Robots & AI in Assisted Living

Robots and Artificial Intelligence. How will that affect Assisted Living?

I’m sure a lot of you have heard that AI, or Artificial Intelligence, yes, actual “robots” are coming to private care homes.  They have them in hospitals right now and soon they will even be in assisted living in a residential setting. But imagine, if you will for a moment, a senior having a band around their wrists that would geo target where they are and at any time, a robot, something that is mobile that has intelligence to communicate, could find them based on that location device, and roll right up to them and say, “Hi Mary, what is it you need? How are you feeling?” And Mary can communicate, and that robot can now communicate back. Imagine how much easier it would be to help take care of some of those things. They can provide many of services that the caregivers do now and if they can, they’ll take care of some of their needs.  But realistically, they can’t handle the hands on, deeper level of communication and assistance of course. That will still need to be done by the human caregiver.

How are the Robots being used in hospitals today?

Right now they’re being used in hospitals for doctors visits, where the doctor can’t leave their practice or doesn’t have the time to and they can send the robot out. Now,  that type of a Robot is actually pretty simple at this point, because it just gets to the location that the tracking device identifies. It gets right to them, pulls right up and the doctor is on the other side and says, “Hi Mary. It’s Dr Jones” and Dr Jones’s face comes up on a screen, an ipad like device and now they’re communicating.  They can do a diagnosis. Some of you have seen that online where you can talk to a doctor directly through a device or computer. Imagine that being in the hospital so the doctor can see, can even move the camera around to be able to see the patient and make a diagnosis based on their communication, what they’re sharing, maybe even to connect into their vital signs if they’re in a medical situation.

How would this apply to Residential Assisted Living?

We don’t provide medical care in an RAL home but if they’re in need of medical attention, that doctor would actually read those vital signs, read the charts, have all the information at their fingertips. Now think about the efficiency and the effectiveness of that. The doctor getting their eyes on that patient, that resident, right there without having to travel to the doctors. What if they could go throughout the whole house, see 10 people very efficiently and effectively in less time than it would require to take a single resident to the doctors office. It just makes sense and it will happen.  It’s not “if” it’s “when”. 

Will it be cost effective for us? 

Right now it’s very expensive for those kinds of technological solutions, but the prices are coming down and it’s becoming more common. Right now there’s all kinds of things that we can use inside a Residential Assisted Living home that are on the technology side to make things better and easier for the caregivers, the manager, even the residents and their family. Let’s make sure that we’re controlling it in such a way that we get the “good” out of it. I’m going to embrace the good part and help control that process so that our residents benefit and make it a good experience for them.

The Robots are coming…

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