Making way for the next generation of AI aged care

(Gert Stockmans/Unsplash)

By Matthew Sims

Aged care provider McKenzie Aged Care will be collaborating with Victoria University and other tertiary education providers and partner organisations to fund 13 university student scholarships to work towards solutions for how the role of technology can improve service delivery in aged care.

As part of CSIRO’s Next Generation Graduates Program’s Developing Digital Capabilities to Support the Aged Care Sector initiative, McKenzie Aged Care will also be partnering with RMIT University and the University of Newcastle, as well as Fronditha Care, SmartHeal, Netlinkz and CSIRO’s Data61, to fund the scholarships over the next four years.

McKenzie Aged Care chief executive Simon Keating said there is no doubt that AI and other assistive technologies can assist staff and residents in the day-to-day operations in the residential aged care environment.

“We are thrilled to be involved with this exceptional group of organisations, universities and research bodies, who will be applying their knowledge and skills to develop a future aged care landscape that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies to reimagine the role that technology plays in an aged care setting,” he said.

“The program provides exciting opportunities for university students seeking a career in AI and emerging technologies, while helping to improve the future delivery of quality care to older Australians.

“Digital innovations, such as incident detection and using facial recognition to detect whether a resident is in pain or distress, along with technologies and software that improve the efficiency of administrative tasks, will allow the aged care sector to provide improved levels of care for older Australians.”

The program will provide stipends for domestic students at Honours and all postgraduate levels, actual industry exposure and partner placements to develop skills and allow them to network and will encourage students from all academic backgrounds to apply.

CSIRO estimates that Australian industry will need up to 161,000 new AI specialist and AI savvy workers by 2030.