Social isolation and hypertension are the two most widespread phenomena that are affecting the lives of more than 35% of older adults in Canada (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 data, (iii) Artificial Intelligence via creating 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.
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 and blood pressure of its users via a smart watch 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.
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.
Naeem Komeilipoor (Founder & CEO)
Alexandre Marcotte (CTO)
Georges Hassana (CTO)
Nguyen Huy (Medical Advisor)
Richard Désy (Mentor)