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S7: #069: Aging in Place with AI, Robots and Sensors

29 minutes

In this episode, we examine the problems faced by millions of people, their families, and caregivers, as they work to maintain their mental and physical health as they age. We look at new in-home technologies that combine Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, sensors and a range of other technologies to create very different solutions that help maintain independence and manage and monitor health.

I’m joined on this episode by two guests. Our first guest is Dor Skuler, he’s the CEO and co-founder of Intuition Robotics. Also, joining me is Assaf Sella, the CEO and co-founder of Kytera. We dive into the ways that technology can be used used to solve these problems, and how it can make an impact on people who are aging, and their families.

In many parts of the world, the accepted standard is that once someone reaches the age of 65, they’ve automatically and magically been transported to the beginning of old age. Careers end, discounted movie and train tickets begin as people move from being seen as economic assets and contributors to a financial burden.

When the first pensions were introduced in Prussia around 1880, people weren’t really expected to live much beyond 65. We can debate whether someone who is 65 today should automatically be classified as ‘old’, but that’s a conversation for another day. What we should be able to agree on is that we need to find ways to keep everyone healthier longer – not just increase their lifespan, but increase their “healthspan”, like we talked about on episode 65 with Dr Jack Kreindler.

One of the key questions surrounding care for aging populations is can people keep healthy and active at home so we can prevent or delay the point at which they require more intensive, and more expensive, access to the healthcare system. This desire to ‘age in place’ needs to be balanced with the risks associated with people living independently, and with the need to maintain their mental health to avoid loneliness and isolation. In this episode, our guests show us how this can be achieved with new solutions and approaches to aging in place.

Today's Topics:

  • What smoking and loneliness have in common.
  • How Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) can affect the way we interface with technology.
  • The difference between reactive and proactive home automation technology.
  • How Pixar inspired the design of ELLI-Q
  • How sensors, not cameras, can be used to monitor activity and health
  • The use of AI to understand habits such as hygiene, nutrition, sleep and activity, and quickly spot problems and trends 
  • The processes involved in sending important notifications to remote caregivers, health professionals, and other family members.

Links and Resources Mentioned:


ELLIQ - The active aging companion

This episode is made possible in part by Start-Up Nation Central. Download the 2018 Digital Health Report and try out the Start-Up Nation Finder platform. See how Start-Up Nation Central can help you connect to the people and technologies working to address your most pressing challenges. 

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Start listening to S12: #113: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on Women's Health, Social Determinants of Health, and the 'She-cession'
Start listening to S12: #113: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on Women's Health, Social Determinants of Health, and the 'She-cession'