Artificial Intelligence May Keep Grandma Safe
The use of artificial intelligence in long-term care facilities could be useful in the early detection of patterns of negligence in nursing homes. While attentive and compassionate care is the ideal situation for nursing home patients, this is not always the case for many families. Too often, cases of negligence and abuse go undetected until tragedy strikes. Artificial intelligence could help pick up the slack and keep elders safe.
COVID-19 Pandemic Sheds Light on Nursing Home Negligence
It has been no secret that nursing homes and other long-term facilities have often been accused of negligence. The COVID-19 crisis highlighted what some of these facilities are doing wrong like:
- Not protecting patients from COVID-19 infection spread
- Not detecting COVID-19 infections in patients and staff
- Not being properly stocked with personal protection equipment for staff to prevent cross contamination
In homes that were hit hard by COVID-19, patients lost their lives while healthcare workers were also getting sick or put at risk of being infected. Many lives could have been saved if early awareness of patient conditions and prompt care were provided earlier.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Nursing Home Patients
Artificial intelligence could help keep nursing home patients safe during a pandemic. It could be used to analyze data to predict where a virus is likely to spread next. An advance warning would help healthcare workers better diagnose their patients, organize their response strategy, and help improve patient care.
The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare is nothing new. Previous research has shown that it can be used to help doctors accurately diagnose cancer and predict what areas will be hit next with high-contagious viruses. Researchers have already developed algorithms that are used with artificial intelligence that are able to predict who will have a heart attack or how to spot diabetic retinopathy, which is a preventable cause of blindness.
Aside from virus or illness detection, artificial intelligence can be used to detect patterns, which is something that it is designed to do. Changes in health, like fevers or changes in sleep patterns can be picked up using artificial intelligence-assisted technologies. In a nursing home setting, it could also be used to detect patterns of abuse such as repeated healed fractures or internal injuries when used with diagnostic testing, like x-rays or MRIs.