UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Are we ready for artificial intelligence health monitoring in elder care? Ho, Anita


Background: The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in the aging population, challenging the sustainability of traditional care models that have relied on in-person monitoring. This debate article discusses whether artificial intelligence health monitoring may be suitable enhancement or replacement for elder care. Main text: Internationally, as life expectancy continues to rise, many countries are facing a severe shortage of direct care workers. The health workforce is aging, and replacement remains a challenge. Artificial intelligence health monitoring technologies may play a novel and significant role in filling the human resource gaps in caring for older adults by complementing current care provision, reducing the burden on family caregivers, and improving the quality of care. Nonetheless, opportunities brought on by these emerging technologies raise ethical questions that must be addressed to ensure that these automated systems can truly enhance care and health outcomes for older adults. This debate article explores some ethical dimensions of using automated health monitoring technologies. It argues that, in order for these health monitoring technologies to fulfill the wishes of older adults to age in place and also to empower them and improve their quality of life, we need deep knowledge of how stakeholders may balance their considerations of relational care, safety, and privacy. Conclusion: It is only when we design artificial intelligence health monitoring technologies with intersecting clinical and ethical factors in mind that the resulting systems will enhance productive relational care, facilitate independent living, promote older adults’ health outcomes, and minimize waste.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)