Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A $20 Million Grant to Develop AI Technology for Older Adults

Last month, John Hopkins University received a $20 million grant to go towards the development of technology that would help older adults age in place and improve their health. The focus of this technological work is artificial intelligence, or AI, which has not been greatly used for this purpose. The grant is to be used over a five-year span in a collaboration between several schools at John Hopkins, including the school of Medicine and Nursing, and also caregivers, older Americans, tech developers and innovators and industry partners.

The goal of this work is to improve the functional and cognitive health of older adults so that they can live independently for longer, and enjoy functional lives.

AI is often thought of in terms of self-driving cars but helping the aging population is just as important, said Rama Chellappa, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Whiting School and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the school of medicine, as reported in the John Hopkins University Hub. In what ways could AI assist people aging? The sensors monitoring one’s gait could provide data that will help in producing devices that predict and prevent falls, whereas data from monitoring facial expressions could help determine signs of early dementia, thus informing people that they should seek treatment.

For example, data from sensors that monitor gait could be used to develop devices for predicting and preventing falls, and algorithms monitoring facial expression and speech could spot signs of early dementia to help people receive early intervention or treatment.

For more about the grant and to learn about some of the team who will be working on developing this AI technology, visit the Hub.

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