Social isolation and hypertension are the two most widespread phenomena that are affecting the lives of more than 35% of older adults in Canada, revealed by the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a landmark study of 50,000 Canadian aged 45-85 years (for a review, see; Kirkland et al., 2015). Here, we present a project called “AiFriend” that would improve healthy aging in senior Canadians by helping them with both social isolation and hypertension issues. AiFriend is a multidisciplinary project that involves (i) Medical and Health Sciences, (ii) Data Science and Machine Learning through mining of CLSA data, (iii) Artificial Intelligence via creating a robot and a voice chatbot, and (iv) Biomedical Engineering through designing and assembling a wearable diagnostic tool. In short, AiFriend is a friend, a personal assistant, and a nurse:
As a “friend”, AiFriend is an active and emotionally intelligent voice chatbot with the mission to encourage seniors to stay active, maintain social contacts, and make their daily lives more pleasurable. With the help of nonprofit organizations, AiFriend will provide places where seniors can meet, talk, and enjoy a variety of physical, social, and recreational activities. It also talks to seniors to prevent dementia and depression.
As a “personal assistant”, among other things, AiFriend will simplify seniors’ connections and communications with their family and friends. It also functions as a personal shopping advisor that will help them with a number of actions such as making purchase decisions, giving advice and narrowing product options and getting the best price based on their financial status.
As a “nurse”, AiFriend monitors heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, and oxygen of its users via a smartwatch and transfers the summary of the results to the users’ family doctors. In case of emergency, it will connect seniors to emergency physicians. It also reminds elders to take their medication on the due time, motivates them to be adherent with their regimens, and provides them with the opportunity to have virtual consultations with their doctors and health care professionals.
- Naeem Komeilipoor, Founder and CEO
- Ngoc Huy Nguyen, Medical Advisor (Physician, Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal)
- Rong Feng (AI and Robotics Engineer)
- Georges Hassana (AI Engineer)
Kirkland, S. A., Griffith, L. E., Menec, V., Wister, A., Payette, H., Wolfson, C., & Raina, P. S. (2015). Mining a unique Canadian resource: The Canadian longitudinal study on aging. Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 34(3), 366-377.