Meet Addison Care the caregiver. She can connect you with a doctor at any time of the day; immediately call for help if you meet with an emergency; and even has a string of rehab exercises up her sleeve.
Oh, and she’s a virtual animated character.
Tech such as augmented reality (AR), telemedicine and the Internet of Things (IoT) have enabled a slew of healthcare services to be brought out of the hospital and into the home. Here are three remote care trends to watch, and how Amazon Web Services (AWS) is supporting them.
Augmented reality home care
Addison Care was built by Electronic Caregiver, a US-based company that provides health and safety monitoring services. It is an interactive, voice-controlled tool that provides chronic care management, rehabilitation, aging in place, behavioral health and care coordination for patients of all ages.
Users can talk to Addison Care through tablets installed throughout their homes. These would be connected to a network of wireless visual sensors, AI-based processors, Bluetooth biometric wearables, and emergency monitoring devices.
Addison Care can also provide ongoing health monitoring. As it keeps an eye on patients, it can learn to detect anomalies such as gait changes, and remind patients to take their medication. This reduces the need for in-home human caregivers, which some families may not be able to afford.
Electronic Caregiver chose to design an animated AR character to interact with users, so it would be more approachable and easier to use. Amazon Sumerian came in handy here. This AWS service helps developers create and run virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D applications promptly, without specialised programming or 3D graphics expertise.
Addison Care also uses services such as Amazon Lex to understand language and Amazon Polly for lifelike text-to-speech. It also uses AWS Amplify to securely host the mobile web applications and navigate smoothly between its Amazon Sumerian animations.
AI-powered telehealth mobile app
The Covid-19 pandemic has truly shown us the merit of virtual doctor consultations. They keep non-critical patients away from the risk of hospitals, while still giving them access to care.
UK startup Babylon Health allows users to consult doctors through text and video messaging on its mobile application. It uses natural language processing to understand what patients tell them.
It then processes that information with one of the largest knowledge base in primary care medicine, which boasts 530 million bits of knowledge. The application will suggest a probable diagnosis, then use predictive analytics to tell patients how their condition could progress, if they follow an existing course of action.
As the application interacts with patients, it learns to make better conclusions from every interaction with deep learning and machine learning.
Babylon Health was able to expand this application globally through its technology supported by AWS artificial intelligence and cloud capabilities. Instead of finding space for servers and setting them up individually, AWS allowed the company to distribute its servers globally, allowing Babylon Health to seamlessly globalise.
Track pharmacy drugs with RFID
Pharmacies are home to hundreds and thousands of drugs. Little vials and packets are stowed away in drawers nestled in narrow towering shelves. Keeping track of all these takes time.
Kit Check, a startup in Washington, D.C., has come up with a way to track medicines quickly. It uses a custom radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader and RFID tags attached to medication vials and cloud services to automatically check the contents and age of medications. These medications are stored in kits that may contain up to 150 different drugs commonly used throughout hospitals.
Tagging each type of medicine with RFID has cut manual processing time from 30 minutes to just three minutes. This saves large hospitals at least US$180,000 a year in labour costs.
Kit Check also has a similar solution to help anesthesiologists in the operating room.
The startup was able to launch this tool quickly and affordably with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Amazon RDS helps to manage information on more than 6 million tagged drugs, which eliminated the need to hire a separate database administrator.
AWS has broad support for compliance measures, which opened talks with large prospective customers and provided a path for secure compliance in the cloud with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the US law for health data protection.
Covid-19 has given hospitals the opportunity to rethink the delivery of healthcare services, so doctors can reach more patients. AR, virtual consultations and IoT will be crucial tools in this journey.