Honestly speaking, artificial intelligence took over all the spheres of the life just in a few past years, and health care is not an exception. Lately, technology solutions maintained by artificial intelligence tools are taking over the home care transformation. There is a huge demand for it because the number of people aged over 60 is rapidly growing globally and the statistics show that over 40% of older people are already using an automated tool for the healthcare at their houses. This is caused by a few reasons besides of the aging population increase. Healthcare institutions are facing some challenges connected with the gap of skilled professionals from their side and financial or travel issues from the side of the elderly patients.
AI in the healthcare industry is represented by the number of applications, which can complete some administrative and clinical tasks. Practically the tools like AiCare can contribute to diagnoses by decreasing the number of falls. They help to connect the specialists with hard-to-reach patients, provide constant updates to their families, and provide monitoring and proper care. This way staff is relieved of their routine data maintains work. Chatbots are also getting more popular, but they are relatively new and still under the process of learning. This means that they will not take over and should not be a substitute for the doctor. Chatbots deliver information that has been authorized by the healthcare professionals and can book appointments if the issues are serious or relieve their stress by giving specific answers to health-related questions.
There is a demand for AI applications not only from the healthcare organizations staff but also from the patients. More and more people, who require regular health care, are purchasing voice assistance and recognition devices. The number of voice-enabled technologies is only increasing and more sophisticated patients give preferences to such tools. There is an application on the market, which helps patients to reserve their rides to/from healthcare institution through different services. Voice search is very beneficial for many older people while searching for medical information.
The future is already here
On a scale of growing number of retired people every year and a lack of skilled labor, authorities across the world are looking at the possibility to employ elderly care robots to cover this gap. The level of adoption of elderly care robots are relatively low compared to other services at this market niche, there are happening some significant implementations in the vertical of elderly care robots backed up with artificial intelligence. Today marketed products are focusing on machine learning and cognitive computing in order to upgrade capacities of robotic healthcare helpers and nurses for elderly care. Now scientists are working on the implementation of deep and machine learning, processor vision for the determination of body poses, understanding user behavior models to suggest proactively some actions targeted approaching the mental and physical health of aged people.
The market is full of the startups, which are actively applying artificial intelligence to developing of healthcare robotic. Such robots monitor the environment and overall wellness of the patient, remind about the appointments and time to take the pills, suggest different entertainments of activities. One such startup dedicated to the healthcare robotic received almost $20 million of investments.
Reputable educational institutions are also investing their financial and human resources into the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies in the healthcare industry. Thus, Brown University received a solid grant for elderly care applications, which will help the robotic companion to track the activities and situation around the house. Also planned that this device would remind the elderly of critical tasks and occasions, as well as improve security.
There are a plethora of different start-ups paving their way in the field of elderly care using AI technology. In the future, we can expect multiple options and various AI applications for senior care.
Rip-off or cost-effective alternative?
At the first glance, it seems like machine learning and AI implementation aim to rip-off the senior population, which is already in need by default. Nevertheless, supporters of AI are defending an opposite side. These intelligent systems should diminish human error and save time for the representatives of healthcare professions to concentrate on more significant things and deliver first-class individual services to the patients. AI empowers providers to scale services without reducing the quality. Some of the companies offer plans created to help people make habit changes required to modify obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Some of the health treatment programs can cost thousand dollars which can be an unaffordable burden for retired or senior people. Additionally, the completion of such treatment plan will require traveling to clinic or hospital for services, which also may be costly and difficult for people with some physical disabilities. All of these is very inconvenient. However, online programs can cost half less and can be accessed regardless of the location and physical condition. This is how the artificial intelligence becomes totally affordable for older people. Plus, according to the latest data, AI devices will cost $1,5 per hour only whereas a caregiver takes about $15 for the same time.
So, do AI devices mean the end for senior caregivers and human interaction?
Surprisingly, no! According to relevant information, the elderly generation aged 90 tripled during the last three decades compared to the previous statistics. That means that the number of aged people craving for help and company is gradually growing. Consequently, the need for senior caregivers is increasing, respectively. Elderly people, in their turn, are not used to spending time with the AI devices no matter how sophisticated they are. Besides, caregivers cannot spend all the time with the people in need, and modern devices can be a great assistance in this matter.
As professional senior caregivers claim, their job is mainly to support the elderly in their everyday life, make them a company, and entertain them when there is no their relative around.
For most relatives taking care of their beloved elderly is a burden and not because they don’t love and can’t find the time for their aging parents or grandparents but more because they cannot look how they decline and weaken from one day to another. And those who overcame it, remember this life period as one of the most difficult and gruesome as they knew where this path was leading their dear elderly.
Artificial intelligence systems have the ability to grow positive results to treatment plans and emergency replies, which encourage a patient to trust and transform their understanding of healthcare. Staff, involved in the healthcare delivery, is going to be in high demand in the nearest time but due to the robotics implementation will get better assistance from AI systems to support them in the provision of the exceptional care to their patients.
At the same time, senior caregivers are always there with their professional help and even more with their human attitude, respect, compassion, sense of humor and overall cheerful and relaxed approach ready to share the most valuable moments of the senior’s heydays.