By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter
Shruti Gurudanti — an attorney with Rose Law Group specializing in corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions — and her husband, Mayank Mishra, want to use technology to help ease the loneliness and isolation of seniors.
They are the founders of televëda. The Arizona startup leverages technology to create live and interactive online programs, classes and social interactions for seniors who otherwise might be isolated because of health issues or other life circumstances.
“We are making socializing more accessible. We are a virtual community center that allows older adults to meet friends from the comfort of their homes or living facility,” said televëda CEO and Rose Law Group corporate attorney, Shruti Gurudanti, who joined Scottsdale-based Rose Law Group in April.
televëda recently won an Aging2.0 Global Innovation Showcase in Whistler, British Columbia. Aging2.0 is a leading group for technology and other firms in the senior living space.
“We beat several companies in the challenge and won the award for the most innovative company on the basis that we are providing a scalable solution to the epidemic of social isolation in the most affordable manner,” Gurudanti said. That included artificial intelligence, portable mobility scooters and motion sensor firms.
Gurudanti said in addition to the cash award the showcase win puts her company into the Aging2.0 Collective. That is a community of companies and investors in the senior living and aging-technology spaces.
The British Columbia event will also fit well into the Arizona company’s expansion plans.
“We are growing fast and are now excited to be expanding into Canada,” Gurudanti said. The Arizona company is also expanding into California, the East Coast and other U.S. markets.
The company is working with senior living and other businesses and organizations to roll out interactive digital programs for senior citizens. Those can include jeopardy-style social gaming, astronomy series, tap dancing lessons, arts, language and other classes and discussions. “At least 25 percent of senior housing residents report feeling lonely. Virtual classes make it easy for these residents to engage, and we are not a replacement to in-person activities. It’s just a way to allow everyone to socialize.”
For Gurudanti and Mishra, who has experience with software development and telemedicine, their business venture is very personal. She said her grandparents dealt with loneliness and isolation due to health concerns.
Gurudanti said as we age our social circles can become smaller and interactions diminished. The loneliness faced by seniors can lead to depression and other health issues. Various studies have shown depression rates increasing with older populations and that can reduce life expectancy.
televëda wants to reverse that and offer social interaction that some seniors cannot get in real life.
Gurudanti — who practices corporate law and handles transactions such as mergers and acquisitions for Rose Law Group — said televëda is in the mode of looking for partnerships and customers and not investors.
“Online classes are inevitable. We’re looking for more partnerships with forward-thinking organizations who want to lead the way,” she said.