How Ambient Intelligence is Changing the Future of Eldercare

Artificial intelligence (AI) and ambient intelligence (AmI), along with affordable sensors and wearables, are offering innovations in senior living that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Today these innovations are becoming practical and cost effective.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of family caregivers and a looming shortage of doctors. People are living longer than ever before. Many people alive today have a good chance of living to be 90 years old or older. Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the world’s population. It is projected that there will be 3.7 million centenarians in the world by the year 2050.

AmI is a new paradigm in eldercare. Digital environments that are aware of the presence of human and context will empower people to be self-reliant. AmI is sensitive, adaptive and responsive to the needs, habits, gestures and emotions of humans.Low cost ambient technology (sensors) is being developed and made available at a reasonable price point. All of this is leading to more self-reliant eldercare. Regardless of the location of the care (home, hospital, senior care center, etc.), people will be more self-reliant.

Increasingly, senior care is delivered using AI. Most computer systems use Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). ANI specializes in one specific area, such as gathering massive amounts of data and using it to prevent medical errors, diagnose conditions and warn doctors of specific drug interactions.

We are in an era when computing power is rapidly advancing. Sophisticated algorithms are changing the possibilities of what computers can do. The most ambitious expression of AmI is Intelligent Mixed Reality (IMR). IMR is the evolution of traditional virtual reality environments that enables you to integrate computer interfaces into the real environment. It takes information and gives it context, enabling people to interact with other humans and the environment in a natural and intuitive way. AmI is context aware, adaptive and personalized.

Along with AmI, the IoT is changing the way we interact with things, such as smart home technology. For example, a camera in a room of an assisted living center will have the ability to:

  • learn the behaviors of the individuals living in the environment
  • consider the regularities and patterns of each person, such as
    • personal hygiene
    • sleep
    • bed to toilet
    • eating
    • cooking
    • working
    • leaving home
    • arriving home
    • relaxing
    • taking medicine, etc.
  • monitor and recognize certain irregularities such as
    • a fall
    • blood sugar reading that is too low
    • heart rate irregularity
    • blood pressure anomalies
    • not getting out of bed by a certain time
    • monitor pulse rate

Other types of technologies that will play a role in the future of eldercare include:

  • gamification
  • robotic companions
  • ambient intelligence illness diagnosis
  • wearables

Technology-based wearables will have an impact on eldercare. For example, FitBit is an example of a wearable that enables you to track your food intake, monitor your heart rate, track your steps and miles you’ve covered, monitor your sleep, set a silent alarm, track how long it take you to do something, and connect with other devices and apps. These types of items will continue to be developed and refined for medical purposes.

Kineseowear is another wearable that is has had a positive impact on the health of individuals. It effectively acts like an artificial muscle, aiding in certain movements. It relays health data and can help elders with certain movements (like warning them to turn right at the upcoming corner.)

In the future, elders will have access to affordable technology that will help care for them. MMA specializes in risk management and health care insurance, including insurance connections for nursing homes and senior living centers. Contact us to learn more about how we can take care of you.