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Home Care

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Home Care

New report: AI and the Future of Care Work 2023

Why AI will be an enabler for care work. Healthcare delivery is migrating away from the hospital. As care delivery and consumer expectations change, the traditional fee-for-service model has already morphed into the new era of health-care consumerism – a patient-organized mix of self-care, urgent care, and in-home care, avoiding emergency rooms or long wait for a doctor visit. More seniors used telehealth at home during the pandemic – and today the landscape is set for growth in the use of AI in care delivery to augment, assist, and in some cases provide care:

Care coordination for older adults – still elusive, does tech help?

What is care coordination and why is it so elusive? Catching my eye – a relatively new company, Sage, offers a ‘care coordination’ platform for senior living, just received another $15 million. Sage apparently launched in the context of replacing the traditional PERS pull cord alerting system with rapid communication and updates through software. The term, care coordination, is vague and depends on context. But at its core, it means sharing information about care recipients across disparate care provider entities. Inside senior living, that may mean across members of care teams (was that not being done?), as well as across an senior living organization, with outside service and health providers and with families. 

Four factors underpin AI potential in health and home care

The US population is aging and will be needing more care. You read it every day in the popular press – the bad news about the 65+ and their future care burden and the good news about the 65+ and their wealth (22% of US spending in 2022). Even with wealth, older adults at some point in their lives will need some level of assistance. While professional care providers will play a key role, increasingly their work will be augmented by software -- apps, machine learning and conversational AI. Why?

Four observations from AI and the Future of Care Work research

You know the statistics and they are alarming.  Doctors and nurses are burning out, especially in the ER.  Turnover is highest in the lowest-paid care positions – home care is at a high point at 77% as of 2022.  Pressure is growing in senior living to ‘keep people well’ in conjunction with a higher level of acuity of care needs. Demand and costs are up, and availability of workers is down. Add the baby boomer population growth – all will pass 65 in just 7 more years -- in conjunction with a shortage of workers able and willing to help them. Hospitals are closing, particularly in rural areas – boosting expectations about care delivery in the home.  And in 2023, AI technology is emerging  to manage and even improve care. Here are four observations from the just-completed research interviews on this topic: 

Tech and the future of care work – five research midpoint observations

The halfway point -- research about Future of Care Work. Each interviewee was asked for thoughts in the context of the categories suggested by ChatGPT and any other categories that will improve the work processes for those in the care-related industries – home care, home healthcare, senior living care (including nursing homes), and hospital discharge processes to any of those. Few conversations focused on ChatGPT – instead it became apparent that innovation, including AI, is underway to optimize care work, focus on the workforce, and help keep care recipients at home:

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