Apple is working with IBM to deliver iPads and high-tech services to seniors in Japan.
The two tech giants have joined forces with Japan Post Group, which provides postal, banking, and insurance services. The initiative aims to improve the quality of life for millions of Japanese senior citizens via iPads running IBM-developed apps and analytics software.
The apps can provide reminders and alerts about medications, exercise and diet, community activities, and services such as grocery shopping. IBM’s cloud services will be used to provide security analytics, and management of the devices.
A pilot project, offered in conjunction with Japan Post Group’s Watch Over service, which checks in on seniors, will begin in the second half of the year. Long-term, Japan Post Group aims to extend the iPads and elder-specific apps to as many as 5 million customers by 2015.
“We hope that this initiative will improve the lives of seniors,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, during a joint press conference at the headquarters of IBM’s Watson supercomputer business in New York. “It helps with the caregiver as well – it helps with the whole family unit.”
Cook also cited Apple technologies such as Siri and FaceTime, which can help seniors by, respectively, reading out emails and connecting family members. To illustrate his point, the Apple CEO described the oldest known iPad user, a 107-year old woman in Santa Barbara who is a frequent FaceTime user.