Caregivers want to give their loved ones the best care they can. When it comes to senior health, the key lies in the early detection of signs that could lead to serious health issues requiring invasive medical procedures or hospitalization. Without unlimited support and resources, it is difficult for caregivers to constantly monitor seniors’ health and wellbeing.
CarePredict set out to use technology to better monitor and provide insights around seniors’ health. We had a chance to speak with their team about why they started the company and what kind of technology they are using to produce better care for seniors and more peace of mind for caregivers.
Why was CarePredict created?
“First and foremost, CarePredict was created by a caregiver to solve the challenges caregivers face on a daily-basis in providing preventive care to their loved ones. Five years ago, Satish Movva, the founder and CEO of CarePredict lived miles away from his 90 and 80-year-old parents in Fort Lauderdale. As their primary caregiver, he called them daily to check in, but during his weekly in-person visits, he almost always discovered new health concerns with his parents that invariably led to visits to the emergency room.
“As a 32-year health technology veteran, who previously developed the first mobile EMR (electronic medical record) on the Palm Pilot, Satish knew that there had to be a more effective way for him to provide the care that his parents needed and deserved. He noticed that in the days leading up to the ER visits his parents would exhibit changes in their activity and behavior that were telltale signs of underlying health issues. He began to look for technology solutions that could detect these subtle changes allowing him to act sooner and avoid last minute trips to the ER.
“Satish soon discovered that there were only two technologies being used to monitor seniors. The first was the personal emergency response systems (PERS) — a great tool for a senior to call for help when they needed it, such as after falling. This did not help Satish’s problem. He needed something that would enable him to be proactive, not reactive after the injury occurred.
“The second type of technology, ambient remote monitoring products, used motion sensors and switches on everyday objects like refrigerator doors to track general activity patterns. Unfortunately, these systems did not work if more than one person lived in the home, such as a couple. Visitors to the home further confounded any patterns that were detected. Also, Satish found it a massive leap of faith to believe that his parents had actually eaten just because the system reported that the refrigerator door was opened.
“Satish concluded that existing technologies were inadequate and obsolete, and he set out on the mission of creating the world’s first senior product that could unobtrusively determine the daily activity and behavior patterns of both of his parents individually and would alert him of anomalies — without having to rely on his parents’ diminishing powers of observation and self-reporting. CarePredict continues to solve this real-world problem for every caregiver and their loved one today.”
Why should caregivers use technology?
“Satish is not alone. Millions of caregivers rely on the observation powers of others to alert them when care needs to be provided to their loved ones. These caregiving challenges are compounded by increased longevity, higher rates of morbidity, and an acute decrease in the number of available caregivers. By 2050, there will be nearly 1.5 billion people over the age of 65, compared to 524 million in 2010.
“Conversely, the number of caregivers is declining, and the number of working-age adults to support the financing of care for elders is falling. Technology needs to be utilized to augment and force-multiply human observation in order to provide quality care for the growing number of seniors.
“A solution that provides continuous visibility is crucial to detect changes in activity and behavior patterns in a timely fashion — something that cannot be provided by intermittent human observation given the finite number of data points a human can both observe and remember. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in. AI can be used to bridge the caregiver-senior ratio gap and can be used to augment occasional human observation with continuous machine observation and deep learning neural nets to predict when interventions are needed.
“Many other industries are employing AI to solve analogous problems today. For instance, sensor-based technologies are being used to monitor everything from jet engines to cars providing vital visibility to intervene before critical components fail. Why can’t the same be used for human health? CarePredict is a predictive “check engine” light for senior health.”
What is the technology behind CarePredict?
“CarePredict is an AI-driven digital health company that has developed a deep learning platform to provide insights into seniors’ health by collecting data points using a smart wearable and smart remote sensors.
“The wearable, designed exclusively for seniors, collects data autonomously that is normally only observable by a human today. Machine learning and unique kinematics algorithms are used to quantify daily activities performed by the human body such as drinking, eating, sleeping, walking, grooming, etc. A unique sensor pack then adds contextual data such as the type of room where an activity is performed and environmental information, such as temperature, humidity, etc.
“CarePredict uses these unique and rich data sets to train deep learning neural nets to surface crucial insights like self-neglect due to depression, unusual toileting patterns due to a urinary tract infection (UTI), or increased fall risk due to malnutrition, lack of rest and dehydration. All of these insights are generated without requiring any self-reporting by the senior or need for another human observer. The power of this unique data set coupled with AI essentially provides a 24/7 net of continuous observation for the senior — giving caregivers unparalleled insight into the evolving health of the senior so that proactive measures can be taken to avert a more severe health issue.”
How do you see your technology making a difference in the lives of seniors and their families?
“CarePredict’s revolutionary products and services aim to markedly improve the lives of seniors and caregivers in many ways. First, the product provides tremendous peace of mind to both seniors and their loved ones. Second, our predictive technology empowers the caregiver with much needed real-time insights into the senior’s activity and behavior patterns that can be integral to identifying health concerns, such as probability of falls or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Globally, nearly 650,000 fatal falls occur annually. This makes falls the second leading cause of unintentional injury death. Falls are a significant public health problem, and are also the single most significant inflection point in aging. Every year over 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for hip fractures, and more than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling.
People over the age of 60 have a 25 percent chance of mortality within a year of falling and breaking a major bone. Thus, not breaking a bone can mean living a normal lifespan. Previous technologies focused on reacting to a fall: our efforts are to predict and potentially prevent senior falls.
Based on our AI detecting an increased fall risk for an individual, a physician can authorize physical therapy to help a person regain strength or balance so a fall can be prevented.
Urinary Tract Infections
A UTI is the second most common infection found in long-term care. Catching them two-three days earlier could reduce costs significantly – for example a few dollars worth of oral antibiotics versus tens of thousands of dollars worth of hospital stays – and also protect the elder from hospital acquired secondary infections and prevent antibiotic resistance. Our AI can predict the occurrence of a urinary tract infection 3.7 days on average before it is diagnosed.
“CarePredict is also expanding predictive analytics to more issues such as depression, malnutrition risk, and others.”
What is next for CarePredict?
“CarePredict products are currently used in senior group living facilities across the U.S. and Canada. We are expanding globally and launching in November into Japan followed by other markets in Asia, South America and Europe. We plan to launch a consumer-oriented version in 2019 and are launching pilots in Q4 2018. We plan to continue expanding the data sets we use to power our deep learning nets which will ultimately be able to provide insights to caregivers and health professionals giving them advance warning of impending exacerbations of chronic conditions.”