New artificial intelligence tools can address workforce issues in aging services.
A new report outlines ways that artificial intelligence (AI) tools are stepping into caregiving roles—and how these tools can help to alleviate workforce issues.
“AI and the Future of Care Work: The Rise of the AI Caregiver” presents multiple ways that AI can help address the critical workforce challenges in health care that are occurring as the population ages. It notes that patients are trending away from institutional health care and toward home care. This shift opens the door to substantial changes in health care delivery, says the report.
Laurie M. Orlov, principal analyst at Aging and Health Technology Watch, wrote the report and published it in November 2023.
“The concept of an ‘AI Caregiver’ may seem futuristic,” says the report. “But given staffing shortages today, it is feasible and works. AI analysis is derived from cameras, sensors, or voice patterns on the front lines of care, alerting staff to issues based on patient health status and history.”
The report outlines several key AI features that can support health care workers:
Large data sets that can better predict care needs.
Sophisticated sensors that can recognize patterns and better alert care workers to a patient’s condition.
The ability to prep care team members with responses that meet a person’s particular needs, such as in dementia care.
Effective training for both high-paid and low-paid medical or caregiving staff.
Completing repetitive tasks is another area where AI tools excel. When technology covers these tasks, health professionals can better focus on patient care. A few examples from the report are below:
Virtual sitter technology can assist with patient monitoring.
Remote monitoring can supplement in-person nursing, such as using telehealth to monitor and direct wound care.
HIPAA-compliant chatbots can provide customized responses to patient inquiries, reducing pressure on workers at call centers or front desks.
A robotic table can move items for people with mobility impairments, increasing their independence and relieving care workers of those duties.
AI tools can assist with triaging, early detection of disease, predictive care in skilled nursing facilities, personalized care plans, and more.
Of course, AI-enabled documentation also streamlines administrative labor, including reviewing unstructured data like previous visit notes or patients’ daily logs.
Information in the report comes from interviews with 26 experts across multiple domains who work with one or more aspects of AI technology. For more details on these critical findings, please download the full report.