AI-powered robotic animals comfort dementia patients

A VA nursing home in Albany, New York, is using robotic animals with built-in AI to comfort patients with dementia, according to a report by WNYT News.

"The idea is that it's a non-pharmacological intervention that can help with anxiety, it can help with agitation, restlessness," psychologist Caitlin Holly, PhD, told WNYT News.

It was about two months ago when the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Nursing Home began using AI robotic animals with some of its dementia patients. The nursing home has a total of four AI robotic animals—one dog and three cats—and is looking to add more after receiving a positive response from patients so far. The animals cost about $100 each.

The animals are the latest way AI robots have impacted how healthcare providers care for elderly people. According to a recent report by Forbes, AI-powered solutions, like virtual assistants, are filling the void of a lack of skilled caregivers that help elderly patients who live alone.

Areas of elderly care being the most impacted by AI included: at-home health monitoring, smart devices for assisted daily living, smart devices for assisted fall detection and anti-aging research.

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