Cognitive computing to study reasons behind eldercare issues

IBM and the companies operated by Avamere (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, Home Health, Home Care) plan a six-month research project that will apply the power of IBM cognitive computing to help caregivers improve eldercare at senior living and health centers.

The companies say that, by analyzing data streaming from sensors in senior living facilities, Avamere hopes to gain insights into physical and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings into the factors that affect 30-day hospital readmission rates in patients.

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Avamere is working with IBM researchers to monitor movement, air quality, gait analysis, commonly seen as factors that typically lead to fall risk, and daily activities, including personal hygiene, sleeping patterns, incontinence and trips to the bathroom.

IBM will then leverage its cognitive computing to analyze this streaming sensor data to help Avamere create and maintain a contextual understanding of its residents.

"By combining IBM's expertise in cognitive eldercare with Avamere's knowledge of patients in the post-acute setting, we can gain insights that may help transform the way individuals age in place," said Ruoyi Zhou, director of accessibility research at IBM. "Helping Avamere uncover new insights can help family members, caregivers, nurses and physicians identify potential risks and better prescribe care to minimize hospital readmission."

"Smarter care management and creative population health solutions are necessary to meet the ever-evolving needs of our seniors," says John W. Morgan, CEO of Avamere.

Infinity Rehab, which provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to Avamere patients and residents, has already taken steps to integrate data collection and analysis into existing modalities to standardize therapies across the entire company. By integrating additional data sources, such as sensors, Infinity Rehab and Avamere hope to improve patient outcomes, increase efficiencies, and reduce cost to payers.

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