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OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE


AI SOLUTIONS WILL ONLY GET BETTER WITH AGE, EXPERTS SAY


AI is only going to grow in usefulness and importance to senior living and other fields, says Heather Annolino, senior director of Healthcare Practice at Ventiv.


“The beauty of all this is that AI can adapt as technology improves or when new streams of data are available,” Annolino says.


Michael Rosenbaum, CEO of Arena, says senior living operators and others will find increasing advantages and more useful insights through AI as they learn to ask better questions that allow them to collect data that targets their most important endeavors.


“We see a number of health care systems developing their own team of data scientists in the hopes of achieving this, but many are stymied as they have a tremendous amount of data but also tremendous uncertainty around what to do with this information,” Rosenbaum says.


“Arena is just a small part of the solution, given its expertise is in applying practical data insights to the workforce. But other innovative technologies are building their own expertise in other pieces of business operations and, ultimately, business leaders in senior living and other fields will bring these offerings together and leverage the various experts, just as we go to a variety of physician experts for our different health needs.”


There will always be new opportunities and more ways for AI to add value, says SafelyYou CEO George Netscher.


There are limits, though. “We know not every fall is preventable,” he says.


Ultimately, he says, AI and technology will play an increasingly important role for senior living providers because the situation demands it.


“I don't think there's going to be one sudden breakthrough,” Netscher says. “I think you're going to see a slow and steady chipping away at the problem. It's such a big problem for so many reasons, and we do have meaningful tools to make an impact, but these tools do take time to develop and become widespread.


“I think we're going to look back 10 years from now and think how crazy it was that we did things the way we did. Frankly, with the demographic shifts that are coming over the next 10 years, I'm not sure how it can stay the same.


“Globally in 2018, we spent [approximately $1 trillion] on dementia care. By 2030, it's expected we'll spend [approximately $2 trillion].


“But that assumes that we'll have enough people to pay for the work—over the same time period, we're going to go from having roughly seven potential caregivers for every person over 80 down to four. AI and technology more broadly must play a role for us to even maintain the level of care our loved ones expect today.”


Netscher says one of the reasons he’s confident fall prevention and other solutions have the potential to be increasingly effective is because of the nature of AI.


“Successful AI requires a large amount of data, so we can learn from examples of previous events to make better and better decisions about future events,” Netscher says.


“The fact that we're really only just starting to see meaningful solutions in the last few years means that this is just the beginning. As these solutions collect more and more data, you'll only see accuracy continue to improve and companies like SafelyYou begin approaching problems that you never even thought would be possible for technology to solve.”


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 ARGENTUM.ORG 19


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