Being a caregiver to an elderly person or an ailing patient can be quiet challenging. In most countries, caregivers are professional and paid for the work they do. However, the scenario in India is very different and this role usually falls on the shoulders of immediate family members. Most of the times this is voluntary by the family members and in a few cases, a distant relative may agree to take care. Here in India, a paid caregiver is not acceptable as most people think that it is the duty of the family to essay this role.
All said and done the role of a caregiver is not as easy as it seems. The professional caregivers are trained efficiently to take care of the elders and can handle them very well in stressful situations. However, family members are not trained and learn over a period of time that is a difficult task. Since India has a huge number of geriatric population, it is a matter of concern when it comes to the caregivers.
To overcome this problem, the students of second-year B.Tech students of IIT Kharagpur have designed an AI app – ‘CARE4U’ for the mobile. This app is aimed to become a digital caregiver for the elderly people of India. This innovation is certainly going to be a solution for the growing elderly population.
Aniruddha Chattopadhyay, a second-year student and an active member of the team states that they believe the AI should have an impact and improve the lives of people. They decided to try AI for the elderly since there is not much work where AI has been used for the older population.
While building the CARE4U app, two interconnected android apps for the smartphone were built. The app connects the caregiver and the elderly. One is installed on the caregiver’s phone and the other on the elderly’s phone.
Another team member stated that the best part of the app is that all the Machine Learning models can work on their own without the need for cloud service. Also, the app works well in the absence of the internet. It can clearly detect an emotion or a fall.
The CARE4U app is very versatile and is capable of performing daily activities like making calls, booking cabs and sending texts. It also has sufficient memory to record allergies and histories. Other features like an emergency button, real-time tracking of location and medicine reminder for taking the medicine are also present.
For getting reminders of medicines, a list of the medicine should be prepared and its photo is taken. The algorithm (image to text) in the CARE4U app automates the names and adds them to the list. The least the user has to do is to set the time at which the medicine is required to be taken.
CARE4U app also has a fall detection algorithm designed in the app. This is based on the neural network and detects whether the elderly have had a fall. In case of a fall, it immediately contacts the caregiver and emergency services with the exact details of the person.
CARE4U also comes with a feature to detect the mood of an elderly. Whenever the elderly open the app, it automatically captures the mood and updates the caregiver regarding the same. Accordingly, the caregiver can make notes on the mood and get back to the elderly. A cognitive chatbot has also been developed to engage with the elderly. It can also suggest their favourite song or quote to uplift their mood.
Recently, at the ‘vesAIthon’19’ sponsored by Capgemini and LeadingIndia.AI which was hosted by Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology, the CARE4U app received the first runners-up position for IIT Kharagpur.
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