PALO ALTO, Calif., July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- It is more important than ever to design and innovate for the inclusion of all human beings. Mahatma Gandhi said, "The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."
COVID-19 has exposed just how vulnerable seniors are, especially those living in close proximity at senior communities. Federal lawmakers calculated that 7,000 deaths have occurred in the U.S. due to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities. For example, one Mardi Gras party in a Kirkland facility led to 35 deaths.
The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which most world leaders have committed to achieving by 2030, include good health and well-being for all. In this spirit, we must leverage cutting-edge technology to develop transformative solutions for seniors.
"Senior communities face an acute shortage of trained caregivers. The timing is right for tech innovation," said Laurie Orlov, Analyst at Aging and Health Technology Watch. In this post-pandemic world, conventional high-touch caregiving, which used to be a big part of the solution, now has major problems due to increased risks and costs.
Stanford Professor David Cheriton and Caspar.AI CEO Ashutosh Saxena rethink the design of senior living facilities to mitigate these risks. With automation, there is an urgency to go from high-touch to low-touch caregiving while dramatically reducing risk and cost. A case study cited in this article about a senior community in Las Vegas shows the benefit of this approach.
During the pandemic, normal caregiving services were suspended. "My biggest worry is that something would happen to her and no one would know," said the daughter of one senior resident. Seniors could have fallen down or left the stove on while the caregivers couldn't go in to avoid risking infection. With Caspar.AI's automation, such potential incidents are automatically detected and alerts are sent.
Caspar.AI also helps residents with living a healthy and engaged lifestyle, like opening curtains to let in natural light for motivation, recommending exercise routines and auto-managing gym access while maintaining social distancing.
"As the industry envisions the future of design, building, and operations of senior housing, there is a great opportunity to optimize the health, safety, and living experience of boomers over the coming decade," said Fritz Wolff, Chairman of The Wolff Company, ranked #12 largest U.S. apartment developers. Automation reduces the costs and risks for operators, enabling them to be at the forefront of this evolutionary shift in the senior housing market.
This is exactly the type of innovation needed from the technology community if we are to achieve the ambitious SDGs by 2030 and thus tackle the grand global challenges of our times.
Radhika Shah, Co-President, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, Investor, Caspar.AI, Advisor, SDG Philanthropy Platform, Stanford Center for Human Rights & International Justice. [email protected]
Senior Living made safer by AI
Seniors are the most vulnerable, especially in times of a pandemic. Automation reduces the costs and risks for senior housing operators.