Using Facebook messenger, the chatbot named Ella checks in with elderly residents every morning and then alerts Red Cross staff when a patient needs help.
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To aid staff members’ efficient allocation of appointments, and to help identify potential emergencies as early as possible, the Singapore Red Cross has begun working with a chatbot named Ella. Run via Facebook messenger, the chatbot checks in with participants in the organization’s Home Monitoring and Eldercare program. Every morning, Ella asks how each person is doing. If the answer is “not great,” she sends an automatic email alert to the Red Cross team so someone can attend in person.
Ella can also provide personalized reminders, such as when to take medication and other home healthcare tasks. Having successfully completed a trial period in June 2017, the team plans to expand usage of the chatbot, including encouraging volunteers to sign up to the service.
As the world’s population ages, elderly care is a booming service industry. With innovations ranging from home sharing services that match empty nesters with those looking for affordable accommodation to purpose-built retirement communities for specific groups and interests, being just some examples of how the word is adapting for elderly care. But how might eldercare innovations be tweaked to provide support for members of the “sandwich generation” – those caring simultaneously for children and aging relatives?