KVOA News 4 Tucson

Feeling lonely? There’s an app for that!

TUCSON (KVOA) – The COVID-19 Pandemic has not only brought on physical issues but emotional and mental problems as well. One-third of adults are chronically lonely. It is hard to identify members who are suffering – unlike diabetes, there is no “test” for loneliness.

Let’s face it, we all get lonely. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it really difficult socially and emotionally for us, But now there is an app for that.

“We have a platform that has a robot in it. He is really funny and engaging and he acts like a friend in a coffee shop. People love to interact with him,” said CEO of Pyx Health Cindy Jordan.

Pyx Health said with this technology, they are able to find out if this person is just having a rough day or clinically lonely, anxious or depressed.

“Or if they have some kind of urgent health need like food or transportation or housing, we have a whole group of people we call our “Compassionate Care Center,” that call and intervene,” explained Jordan.

The app is driving innovation through better health and easier access; healthcare providers say it’s also a solution.

“Has the ability to provide real-time intervention and to address common issues that our patients are struggling with,” said Medical Director for Complete Care Banner Health Network.

Dr. Sandy Stein said those issues are social isolation and loneliness.

“What we know related to social isolation and loneliness is it has a profound impact on healthcare outcomes and we see studies. An impact consistent with about smoking 15 cigarettes a day or more even with individuals with obesity,” Dr. Stein.

“Anyone can download it. If you are a Medicaid or Medicare member, and you live in Arizona, it is very likely your health plan is covering this benefit for you,” said Jordan.

For more information on the Pyx App, click here.