Research & Publications

Case Study: Increasing Social Engagement through a Digital Avatar during COVID-19

Jan 1, 2022

Project Description

In March 2020 when West PACE was required to suspend non-clinical center attendance and could not offer in-person recreation and social support, the nonprofit deployed care. coach avatars to a group of pre-identified participants. With these internet-enabled devices, West PACE was able to provide real-time support to participants, offering immediate interventions and assessment of symptoms before escalating to a West PACE on-call team member. West PACE continues to grow the avatar and video visits program by offering a device to those who will benefit from having one.

Socialization Modality

Social Network, Video Chat, Audio Chat, Photo Sharing, E-Reader, Electronic Books, Games, Exercise, Music, Facilitated Communications with West PACE Staff and Facilitated Conversations with Avatar. Virtual Reality. Other: Spiritual Services, Games, Poetry.

System Embodiment

Fixed Tablet / Touch Screen Running a Digital Avatar, Voice Activated Assistance Technology and Captioning.


Increased Participant Engagement & Satisfaction, Social Networks, Quality of Life, and Staff Efficiencies, Reduced Social Isolationism, Depression, and Feelings of Loneliness