AI Helps Reduce Loneliness Among Seniors
Accenture has completed a pilot program to develop a new AI-based program for seniors. The platform aims to help users stay on track with daily activities and medication management while assuaging feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“With the help of Age UK London, we identified the more common challenges of everyday life for older people – from setting daily reminders to the heartache of loneliness – and applied AI to create a human-centered platform to provide support and assistance,” Laetitia Cailleteau, head of Accenture Liquid Studio London, said in a statement.
The platform runs on the Amazon Web Services cloud and includes a portal that lets family members and caregivers check on the individual’s daily activities. The platform can also help spot abnormalities in the user’s behavior, such as a missed medication, then alerts family and friends.
The pilot, which lasted three months, included 60 people aged 70 or older living independently. The company claims the pilot helped identify some of the most challenging tasks seniors deal with in the home and aided in the development of the Accenture platform. The platform used the self-service Amazon Alexa Skills Kit to customize the AI to power the devices…
The pilot’s authors are optimistic about the potential of AI in reducing symptoms related to senior isolation.
“Older people are not a homogenous group; the aging experience is very personal, with each person having different needs, and we now have technology that can deliver an increasingly personalized experience to them,” Paul Goulden, Age UK London’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The elderly care pilot has helped show how technology can improve the well-being of older people. The potential here is huge. I look forward to seeing how Accenture and Amazon Web Services technologies can positively impact future developments for the benefit of older people.”
Accenture is not the only company exploring the potential of AI-based solutions to senior loneliness:
In November Brown University announced a partnership with Hasbro to add basic AI to the toymaker’s Joy for All Companion Pets, which are aimed to help seniors living with loneliness.
Using technology to help seniors living in isolation was a hot topic a the Connected Healthcare Conference in Boston in October. Speakers said there is a need because of the growing senior population in the US. But the technology also needs to be accessible to this population.