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A newly developing AI tool will help staff predict health outcomes.

New AI tool to help homes be “more efficient”

A PhD candidate's research will aim to train AI to identify frailty and forecast health outcomes to make aged care homes "more efficient".

James Cook University researcher Jonathan Kong will train his AI to identify declining strength in older individuals and predict how long they’ll stay in an aged care home once admitted.

"In aged care, understanding frailty is essential as it impacts the level of care and resources required by people," Mr Kong said.

According to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare's data on older Australians, older people make up 16 per cent of the population, with around 456,000 using aged care services, including home care and residential care.

Research has also identified that more than half of the Australian population aged 65 years or more is estimated to be frail or pre-frail, with that population expected to grow rapidly.

By 2027, it is estimated that there will be 609,309 frail and 2,248,977 pre-frail people in Australia if frailty prevalence continues at current levels.

Mr Kong said the ultimate objective of his AI was to accurately predict the length of someone’s stay in an aged care home.

If successful, the research may help reduce the pressure on Australia’s strained aged-care workforce.

“I’m planning on producing a dashboard for real-time visualisation of frailty data," Mr Kong said.

"So, if you can imagine a top-down plan of an aged care facility, with each room colour-coded to indicate accurately the amount of care and assistance the resident needs in real time, that’s my goal.

"I’ll be using systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence (otherwise known as AI, and machine learning algorithms) where computers learn and improve their learning over time autonomously – to analyse health records."

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