Robotic Companion Pets: Meaningful Support
to Vulnerable Populations

  • February 24, 2021
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
  • Online

Social isolation and loneliness are at epidemic levels, and COVID-19 has only served to further isolate individuals, resulting in greater prevalence of loneliness and depression. The loneliness epidemic pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic and will be with us long after the pandemic is gone.

Additionally, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are far from having a cure, and this vulnerable population is in need of non-pharmacological supports and interventions in order to better their outcomes and quality of life. Recognizing that there is considerable crossover between those who with ADRD and those who are socially isolated and lonely, what if a non-conventional support, such as a robotic companion pet, could contribute to solving these two big challenges in healthcare?

This webinar will provide empirical and actionable information to Medicare and Medicaid decision makers with respect to how they can provide support and positive impact to members with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias; and, how they can address social isolation and loneliness among their high-risk members.

More specifically, the webinar will share summary findings of a number of studies that demonstrate the value of robotic companion pets in serving vulnerable populations: those with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia and individuals suffering from social isolation and loneliness. The webinar will also illuminate the specific paths through which Medicare Advantage and Medicaid health insurance providers can make robotic pets available to their members.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The history, prevalence, and health consequences of social isolation and loneliness
  • How robotic companion pets can provide positive psychosocial benefit and reduce loneliness among vulnerable populations
  • Why and how a health insurance provider might deploy robotic companion pets to their most vulnerable members


Jim Murphy
SVP Healthcare
Ageless Innovation

With more than 25 years of experience in healthcare marketing and innovation, Jim’s ability to integrate and innovate across business lines and teams have earned him high industry recognition and led him to oversee large-scale projects and budgets. In his role at Ageless, Jim serves as the Senior VP of Healthcare and spearheads the company’s growing business with a variety of healthcare organizations and related grant programs. He is also responsible for expanding Ageless Innovation’s footprint as an approved nontraditional intervention for older adults who are lonely, socially isolated or living with cognitive impairment, such as all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to joining Ageless, Jim spent the past eight years at UnitedHealthcare. Most recently, he served as its Vice President Innovation where he was responsible for the planning and execution of innovation initiatives with the organization’s largest partner, AARP. Under his supervision, the companies collaborated on a portfolio of projects that tackled domains such as caregiving, diabetes prevention, fall prevention, social isolation/loneliness, Alzheimer’s/dementia support, advance care planning, and Medicare education and decision support. Efforts culminated in published research, pilot studies, and thought leadership initiatives. Jim also co-founded a research consortium comprised of representatives across the healthcare industry.

Jim holds a Master’s degree in Marketing from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware. Jim also serves on the board of the National Alliance for Caregiving.