‘I think in the next five years we will see technology start to transform how we care for people in the home’
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Dr. Piali De believes that Artificial Intelligence is poised to become an integral part of home health care whether we’re ready for it or not.
The co-founder and CEO of Senscio Systems has developed products using AI to make sense of large amounts of data and to help people manage chronic illnesses.
We asked De to talk about how AI might transform home health care sooner than we thought.
HHTN: What role will AI play in the future of home health care?
DE: Simply put, AI will let us know what is happening in the home. No amount of people can provide a continuous interpretation of the status of health and wellbeing in the home where just-in-time intervention is the best remedy. AI will gather and make sense of various data that can be collected from the home: data about symptoms, physiology, activities of daily living, environment and more can all be pieced together to figure out what services are needed in the home and when. Only AI can do that.
HHTN: Is the current home health care system ready to begin incorporating AI?
DE: I think it is getting ready. There is a recognition that something different needs to happen and people are becoming open to new ideas. There is still skepticism about the degree to which AI can help and a fear of mistakes, but that is healthy and prudent. AI needs to prove its benefits with benign problems, then build upon that.
HHTN: What obstacles do you see to technology being embraced by providers and patients in the home?
DE: I think the biggest challenge will be making the technology very easy and intuitive to use. It must be intuitive because you cannot train everyone in the home on the technology. It must, without effort, become part of daily life.
HHTN: How is technology impacting the way home health care is delivered today?
DE: The biggest impact so far is in health data being captured and stored digitally so that it can be easily shared. That ability is transforming health care to become a team sport. Some of the digital data is being used to identify those who need more help and attention with health management. There will be great benefit from that capability as it matures. The technology of sensors in the home hasn’t started to pay a dividend yet, but it will as it gets integrated with other data and interpreted by AI.
HHTN: What are some of the biggest technological developments that you see coming in home health care in the next five years?
DE: Very precise sensors are being developed for the home environment. The data from all those sensors will be harnessed to bring timely and precise health-related services into the home. Whether the services are clinical or not, timely services delivered in the home is the ideal solution for the elderly or disabled in our communities. I think in the next five years we will see technology start to transform how we care for people in the home.