Tech innovation is already working to facilitate elderly care and wellness say FIU Business experts.

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Innovation in healthcare can provide solutions to help aging populations live a healthier and happier life. Advances can help facilitate care coordination, medication adherence, remote patient monitoring and access to healthcare.

“Technological innovations such as artificial intelligence hold the promise to break the iron triangle [of healthcare],” said Min Chen, associate professor of information systems and business analytics at FIU Business.

Experts shared their insights at "AgeTech: Innovative Solutions to Address the Unmet Needs of Older Adults and Their Caregivers." The joint event was presented by FIU Business and the South Florida Chapter of Health Information Management Systems Society.

Improving healthcare and the delivery of health services for older adults is critical as the U.S. population ages. The U.S. Census forecasts that by 2035 people aged 65 and over are expected to number 77 million.

Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, medical devices, applications and network technologies, allow physicians to track patients’ medical care outside of an office setting and intervene remotely when necessary.

“Medical algorithms analyze a patient’s reports to identify patterns and we need to understand their medical issues, background and other factors to determine care planning,” said Pouyan Esmaeil Zadeh, assistant professor of information systems and business analytics at FIU Business.

One of the biggest challenges, he noted, has been getting patients to adapt to the devices or technology required for remote patient monitoring.

“Patients use it for one thing or one month; there’s a lack of trust,” said Zadeh. “Also, the technology is too much for them. If a robot malfunctions who’s going to respond if there are no regulations?”

Using big data, healthcare providers and health administrators can learn more about their patients and the care they provide to them.

A patient’s laboratory results, medication history, radiology reports, and clinical care records are integrated into a system that makes the data available to all medical professionals involved in the patient’s care.

“It’s not about machines replacing physicians,” said Chen. “The information can be reviewed, and the clinicians and patients work together to make the final decision. It’s a clinical decision support system.”

The machine learning-enabled system also combines patient medical history and current symptoms with social determinants of health and alerts doctors when patients are at risk for incidents such as a stroke or other conditions.

Looking at a fast-changing future, the professors offered words of advice to students.

Chen: “Develop a holistic view to keep people healthy and understand the different stakeholders.”

Zadeh: “Understand and trust new artificial intelligence skills for physicians. Try to keep abreast of the latest technology - robotics and machine learning is the future.”