Decoding the Wonders of AI for Social Care

by Sangha Chakravarty

Picture this: Mrs. Miggins, safely tucked in bed, sleeping soundly, her smart bedding system keeping watch. A subtle change in her breathing, a twitch in her sleep – the mattress detects it all, silently sending an alert to her carer.

Still sporting rumpled blonde hair and mismatched socks, Mr Johnson, greeted by Dilyn – a friendly AI companion on his tablet. “Fancy a round of Brexit Bingo?” Dilyn cheekily chirped. “I hear you still haven’t got a full house!” Mr Johnson chuckled, the loneliness he sometimes felt melting away in the digital banter.  

This is the magic of AI in Social Care – not replacing the magic touch of the carer but amplifying it to create a brighter future for those they dedicate their life to.

Demystifying AI:

What is AI, this buzzword everyone is talking about?

AI is not some Terminator lurking under the bed; it is like a super-powered brain humming away in your computer, trained on mountains of data – care records, daily routines, or even Mrs. Miggins’ love for shortbread! AI then uses this knowledge to learn, adapt, and make helpful suggestions, like predicting bathroom needs based on her routine. That’s AI in action, helping you care even better.

Brief Tech flashback:

AI is not 2020’s invention. Its roots stretch back to the 1950s, with Alan Turing’s mind-bending ideas about machines that think. Remember those clunky calculators? Fast forward, and things got supercharged with “deep learning” – imagine computers learning, absorbing information and evolving at lightning speed. Today, AI is everywhere, from Siri to self-driving cars (not quite ready for care home joyrides yet!).

Building Blocks of AI:

Data fuels this AI brain. Imagine Mrs. Miggins’ data, not as cold numbers, but as a code language you and her care team understand. Her care records, medication logs, even her Spotify playlist filled with Simon and Garfunkel – all these paints a picture of her unique needs and preferences. AI uses this data to help create personalised care plans, tailored to her, not to some generic template. It is like having a detailed map of her well-being, guiding you in making informed decisions with confidence.

Busting Myths:

• Myth: AI will steal care jobs.

Truth: Forget dystopian robots stealing the show! AI is the tireless sidekick, freeing carers from paperwork and mundane tasks. Just like Robin to Batman, it boosts power, letting carers focus on building relationships and delivering genuine care.

• Myth: AI is too expensive.

Truth: Budget worries are understandable, but AI is an investment in the future of personalised care. Imagine AI powered auditing system, saving 10 hours each week while identifying areas for improvement and ensuring compliance. Over time, this translates to enhanced care quality, reduced reliance on costly external resources, and more time for what truly matters: building connections with the care receivers and providing genuine, personalised care. Think of it like an investment with compounding interest, making your care even more valuable.

• Myth: AI is impersonal and one size fits all.

Truth: Not even close! AI can learn individual preferences and adjust their interactions accordingly. They will obviously not have the human touch, but they can bridge the gap of isolation, offering personalised support beyond medication reminders, like sharing jokes about politics with Mr. Johnson.

• Myth: AI is not safe for use in social care.

Truth: Data security is paramount! Like care providers wouldn’t compromise Mrs. Miggins’ privacy, neither would AI! Picture robust safeguards and ethical frameworks, ensuring information is used responsibly, with informed consent and clear audit trails. Think of AI as a trusted confidante, not a data-hungry monster peering over shoulders.

• Myth: AI will turn your care job into a tech headache.

Truth: AI is certainly changing the game, but not in the way one might think. It’s not here to turn the care job into a tech maze. Instead, think of it as a fresh chapter in the care journey, one where we embrace lifelong learning and discover how AI can boost our skills. The best part is there is no need to become a tech expert; Good AI tools are designed for real people, putting the power to personalise care and make informed decisions right in our hands. AI is our supportive colleague, helping us ditch the paperwork mountain and focus on care.

Join the Journey:

As I embark on this captivating journey of exploration, I invite you to join me. We will delve into the fascinating intersection of technology and human caring, uncovering the potential of AI to revolutionise care. Together, let’s rewrite the narrative with the warmth of compassionate care amplified by data and technology.


"Artificial Intelligence is a tool, not a threat”.
Rodney Brooks
Sangha Chakravarty CEO and co-founder of InvictIQ, is a leading advocate for data and technology’s strategic role in advancing Health and Social Care. She spearheaded the UK’s social care data movement Date Café and co-hosts TechCare, the nation’s exclusive podcast on the synergy between social care and technology. As board advisor for Impact Venture Groups, Sangha champions closing the gender gap in the start-up ecosystem and building foundational equity for women founders of all backgrounds to succeed.


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