How AI and machine learning can detect changes in Mom's routine

CES 2020: Learn about a new product to keep seniors in their homes longer using machine learning and IoT.

How AI and machine learning can detect changes in Mom's routine

TechRepublic's Karen Roby is at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. She spoke with Ryan Herd, the founder of Caregiver Smart Solutions, about a product that uses AI and IoT to help seniors and their caregivers. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Karen Roby: Ryan, we talk a lot about how technology will help the aging population in a million different ways, right? And this is something that will help caregivers make sure their loved ones can stay in their home longer? Explain.

Ryan Herd: Caregiver Smart Solutions will enable your loved ones to stay at home while reducing your stress as a caregiver. Being a caregiver--it's stressful, it's time consuming, and it's isolating. And how we're doing that, we're leveraging machine learning and AI.

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Karen Roby: Machine learning, AI--we talk a lot about that on TechRepublic and ZDNet. Amazing things are happening because of that. Explain a little bit about how that technology is powering your product.

Ryan Herd: With the use of smart technology, this is the first time that smart technology is not just doing the mundane. What I mean by that is, it's not just turning on your TV or putting up and down your thermostat. What we're doing is we're looking at your loved ones habits because we believe that your habit is an indicator of your health. 

For example, if mom gets up twice a night and goes to the bathroom, that's fine. Green check mark, everything's fine, but if all of a sudden, she gets up five times and goes to the bathroom three nights in a row, that's a problem. It could be a urinary tract infection.

Karen Roby: That technology behind it taking out or helping to compile the information that will lead to maybe a red flag that says something's going on.

Ryan Herd: Yeah. For example, through all these little sensors, we're mapping your loved one's habits. That's machine learning. Think of it as a big report card. From there, after about two weeks, we understand your loved one's habits, and as I said, she's getting up and going to the bathroom. Then we add AI on top of it. 

For example, let's say mom gets up, two o'clock in the morning; she goes to the bathroom and she goes into the kitchen and makes a cup of coffee and sits in the living room and turns on the boob tube. Maybe she does that once. That's a one off, check mark. That's not a big deal, but all of a sudden, she does that two or three nights in a row. That's where AI kicks in because we're comparing that to older stuff, and that could be what's called Non-24. That's where your circadian rhythms flip day and night, and now you're up at night instead of during the day.

Karen Roby: Very interesting. It really is incredible what AI machine learning--I know a lot of people are kind of scared of it in some things, but really, when you think about something like this, it can have amazing impact.

Ryan Herd: Well, the big thing about it is when you're talking about environmental sensors, it's the little things that matter. For example, let's say grandma is vacuuming the house every Wednesday, and we could see that. We could see her moving throughout all the rooms. Now over time, we start to see her moving around on Tuesdays and Sundays and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That could be an early indicator of dementia. That's the power of AI. Looking at those things, going out there and pulling information in, and saying, "It could be this, or it could be that."

Let's say it's a nurse there. Let's say you took mom to the--maybe she went to the doctor, and she got some medications. There's a lot of things we'd like to know afterwards. For example, when mom took that medication, is she eating more or is she eating less? Is she moving around more or is she lethargic? Is she going to the bathroom more or less? We want to know if the meds are actually working.

Karen Roby: Very good. Ryan, we certainly appreciate you talking with us. We have much more coming up for you on CES 2020.

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