In the past decade alone, we have seen how fast technology has pushed the solutions in the care industry forward. We have gone from old and outdated analogue devices to advanced solutions (such as wearable monitors and sensors that come in the form of shoes, bracelets and pendants) to smart solutions that can work in synergy, providing modern solutions to challenges faced in the care industry.
Today, the availability of artificial intelligence (AI) looks to further push the industry forward to provide solutions and systems that meet the needs of both care providers and care receivers.
AI today, and what it means for the future of elderly care
Before taking an in-depth look at the role of artificial intelligence in elderly care, it is important to define what exactly AI is and how it will positively impact the care industry in general. Britannica defines artificial intelligence as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” They further explain that the term is frequently applied to developing systems equipped with intellectual processes similar to that of humans, such as the ability to reason, learn from past experience, or even discover meaning.
Investopedia also defines AI as the “simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.” Simply put, AI seeks to imitate and replicate human behavior and intelligence to address different problems and challenges.
In elderly care, this could come in the form of a smart camera that can be scheduled and programmed specifically for night surveillance only, eliminating the need for nightly visits that interrupt patients and care receivers in their sleep. This could also come in the form of a camera or a sensor that can study and learn the specific patterns of a person’s behavior and alert care providers whenever the system detects an unusual pattern.
Modern radars can also detect falls and prevent them from occurring in the future, thanks to the data available from the patient that tells the system or the care providers of the patterns and warning signs that preceded a fall. As you can see, the effectiveness of these solutions relies heavily on the availability of data from the patients and care receivers.
Since these systems and solutions are fairly new and still uncommon, they are also understandably met with doubt and cynicism, and some are still reluctant to rely on such technology. This is, however, expected to improve as the solutions and systems available today continue to mature and with the elderly slowly accepting these innovations.
The importance of transitioning away from analogue platforms and systems
Most telecare services in Europe today still rely on wired and analogue solutions. Therefore, making the switch (or at least making the necessary preparations) as early as possible could benefit providers in the long run, especially with the availability of capable platform providers today. Evidently, technology is pushing the care industry forward rapidly, and some providers who still rely on outdated solutions today may find it difficult to keep up the pace.
Some providers might also refuse to even consider switching early, as their alarm systems based on analogue platforms seem to serve them well. However, refusing to switch early poses several risks, especially with the complete analogue to digital switch-off set to take place in the United Kingdom in 2025.
Not making the switch today also means missing out on modern and innovative solutions available today in elderly care. For instance, there now exists medication robots, smart cameras that pose no privacy risks, smart diaper sensors that can determine saturation levels, and radars that can accurately and reliably detect falls and prevent them from occurring again in the future. Smart voice-activated assistants are also available today, and these can work in tandem with other smart devices integrated into the systems of assisted living facilities and care homes.
Take advantage of innovative care industry solutions today with Skyresponse
Skyresponse offers a 100% cloud-based and future-proof platform, built with interoperability and scalability in mind, allowing providers to seamlessly transition from analogue systems to modern and digital platforms while integrating new products and devices as they become available in the market.
Given how rapidly technology is changing and positively impacting the future of elderly care, partnering with a capable platform provider is just as important to allow care providers to benefit from these innovations and better meet the needs of patients today.