Artificial intelligence is far more beneficial and interesting than what is portrayed by film and television characters and actually has the potential to change the way in which we provide care in assisted living communities for the better.
How AI Is Changing Assisted Living
Forbes’ “How Could Artificial Intelligence Change Assisted Living Facilities?” points out that assisted living communities “face a number of challenges” that A.I. could help solve, problems like:
- Client accidents, including falls
- High client-to-employee ratios
- High employee turnover
- Family distrust
- Increasing regulations
- Increasing workload
- Outdated technology
Artificial intelligence may be the key to address some of these issues and improve assisted living communities for both residents and staff. But how?
Preventative Health Care in Assisted Living
The saying “prevention is key” pertains to all aspects of senior care. Identifying potential hazards and preventing issues before they occur reduces injury, cuts healthcare costs and decreases staff overload.
Artificial intelligence can help to “learn” and track a person’s behaviors, and in turn predict health issues before they become medical emergencies.
Keystone Technologies is an organization committed to transforming healthcare through innovative technology solutions. They have introduced the concept of passive health monitoring, which is a “system of interlocking technologies that… pulls together sophisticated hardware, software, and infrared images… and provides a more timely response to crises.”
These systems include sensors that can monitor vital signs, including:
- Body temperature
- Fall indicators
- Heart rate
- Respiratory rate
According to Keystone Technologies, this information is then processed using artificial intelligence software to interpret patterns and predict potential medical crises, including heart disease, infections and stroke.
Keystone Technologies also focuses on fall prevention with passive health monitoring. The system monitors a resident’s main fall indicators and patterns, including:
- Stride length
- Walk speed
The artificial intelligence then determines what is considered the persons “norm” over a broad span of time and uses this information to alert family, healthcare professionals or staff to changes in fall risks and patterns.
Staff Turnover in Assisted Living
Staff retention and morale is a pervasive problem in assisted living for many reasons, some of which are outlined above.
Moulay Elalamy, VP of IT at Benchmark Senior Living, explains to Forbes that “if A.I. can be part of [the employees] workflow, and suggest to them what to do, when to do and in some cases do it for them, it can be a game changer. They will spend more time doing what they signed up for… and less time in documentation and compliance.”
The ideal artificial intelligence to improve employee turnover would be voice-activated and wearable, and be accessible via a phone or tablet app.
This type of A.I. would allow staff to:
- Automatically log mileage: Ideal for home care and staff who move from one assisted living community to another throughout the day.
- Capture notes: The Digital Journal refers to CarePredict’s Tempo, a care coordination platform designed for senior living communities that combines artificial intelligence and smart location technology to measure activity and behavioral patterns of seniors in real time, including eating, hydration, movement, sleeping patterns, socialization and toileting, all in real time.
- Receive guidance from health professionals: The Digital Journal refers to Babylon, which is a Smartphone app and web-based service that allows users to interact with medical professionals and consult with specialists. Babylon also uses artificial intelligence to assess symptoms and advise on next steps.
- Send messages to families: Keystone Technologies highlights the peace of mind families experience due to preventive monitoring. Automatic notifications generate a higher level of transparency, allow family members to be involved in their loved ones care and know that they are informed of a health event right away.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to change the way in which care is provided in assisted living facilities, as well as the quality of life and wellness that resident’s experience.
Are you comfortable with the idea of A.I. in senior care? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.