medicaid programs, and consumers. The platform has achieved outcomes including improved member experience and reduced cost of care. The suite of solutions include (1) Augur™ population cost stratification through machine learning predictive models, (2) Hospitality Hub™ US-based, multi-channel contact center and device fulfillment/support center, (3) Video Visits™ multi-party social and medical care made ultra-simple, (4) Avatar™ continuous, long-term relationships and health coaching supported by a 24x7 global team of health advocates, and (5) Fara™ relationship-building and behavior-driving generative conversational AI trained on millions of conversations from Avatar™.

bottom of page