GenWise leaps into the AI realm by introducing India’s inaugural companion for seniors | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  GenWise leaps into the AI realm by introducing India’s inaugural companion for seniors

GenWise leaps into the AI realm by introducing India’s inaugural companion for seniors

GenWise stands as a lifestyle application designed for the elderly. Recognizing the distinct needs of seniors, technology plays a crucial role in addressing their primary requirement—companionship.

GenWise ventures into AI with India's first digital companion for elders.Premium
GenWise ventures into AI with India's first digital companion for elders.

There is a boon and a bane to being old. For once, you have all the wisdom in the world but then you have no one to share it with. Solitude is synonymous with becoming old and frail. While some find solace in being alone, for many, it is depicted as a somewhat unpleasant ordeal. As described by the famous American Senator John Glenn, “Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar."

In moments of solitude, individuals are drawn together by the desire to engage in conversations centred around common interests like hobbies or family connections. The advent of digital technology facilitates this connection, particularly as our elders, aka Generation Wise, increasingly embrace digital independence.

As evident from its name, GenWise caters to the wise men and women of a generation willing to share its wisdom but crave companionship. In this fast-paced world where human companionship is nothing short of a luxury, the launch of the GenWise app bodes well for Indian elders for their daily needs.

This excellent application offers essential services tailored for Indian elders, and the inclusion of an AI Companion is a significant enhancement. The AI Companion provides emotional support and uplifts elders experiencing loneliness or isolation. Its availability around the clock ensures that elders can access support whenever they require it. There are benefits to engaging the services of GenWise’s AI Companion, many of which include:

  • Essential emotional assistance: Isolation and loneliness often afflict the elderly, impacting both their physical and mental well-being. The AI Companion steps in to alleviate these issues, offering companionship and support by attentively listening to the concerns and problems of elders. This, in turn, can make elders feel acknowledged and understood. Furthermore, the AI Companion within this application can convey empathy and compassion towards the emotions of elders, providing essential positive reinforcement when they are experiencing low spirits. This contributes to elders feeling validated and well-supported.
  • Guided information: Having access to reliable information is vital for elders to uphold their independence and overall well-being. The AI Companion’s capacity to offer information on a wide range of topics can be extremely advantageous in fulfilling this need. 

As an illustration, this application supplies details about specific health conditions, medications, and practices for healthy ageing. Additionally, the AI companion within this app assists elders in researching doctors and specialists in their vicinity. Individuals living independently stand to gain the most from this application, as it not only reminds them to take medications and schedule doctor’s appointments but also provides resources to manage chronic conditions or address mental health concerns.

  • Facilitating communication: Another significant benefit for elders is the AI Companion’s capacity to enhance communication. As individuals age, sustaining social connections can pose growing challenges, potentially resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness. The AI Companion plays a pivotal role in surmounting these barriers, actively contributing to the cultivation of meaningful connections with loved ones.

To start with, this application can commence and oversee video calls with family and friends, simplifying the process for elders to maintain contact, even when separated by distance. Moreover, it provides aid in configuring the technology and overcoming any technical challenges. The app also supports effective communication through alternative channels like text messaging, voice calls, and email. In cases where elders may have limited tech proficiency, the AI Companion can serve as a communication intermediary, transmitting messages and ensuring a seamless flow of communication.

  • Continuous accessibility: The constant availability of the AI Companion, operating 24/7, proves to be a notable benefit for elders, especially for those living in solitude or facing limited opportunities for regular social interaction.

This is because elders can avail themselves of the AI Companion at any time, day or night, irrespective of external circumstances. Consequently, they need never feel alone or unsupported, even if their family or friends are unavailable. For elders residing alone, this application can serve as a vital lifeline in instances of emergencies or sudden needs. It enables swift access to information on health resources, connection with emergency services, or simply having someone to converse with during moments of anxiety or distress.

Moreover, the application can engage elders in diverse activities like playing games, reading stories, or listening to music, offering mental stimulation and cognitive exercise. Consequently, this contributes to the improvement of cognitive function and overall brain health.

Rajat Jain, Co-Founder, GenWise, shared, “When we started building GenWise, we realised that loneliness is becoming an epidemic amongst Indian Elders. We launched GenWise Saathi to address this pressing issue. The initial product facilitated companionship through trained human interactions. Learnings from these conversations allowed us to build a GenAI companion which is now available 24 x 7, on demand at an infinite scale."

“Elders have always been an under-penetrated segment when it comes to serving them digitally. At GenWise, we are turning this around completely and our AI companion is the first large-scale deployment of a consumer-facing AI product in India," added Geetanshu Singla, Co-Founder, GenWise.

In just five months since its introduction, GenWise has garnered impressive adoption, with over 300,000 Indian elders embracing its platform. The app’s multifaceted approach encompasses various facets of elders’ lives, addressing social connections, financial management, and emotional well-being. Elders have actively engaged with the platform, completing over 3 million activities across multiple features on the app.

The AI Companion from GenWise represents a favourable advancement for the elderly population in India. This signals an increasing recognition of the imperative to offer assistance to this demographic, with technology serving as a viable solution. As technology becomes pervasive in every facet of our lives, the prospect of other technology firms introducing comparable products in the near future is quite plausible.

GenWise raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Matrix Partners in June 2023. Other investors include Climber Capital, Anikarth Ventures (Family Office, Jagran Group), and other marquee angel investors.





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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 07:47 AM IST
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