Humanity has been tinkering and investing in the creation of artificial intelligence or AI since the early 1900s, with conceptions of AI and the use of mathematics to generate intelligent outcomes since the 15th century. These concepts evolved into prototypes and the creation of basic applications and simple robotics, along with the human imagination generating ideas that could only be considered fiction. Now the use of AI has exploded, for both personal and professional use. Millions of homes boast Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home; however, professional realms are also using AI to drive specific outcomes, especially the senior living industry.
AI is being used in both assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Companies have developed AI to assist with several aspects of the senior living industry, such as the following:
· Wander Management
· Wearable Technology
· Medication Management
· Cognitive Assistance
· Video Surveillance and Remote Monitoring
The array of options of AI assisted and driven processes are overwhelming. They can be incredibly beneficial and aide in the continuum of care. AI can assist in freeing up nurses from the weight of documentation so they can spend more time with residents. AI can assist in diagnosing and treating diseases. It can remind residents when to take their medications, or alert caregivers that a resident has moved from one area of their room to another.
With all the positive aspects of AI in the assisted living realm, challenges do exist. There are ethical concerns regarding the invasion of privacy, the risk AI could replace actual caregivers. Standardization and regulation concerns exist. AI in health care settings is regulated by the FDA; however, with AIs surge, it can be challenging for the FDA to enforce regulations on a constantly evolving industry. AI can also increase a facility’s risk of litigation by creating a record of care that doesn’t reflect the actual care staff provided. Yet, AI is here to stay, and evolve. It’s best to get comfortable with AI now, but to keep a speculative perspective on all the aspects of this technology. To understand its risks and benefits, and to know as caregivers how to weigh them appropriately.