Apple and IBM customise iPads for Japanese seniors

Anthony Caruana
1 May, 2015
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IBM and Apple have announced an initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for millions of Japanese senior citizens by delivering iPads with IBM-developed apps and analytics to connect millions of seniors with services, healthcare, community and their families.

After a pilot program the service will be expanded in stages with an aim of including four million to five million customers in Japan by 2020.

Seniors make up about 25 percent of Japan’s population today with this expected to grow to 40 percent over the next 40 years.

The initiative includes the suite of integrated apps delivered by Apple alongside custom-built apps specifically for the elderly by IBM Global Business Services for reminders and alerts about medications, exercise and diet, along with direct access to community activities and supporting services such as grocery shopping and job matching.

There will also be text analytics and accessibility technologies, many invented in IBM Research – Tokyo, including Japanese natural language analysis and tracking to guide seniors and make the experience more natural.

For both companies, this is a long-term play as the world’s population ages. Some data indicates the percentage of elderly in the global population will increase from 11.7 percent in 2013 to more than 21 percent by 2050.

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