Awarded Additional $1.8 Million in Prestigious Grant Funding from NIH

Startup to Continue Research with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign into How Video Chat Technology Can Help Aging Adults

PHILADELPHIA, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --, an innovative video chat platform, announced today that it has been awarded an additional $1.8 Million from the prestigious National Institute of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research grant, in partnership with researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). This additional award builds to a total of over $2 Million awarded to from the NIH via its National Institute on Aging division. This funding will be used to continue's research with UIUC into how its video technology can be used to prevent social isolation and improve quality of life and health outcomes in older adults, including those with mild cognitive impairment. is a web-based video chat platform that is known for its ease of use and provides users with accessible and fun ways to connect with others using technology, including grouping those who don't know each other based on interests, encouraging socialization and potentially leading to the formation of new friendships.

During Phase I, the startup partnered with Drs. Wendy Rogers and Raksha Mudar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to study the unique needs of older adults at risk for social isolation and how they use technology. They were interested to learn whether a platform like can be used easily to socially engage older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment. The company plans to build on this research through its Phase II grant, developing additional content for users, demonstrating the improved quality of life for older adults through social activities that use technology, and partnering with home and community-based organizations to allow them to utilize the service in their community outreach.

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to continue studying how our technology can improve the lives of those most at risk for social isolation and the issues that come with it," said CEO Dillon Myers. "Being awarded this Phase II grant funding by the NIH is further validation that what we are doing is important. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the University of Illinois in this mission." will continue its study in partnership with Dr. Wendy Rogers, Director of the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory and Dr. Raksha Mudar, Director of the Aging and Neurocognition Laboratory.

"Dr. Mudar and I have been interested in social engagement for older adults for quite a long time already," Dr. Rogers said. "This technology is designed with their needs and capabilities in mind. We are excited to continue research and bring this beneficial technology to more older adults as soon as possible."

Dr. Mudar explained that one of the participants in the first study summed up perfectly saying, "It's like having a friend at the touch of a button."


Founded in 2016, is a web-based video chat platform, based in Philadelphia. A cross generational team, founders Dillon Myers and Alan Gibson, worked to design a platform that made it easy for anyone, especially older adults, to join and participate in video-based meetings and events. does not require users to download any software or use logins, allowing users to access chat rooms with a simple and shareable URL.

About University of Illinois Research Team

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has an initiative focused on Collaborations in Health, Aging, Research, and Technology (CHART, led by Dr. Wendy Rogers. The vision for this effort is to Harness Technology to Support Successful Aging. CHART is housed within the College of Applied Health Sciences, which has a mission to advance research, instruction, and public engagement that promotes the development of healthy, livable communities, facilitates optimal living with disability and promotes health and wellness across the lifespan.