‘Elderly Alexa’ helps families care for their remote loved ones via voice

Past night time on Saturday Evening Live, a spoof advertisement for an “Alexa Silver” poked mild exciting at how an Alexa speaker could be applied with the aged to do factors like hear to their prolonged, rambling stories (and answer with “uh-huh”), as perfectly as response questions even when addressed as “Alaina,” “Allegra,” “Aretha,” or other names.

But employing an Alexa gadget with senior citizens is really a good idea — as a hack at today’s TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 hackathon exhibited.

The hack’s creator, Brett Krutiansky, a personal computer science student at Northeastern in Boston, says he came up with the idea for “Elderly Alexa” mainly because each of his grandparents need to have added treatment. His grandfather suffers from dementia and his grandmother has problems seeing, and each have vertigo.

His mom is continuously apprehensive and stressed about her parents’ well-getting — sometimes frantically calling neighbors when she cannot arrive at them at residence. Krutiansky says he’s offering his hack as a Mother’s Working day gift to help relieve her brain.

The voice app he constructed — or “Alexa Talent,” in Amazon’s lingo — is enabled on an Echo speaker, supplying an interface concerning people and their loved types who need to have excess treatment.

By means of “Elderly Alexa,” the elderly can talk to Alexa what medicine they need to have to take and what they’ve by now taken by stating “Alexa, medicine.” This also triggers an AWS Lambda party that e-mails their family members members monitoring their treatment.

Alexa will answer to users’ questions about medicine by telling them the title of the medicine they need to have to take, dosage and time of day it desires to be taken.

She will then talk to if they experienced by now taken the medicine. No matter whether the person responses “yes” or “no,” an e-mail is sent to the family members member monitoring their treatment.

In addition, the family members member can deliver back the subsequent item on their to-do list in an accompanying iOS app or get in touch with them to remind them about their medicine. The idea is that, if this daily email doesn’t arrive, the family members member will know a thing could be wrong and can community with some others in a team chat room to examine. For occasion, a family could decide who’s driving over that day to check out in on mother or father.

Of course, Krutiansky notes, the Alexa Talent could be applied with any person needing added treatment — not just the aged.

The challenge was constructed employing the following technologies: AWS (DynamoDB, Lambda & SES), Node JavaScript for the Alexa code, Swift for the iOS app and PubNub APIs for the chat room.

Next the hackathon, Krutiansky says he will get the job done to make the chat method more person-friendly, will improve the press notification method and will introduce reminders for the list in the iOS app so treatment suppliers can also keep in mind what they need to have to do.

In the potential, he also desires to insert performance to remind grandparents about other factors they need to have to do, as perfectly.

“Sometimes, my grandfather [who has dementia] forgets to shower,” he says. “My mother desires to know he’s been in the shower that day.” Alexa could later remind him about this, alongside with his medications.

When there have been other equipment that have been designed for aged treatment in specific, Krutiansky believes the ubiquity and cost of Echo speakers is an benefit.

“I’ve noticed that one particular,” he says, referring to the Intuition Robotics speaker, for example. “But it is a pair hundred bucks compared to $50,” he claimed pointing to the Echo Dot.

Krutiansky plans to publish it to the Alexa Talent Retailer so his mom can use it soon.







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