Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor social care patients

August 25, 2021 | 2 minutes read

People who need social care will be monitored by AI as part of the three-month pilot project.

The AI-based care system will monitor almost 100 patients as part of the pilot project which is being initiated in Dorset UK to see whether AI can be used in taking care of social care patients. The sensors installed in homes will track the behavior as well as the electricity usage to spot the potential health problems BBC reported.

Nick Weston, the chief commercial officer of the company Lilli which is behind this technology said that six to nine sensors will be installed in the homes of the patients. 

The devices will monitor the movement, temperature, and use of specific appliances. The idea behind this technology is to note the behavior of the patients to automatically register the improvements or to note the activity that can indicate the problems in patients’ health.

For instance, frequent visits to the bathroom during the night can indicate urinary tract infection or other concerns.

Weston in a statement also said 

“We’ll look at how often they put the kettle on, how often they open the fridge. Because we’re monitoring on an individual level, we would see small changes in behavior.”

Piers Brown, lead member for health at Dorset Council said:

“It has the potential to improve provision across Dorset and our partner organizations in the NHS, making sure we are able to support people safely in their own homes.”

Privacy Concerns:

Lilli, the company behind the technology demands written consent from enrolled patients to give consent on their behalf before it is installed. Furthermore, the data from the patient’s home is encrypted when it is transmitted and stored. And as per the statement of Lilli, only the organization providing patient care will have access to the data.  

The sensors will only note the behavior of the patient and there are no cameras or voice recorders for disrupting the privacy of the patient. But  Prof Anthea Tinker at King’s College London’s Institute of Gerontology voicing her concerns about this technology said some people may not like the notion that their toilet visits are being tracked by a computer, she suggested that it could be difficult to obtain informed consent from certain patients for instance patients with dementia.

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