Home Health I’m Stevie the Robot, here to help treat dementia

I’m Stevie the Robot, here to help treat dementia

by news dir

An AI creation from Trinity College Dublin, Stevie the Robot will arrive in Australia next year to see how it fares as an aid in caring for people living with dementia.

“Stevie the Robot can perform routine tasks such as reminding a resident that it is time to take their medication, making video calls to loved ones or dimming the brightness remotely,” said Marie Alford, Head of Business Development at HammondCare Dementia Center.

“Stevie would also be able to help with music therapy and exercise routines.”

HammondCare is an independent Christian charity and provider of health care and aged care services, with a focus on dementia care and palliative care. Recently, the HammondCare International Dementia Conference 2020 featured an appearance linked to Stevie’s video, which is approximately 1.4 meters tall and weighs 60 kilograms.

“We see the technology in partnership with healthcare professionals, not in competition.” – Associate Professor Connor McGinn

Ahead of next year’s Australian trial on Stevie’s assistance to HammondCare residents, Associate Professor Connor McGinn – who leads Trinity College’s research team – told the conference that such robots could “take the pressure off the staff.” rather than replace them.

He imagined that a robot like Stevie could free staff members to focus more on individual care. Alford said: “A robot cannot replace the role of health care workers or nurses or replace loved ones or other human relationships: we see the technology in collaboration with care personnel, not in competition.”

The placement of Trinity College robots in aged care facilities has gained attention in recent years (including being nominated by Time as one of the 100 best inventions of 2019). The healthcare system already features many examples of AI at all levels, and next year’s HammondCare study aims to show specific benefits for people living with dementia.

“There is also the potential for Stevie to play a role in supporting reminiscence through images, videos and stories,” Alford said, pinpointing the critical area of ​​memory. McGinn explained more: “A robot is able to instantly play any kind of song you might want to play.”

“If, say, you tell him that I grew up in a small town in WA, the robot – through his computer – has the ability to instantly find images or videos of that city.”

Overseas rehearsals with Stevie saw him act as a storyteller and a series of wellness exercises, bingo music games and quizzes such as Who wants to Be a Millionaire. Although Stevie will not be tested to play a key role in future responses to pandemics or similar outbreaks, his immunity to any infection could see him called upon to perform tasks considered risky for staff and residents.

But there are also other powerful contributions that robots could make, according to McGinn.

“If you take a look at the problems that are endemic in the long-term care sector around depression, loneliness, the feeling of social isolation, being able to overcome them has huge benefits,” he said.

“The benefits include better drug adherence, better sleep patterns, more social interaction, more cognitive engagement and slowing the damaging effects of dementia.”

“It is important to explore opportunities while being wise about the challenges.” – Andrew Nixon

Such as Eternity Treated this year with Professor John Lennox, the rise of AI presents an ethical minefield of what it means to be human, how AI machines make decisions, and the parameters of their use. Reverend Andrew Nixon is the head of HammondCare’s pastoral and volunteer services and said Eternity that, as a Christian organization, HammondCare “should be at the forefront of assisting best practices for people with dementia.”

“In this case, there is still a lot to learn about the role of AI and applications like Stevie the Robot, but we can see in society that AI is here to stay. So, it is important to explore opportunities, while being wise. on the challenges.

“We already have apps that read the Bible for us and apps that sing our worship songs for us. So, by itself, the use of technology is not necessarily a problem.

“If the robot is used as an alternative to human interaction, this is a problem.”

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