CincyInno: HiLois App Connects Families and Elderly Loved Ones During COVID-19 Pandemic
Social support app developed by UC faculty gaining traction as a method to stay in touch
An app developed by a University of Cincinnati professor to keep families connected with their elderly loved ones "has never been more relevant" during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a CincyInno story.
The app, HiLois, was developed by Brett Harnett, assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the UC College of Medicine.
"HiLois is a private social support app that lets users share photos, send messages and challenge mom or grandma with brain teasers — almost like a social media platform for grandparents," CincyInno reporter Stephanie Vermillion wrote. "Harnett launched the app in 2018 after his Florida-based mother developed Alzheimer’s. He hoped HiLois could help his family stay connected, and keep his mother’s memory fresh enough to remember her kids and grandkids."
According to the HiLois website, HiLois is designed for and centered around a family member (VIP) who may feel disconnected from the rest of the family. Often the VIP is uncomfortable with smart phones, tablets, and computers. They may have other challenges, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, making it difficult to use these types of devices.
Families provide devices for HiLois, but Harnett told CincyInno several facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living communities, have considered getting shared devices for residents.
HiLois began as a startup in the UC 1819 Innovation Hub's Venture Lab accelerator, and remains headquartered at 1819.
“The Innovation Hub is helping us make money under a grant mechanism,” Harnett told CincyInno. “If you have enough users to create critical mass, then there are multiple ways to make money from that — but we’re not there yet.”
Innovation Lives Here
The University of Cincinnati, classified as a Research 1 institution by the Carnegie Commission, is ranked in the National Science Foundation's Top-40 public research universities and secured a spot on Reuter’s World’s Most Innovative Universities list. UC's students and faculty investigate problems and innovate solutions with real-world impact. Next Lives Here.
Impact Lives Here
The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction.
WVXU: UC professor offers scientific take on UFO sightings
June 17, 2021
Cincinnati Edition talks to University of Cincinnati assistant professor Daniel Cuppoletti about reports of unidentified aerial phenomena in the night skies.
UC announces new chief academic officer
June 16, 2021
UC President Neville G. Pinto informed the campus community today that Valerio Ferme, PhD, dean of UC’s largest college, will begin as the university’s chief academic officer effective Aug. 3.
CET: Greater than COVID Cincinnati
June 16, 2021
Three faculty in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine are participating in a national dialogue on COVID-19 vaccination with short public service videos. Listen to the advice given by Louito Edje, MD, associate dean of graduate medical education and UC Health physician; Chris Lewis, MD, associate professor of family medicine and UC Health physician; and Anisa Shomo, MD, associate professor of family medicine and UC health physician.