AI + Robotics

By on Jun 11, 2018 in Technology

During the recent Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference in San Diego, sociobiologist  Rebecca Costa shared scientific breakthroughs that are prolonging the lives—and quality of life– for seniors.

Preventing Falls

In seniors, falls are directly linked to shorter lifespans. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the death rate from falls among adults ages 65 and over has increased 31 percent from 2007 to 2016. The rate is growing the fastest among seniors aged 85 or more years.

Understanding the cause of falls has helped researchers develop tools to prevent them. An article in the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health reveals that changes in gait are the predecessors to falls. Gait disorders are often indicative of lesions in the nervous system, adverse side effects from medications, the onset of dementia, or misalignments within the spine, hips, or knees.

With advanced technology called predictive analytics, caregivers can now foretell when a person is going to trip within three weeks with 86 percent accuracy. Sensors attached to the senior or the senior’s support mechanism (such as a can or walker) can detect a 3-5 centimeter per second change in gait, walk or stride. This information is then sent to caregivers in the form of a digital alert.

The information sent by the sensors can help caregivers determine the best method of treatment for the senior. Treatment could include physical therapy, alterations to a sedative prescription, or tests for brain and nervous system health.

By preventing falls through Predictive Analytics and accessories, seniors can avoid assisted living for up to four years.

Nanobots Promote Health from the Inside, Out

A post released by the World Economic Forum explores how nanobots are being used to fight cancer.

Nanomachines, or nanobots, are robots made of organic, biocompatible material. About 50,000 of them would fit across the diameter of a human hair. Once they have executed their task, they are excreted in urine.

Researchers at Durham University in the United Kingdom are experimenting with nanobots to destroy cancer cells in as little as 60 seconds. Studies began with small fish and rodents. Human trials using nanobots are now underway. Additional human trials explore the use of nanobots in treatments for seniors with Alzheimer’s.

The future of nanobots also includes illness prevention. Nanobots may soon routinely travel through the circulatory system, taking biometric measurements and seeking out the tale-tale signs of tissue rejection, disease, and organ failure.

Avoiding Opioid Abuse

Research released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that “The population of older adults who misuse opioids is projected to double from 2004 to 2020, from 1.2 percent to 2.4 percent.”

Medicare Part D data collected by the Office of the Inspector General indicates that more than 500,000 plan beneficiaries were prescribed “high amounts” of opioids in 2016. The average prescribed dose exceeded the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Opioid addicts are 59 percent more likely to be high-cost claimants. Healthcare costs for each individual is often greater than $50,000 per year. Healthcare costs associated with the opioid abuse exceed an estimated $25 billion a year.

Fuzzy Logix DB Lytix™ in-database analytics claims it can predict addictions to opioids with 85 percent accuracy.

The system harvests and analyzes data, identifying 742 predictor variables. A combination of traceable behaviors, like consistently visiting different prescribers and dispensaries, highlights potential drug abuse. The system then develops actionable, predictive models that identify likely opioid abuse before it occurs. Caregivers can use the data to minimize opioid exposure and plan care for seniors.