Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice-recognition software are helping elderly people care for themselves and improve their wellbeing.
Management consulting company Accenture developed a platform that supports the physical and mental health of elderly people.
The Accenture Platform uses AI to learn the behaviours and preferences of users, then suggests activities to support the individual. The platform was tested over a three-month pilot programme with 60 people aged at least 70 years old who were living independently. By using the Amazon Echo Show users could test the platform’s voice-activation, on-screen prompts cloud-based AI technology to do a range of tasks and improve their wellbeing.
The Accenture Platform runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud and provides a portal to family and caregivers that lets them check on an individual’s daily activities such as if they’ve taken their medication. The platform can also spot abnormalities in behaviour and alert family or friends if something is amiss.
In an effort to combat loneliness, the platform also encouraged participants to be more social by helping them find local events and new friends. It also offered better access to reading materials, music, daily exercises, appointment reminders and required them to confirm when they completed the assignment.
Participants of the study responded positively to technology with one 87-year-old saying “it’s like having a friend in the other room. I’d be lost without it now”.
Laetitia Cailleteau, head of Accenture Liquid Studio London, said: “The Accenture platform demonstrates Accenture’s ‘People First’ approach that puts technology to work for people to help create more human experiences and achieve better outcomes. 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-centred platform to provide support and assistance.”
Age UK states that the UK has trouble with the delivery of care when it comes to the elderly and that £173 million is lost every year due to the misallocation of resources. Elderly care programmes can provide support remotely and supplement in-home visits.
Paul Goulden, Age UK London’s chief executive, said: “Older people are not a homogenous group; the ageing experience is very personal, with each person having different needs, and we now have technology that can deliver an increasingly personalized experience to them. 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 planning to expand the service to more people across the UK.