Plans For AI To Assess Frailty

A researcher from James Cook University will be adapting Artificial Intelligence to assess frailty in elderly individuals, aiming to make the care of older people more efficient.

JCU PhD candidate Jonathan Kong said there were already more than half a million Australians over 85-years-old in 2019, and that number is expected to treble by 2058.

“Frailty is a decline in physical strength, endurance and physiological function and an increasing vulnerability to adverse health outcomes.

“In aged care, understanding frailty is essential as it impacts the level of care and resources required by people,” said Mr Kong.

He said frailty assessment is complex and there is currently no uniform system and a wide range of assessment techniques in use.

“I’ll be using systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence – otherwise known as AI, and machine learning algorithms – where computers learn and improve their learning over time autonomously – to analyse health records and uncover indicators of frailty in these reports,” said Mr Kong.

He said the ultimate objective is to improve the accuracy of predicting the length of stay of patients in aged care homes.

“I’m planning on producing a dashboard for real-time visualisation of frailty data. So, if you can imagine a top-down plan of an aged care facility, with each room colour-coded to indicate accurately the amount of care and assistance the resident needs in real time, that’s my goal,” said Mr Kong.

He said the research could lead to better aged care management strategies and enhancing the quality of care for the elderly.

“The efficiency it will bring to addressing the challenges associated with resource and workforce limitations in the sector will also help support the sustainability of aged care into the future.”

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