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“This does not allow for clear answers to complex health questions, due to lack of insight, uncollected information, and siloed data. With the ability to see and understand all the data and information related to an event, communities can better understand its effect.”


Falls prevention connection One of the most compelling uses of AI in senior living today is the pursuit of preventing resident falls, a persistent and critical challenge for all providers. How does that work? Tom Paprocki,


managing director, Direct Supply Innovation and Technology Center, explains. AI “generally functions by recognizing


patterns and then either suggesting optimal solutions for a human to implement or by actually implementing those solutions itself,” he says. “For example, most modern cars have a


multitude of sensors and other technologies that identify potential risks and then alert the driver to react,” Paprocki says. “That is very different from a fully self-driving car, where the AI not only identifies potential risks but actually reacts to those risks by autonomously operating the vehicle.” Paprocki says AI solutions are still closer


to the former part of the analogy than the latter—but change is coming. “AI is being rapidly applied to identifying


risks and suggesting optimal responses, but not to actually interceding in any independent physical way,” Paprocki says. “For example, whether we're talking


wearable technologies, sensors, ultra- wideband radar, or machine vision, we're getting closer to a point where we can monitor and track changes in balance and gait which are indicative of the likelihood of a fall. “As was the case with the car, you still


need human involvement to actually intercede and, say, deliver the appropriate physical therapy to make that fall less likely. But this is how technology like AI can be so remarkably impactful, because it can make all human activity more measurably effective.”


Looking at the numbers Direct Supply is partnering with SafelyYou, a memory care-focused health care technology company,


to help reduce


resident falls in senior living communities. SafelyYou provides real-time fall detection by using AI-enabled technology to record video of resident falls.


When an incident happens, it notifies


care staff immediately so the video can be reviewed, and the appropriate action can take place. Privacy and liability are protected through cameras that only activate when a fall is detected. SafelyYou’s


clients have shown an


average of 40 percent and 70 percent fewer emergency room visits, says George Netscher, CEO. One community saw a 93 percent reduction in ER visits for dementia- related resident falls.


the first time. We're enabling staff to identify exactly how falls are happening and what steps can be taken to improve care for each individual resident.”


“Iron Man suit for caregivers” Paprocki says a successful AI solution requires data, time for a system to learn and evolve, and a clear way to make its expertise actionable. SafelyYou has been effective because it has utilized all three, he says. As with other technological tools, the


human component of AI is still important. However, Paprocki says fall prevention also is an area particularly suited for AI-based support because senior care “is so incredibly reliant on people, and we simply don't have enough of them.” “We live in a time when staffing has never been harder in our industry,” Paprocki


Direct Supply is partnering with SafelyYou, a memory care-focused health care technology company, to help reduce resident falls. SafelyYou’s AI clients have shown an average of 40 percent and 70 percent fewer emergency room visits, says SafelyYou’s CEO George Netscher.


As a blog post from Health Dimensions


Group points out, AI services can allow older adults to take an active and interactive role in their own health and well-being, such as by using voice tech to program updated medication reminders: "This personaliza- tion has the potential to keep seniors in- formed and engaged, improve connections and communications, and enhance their daily lives." Netscher says he thinks of AI in two


categories: taking over tasks that can be done by humans and augmenting humans or giving superhuman abilities in some way. “What's exciting about where we are


today with respect to fall prevention is that we're really hitting both for the first time,” Netscher says. “We're not just sending alarms or telling


staff that an individual has fallen, we're giving staff superhuman abilities to staff for


says. “Even if we had triple or quadruple the number of caregivers, we still couldn't predict, observe, immediately react to, or know how to prevent all falls. And that's where technology like AI can be literally lifesaving, because it can function like an Iron Man suit for our frontline caregivers.”


Improving operations Senior living providers are also turning to AI to improve the efficiency of their operations. Rosenbaum says natural language processing, which is also known as NLP, is one type of AI that can help senior living operators. NLP supports Arena’s voice-to-text and


text analysis technologies and “opens up a world of possibilities for health care and senior care,” he says. “For example, electronic health/medical


records are intended to improve patient/ resident care but are often burdens on top of


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 ARGENTUM.ORG 17


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