An elderly man dances with a carer
Photo credit: Fronditha Care

Victoria University will share in just over a million dollars from CSIRO to look at how artificial intelligence (AI) could improve the quality of life and wellbeing of those living in aged care.

Partnering with aged care service provider Fronditha Care, five VU PhD projects will look at using AI and wearables to:

  • minimise risk of injuries and falls in aged care
  • generate memories
  • predict early-onset dementia, using computer vision
  • mine data in health records to predict adverse events in aged care
  • process high-dimension biological signatures to predict disease and ageing factors.

CSIRO estimates Australian industry will need up to 161,000 new AI graduates and AI-savvy workers by 2030, which is why it has established the Next Generation AI Graduate Program and the Next Generation Emerging Technologies Graduates Program.

The programs provide scholarships to domestic students, working in partnership with industry and universities to grow a pipeline of job-ready AI graduates from fields of engineering as well as from social, biological mathematical and computational sciences.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Partnerships Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos said that VU has the multidisciplinary expertise and strong industry partner to make a real impact in the aged care sector with AI.

“Quality care is important to everyone, including next-of-kin and service providers. Using emerging technology to improve aged Australian’s quality of life and be at the cutting-edge of care and research is at the heart of this project,” Professor Apostolopoulos said.

Fronditha Care President Jill Taylor said this project will put the industry at the forefront of cutting-edge technological advances to help address challenges facing Australia’s ageing population.

“I expect the evidence gathered as part of these research studies will make a significant difference to the lives of our older Australians in aged care, and in the community,” Ms Taylor said.

VU will work with RMIT and University of Newcastle and industry partners Fronditha Care, together with McKenzie Age Care Group Pty Ltd, Netlinkz and SmartHeal to develop the next generation AI graduates to challenge the aged-care sector.

The project includes researchers from VU’s Institutes of Health and Sport and Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities.

Over the next four years, a total of 13 students will be trained and just over $1.64 million will be invested by CSIRO and industry partners. PhD students will receive a generous stipend, tuition fee waiver, opportunities to work and be trained at VU and CSIRO’s Data61.

Interested applicants, please email [email protected].