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While we don’t know everything about COVID-19, we know it hits older populations harder than younger ones. “How can we take care of seniors while keeping them safe?” asks Stanford HAI Denning Family co-director Fei-Fei Li. “Nowhere is safer than home if one doesn’t need to be in a hospital.”

One solution could help protect seniors against COVID-19 while managing chronic illness: in-home sensors and cameras combined with AI-assisted technologies that can gather and analyze information as varied as fevers and sleep patterns. The privacy-protected information can then be shared with clinicians and family, keeping seniors safe while maintaining their independence.

Of course, ethics, privacy, and security are paramount in this system; the research process needs to be HIPAA-compliant and approved by the Institutional Review Board for human subjects. “This is not a technology in which we want to see unintended adversarial consequences for our vulnerable population,” Li says. And to ensure that, our team of technologists is working closely with geriatricians, clinical researchers, bioethicists, legal scholars, security researchers and multi-stakers.

Li spoke during Stanford HAI’s COVID-19 and AI virtual conference. Watch her session here, and view the full conference here