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article imageArtificial intelligence disrupts assisted living facilities

By Tim Sandle     Dec 3, 2017 in Health
The care home and assisted living concepts are altering through the use of artificial intelligence; this is leading to a safer environment for elderly people and others who require assisted support.
In the past a healthcare worker would made a twice or four-times a day visit for those in care; coming in is a room equipped with sensors and cameras; elderly people wearing monitoring wristbands; the deployment of biomimetic companion robots, each sending vital signs to a data hub which is interpreted by artificial intelligence.
One example of an artificial intelligence driven assisted living platform is CarePredict's Tempo, a collaborative product between the companies CarePredict and LifeWell Senior Living. Tempo is a care coordination platform designed for senior living communities, combining Artificial Intelligence and smart location technology to measure activity and behavioral patterns of seniors.
Remote reporting
The Tempo system allows for remote reporting to care home staff and family members, measuring important in the daily activities of people in care like sleeping patterns, toileting, movement, hydration, eating, and socialization. Through monitoring care home staff can be proactive in providing early interventions and also avoiding unnecessary ‘false alarms’. Perhaps the most important feature is real-time location tracking, which enables targeted and quicker assistance in an emergency.
Voice activated apps
Another service is voice-activated devices and smartphone apps. These enable care staff to receive guidance from health professionals. Such devices can also help to automate the wages and expenses of staff by performing functions like automatically logging mileage. A parallel service has been developed in the U.K., the University of Nottingham. This is the Optimiser engine, which employs artificial intelligence to mimic the decisions of a care coordinator. Optimiser pulls data from the system to create a roster for support staff.
Telehealth options
Telehealth and telemedicine can also help to provide services to those in assisted living spaces. An example is Babylon, which is an app and web based service which lets users interact with medics and receive specialist consultations via video through smartphones. Babylon also uses artificial intelligence to assess symptoms, answer medical questions and give advice on what the person should do next.
Robotic assistants
A very different approach is becoming more common in Japan: the use of robotics. This is in part driven by an ageing population and a growing network of nursing homes. According to The Financial Times, the types of robots in use include Chapit, which resembles a mouse and is placed on a person’s bedside and engages in conversation. There is also Robear, which can help to lift a person off their bed and into a wheelchair. Finally there’s Palro, a small humanoid that leads a group of elderly people through a morning exercise routine.
Monitoring cognitive health
On a different tract, a new study from the University of Bari in Italy has shown how artificial intelligence can detect Alzheimer’s brain changes before symptoms emerge. This type of analysis could one day help care center mangers to monitor residents for signs of neurodegenerative disease.
More about Care home, Artificial intelligence, Assisted living, Elderly
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