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  • Tanguy Vanderlinden

TOP 7 of elderlycare applications using artificial intelligence

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Are there any potential applications combining #elderlycare & #artificialintelligence ?

Well, yes, especially when you consider this gap between the growing #ageing population & the foreseen declining number of caregivers in the developed world.

#AI systems have currently their own technical limitations, but could soon bring great support to this fragile population losing autonomy. In order to cut through the usual artificial intelligence debate, I fully agree that further development of #ai cannot go without strong fundamental #ethics research. Those need to go side-by-side. We are human beings and we deserve respect, AI applications must serve us, not the way around.

In the case of direct "human" contact/ interaction (and not the usual efficiency optimization "back office" tools where AI applications usually outperform), if it passes the "Alan Turing test" (to make it short - If you think this AI interaction is made by a human, then it is human), I could see positive advantages. Strong progress is being made to reach that level, but again to go side-by-side with strong #ethics debate.

let's start a potential list though (I am happy to get any suggestions through FB, Linkedin, email) :

  1. Automated remote health monitoring. Sometimes, fast notice of change of behaviour can prevent health disasters... Better to prevent than cure. The whole AI here will be to study your habits, check any potential problematic trends & ring - when required - an alarm for further checks by a healthcare professional. To this category could fall as well Medication Management Systems ("do not forget your pills", new tablets being automatically delivered - adapted to your measured situation ...). As much as this algorithm is understood & controlled by an independent medical association, this could deliver great benefits. A great source of efficiency.

  • Health Chatbots as a first contact line (not for emergency) ? In order to save time for healthcare professionals & allow them to concentrate on more significant actions. IF it passes Turing test, and does fill this potential need for social interactions, why not considering this option ?

  • Home sensors. Think of an apartment plugged with hundreds of #IoT sensors everywhere (in your bed sheets, your fridge, every light bulbs,...) monitoring any gestures of yours in order to keep you healthy, in a good shape & limit incidents (through temperature, light, cleanliness... control). Right now, this is quite expensive, but for senior residencies, this could be a source of efficiency (short-term future) & comfort for the tenant. Under this category, we could find as well dedicated Fall detection devices (through image recognition patterns, body sensors,...) In other word, a huge source of data with lots of potential applications.

  • Smart device ("fitbit" alike) to keep you fit, but as well tracked in case you lose yourself (or deviate from a usual route, or confirm some erratic Alzheimer patterns in your promenades outside...). We could find here connected "kinesitherapy" equipment that could automatically check you perform the right gestures regularly enough to recover from an injury.

  • Virtual companions. Loneliness is really an issue. To me, social inclusion in a mixed age environment, intellectual stimulation are key factors to "prevent" dementia, breakdowns,... ). These companions could be as well bot brain coaches, or specific games to keep your sanity fit. The goal is not to replace human interactions, but to help you keeping as much as possible normal human interactions.

  • Healthcare Robots. do not think of the gimmick robots on wheels (like on this picture cover) asking for a selfie you usually see at fairs or conventions. Think of smart exoskeletons, prosthesis - the ones that help you keeping a reasonable level of autonomous mobility.

  • Anti-aging research. Well, Silicon Valley Kurzweil theories are mesmerizing (we will win over the aging process and manage to live hundreds of years), but I still consider them as sci-fi, and not really bringing any soon tangible products (which is the goal of accelerator).

As a conclusion, Yes, of course, Artificial Intelligence will be key to effectively face a growing population in need of care. As much as we pay close attention to empathy & humanity - in case of human mimicking interactions - I can only see better service & process improvement. To, humanity equals to sanity and this is the direction we pursue in our startups selection re our first Agetech #silvereconomy cohort at Ubiz.

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