The pandemic has opened up the world of biometric surveillance: smart tests, vital signs, data patterns, wearable sensors and apps to monitor wellness and unwellness. These technologies not only seek to extend the powers of care and detection, some also promise to alert the individual to the fact that they are sick, even before they notice it themselves.
Care.ai calls itself a comprehensive AI-powered monitoring system for hospitals, senior centres, and even homes. It bills itself as a kind of all-seeing and all-knowing AI that can be virtual doctor, nurse, caregiver, observer, and guardian. According to its website, care.ai claims to give its clients “AI Super Powers: What if your care team had a Digital Guardian with thermal and x-ray vision and a sixth sense to predict problems before they occur?” Some of its features include ‘self aware rooms’, ‘virtual sitting and visits’ and ‘AI bedside monitoring’.
Can technology provide the same kind of care and protection as human health care providers? What is lost when health care is outsourced to artificial intelligence?