How AI Is Helping Revolutionize Elder Care?
By 2050, nearly one in four men will be 60 years of age or older - double what they are today. In addition, the number of people aged 80 and over will quadruple. This demographic shift opens up new avenues for AI technologies in the day-to-day management of elderly health care and is a useful tool for health professionals and institutions that treat the elderly.
For older people, taking duplicate medications or forgetting to take their medication can significantly increase the risk of side effects. To remedy this, AiCure, a New York-based company, is providing a smartphone app that checks whether users are meeting doctor's prescriptions and making sure they know what to do to manage their health issues.
AiCure uses smart cameras and an artificial intelligence algorithm to monitor medication intake. It triggers an automatic alert if the drugs are not taken correctly. This is useful for the elderly with serious health problems, problems with vision, dexterity or cognition; or forgetfulness.
Remote monitoring at home - as if you had a nurse in the room 24 × 7
IBM researchers are looking to offer seniors the peace of mind that they would provide a private nurse. This implies the motion sensors in hallways, flush detectors in toilets and bed sensors for monitoring sleep, etc. Any significant deviation from the common activity patterns can trigger an automatic alarm for nurses or licensed physicians.
The system can also track health indices seniors to identify risks proactively. By leveraging machine learning algorithms to analyze historical data, researchers can also discover unknown connections and predictive, such as the relationship between the habits of daily life and unusual sleep patterns; or the correlation between the outputs of irregular nocturnal toilet and the risk of falling. Overall, the system seeks to identify the warning signs that may require special attention.
Intuition Robotics has developed ElliQ, a “companion for happier aging”. The AI-powered companion robot can converse with patients, remind them to take their medications and lead them to light physical activities to improve their physical and mental health. ElliQ can be integrated with various messaging and social media platforms, allowing users to send and receive texts and images without the hassle of a cell phone. ElliQ was designed for the elderly who live alone and allows the family to remotely monitor user anomalies and home conditions.
The development and deployment of AI solutions for seniors presents a number of unique challenges. One is to teach users how to use devices and services with artificial intelligence, taking into account the tendency for the learning and cognitive abilities of older people to gradually deteriorate.
The obvious solution is to simplify and customize human-machine interfaces and update them automatically if necessary. Additionally, while today's most advanced robotic systems are far from error-free, safety and stability will be especially important to the design and operation of assistive robotics for the elderly. The robustness of the system will therefore also be a priority.