Inspenet, August 14, 2023.
In China, the implementation of care robots that aim to assist social workers in their tasks is becoming a reality.
Currently, there is a striking disparity between the 320,000 caregivers available and the 8.1 million residents in senior care centers in China. The country’s regulations require one caregiver for every four residents, which shows a marked gap in coverage. Given this situation, the Chinese authorities are planning the introduction of a contingent of robot caregivers with artificial intelligence to fill the lack of human resources in caring for the elderly.
The shortage of personnel in the health and social field is largely due to the rapid aging of the population in China. This challenge is addressed by Gao Hongjun, who is the director of a care center for the elderly in downtown Shanghai and mentions it in an interview with Chinese online media Sixth Tone:
“As the number of elderly grows, care resources are not maintained, smart machines are needed to reduce people’s workload. Otherwise, everyone will get tired and will not be able to take good care of the elderly.”
Care robots and their presence in the world
Both in China and in other countries, the production of robots designed for companionship, rehabilitation and medical care functions is already underway. Although they are not yet produced in large numbers, it is anticipated that there will be government backing for these companies to ensure prompt assistance to older people in need of care.
A Guangdong province-based research firm has projected considerable growth in the smart healthcare market over the next decade. It is expected that by the year 2027, this market will exceed by more than three times its size registered in 2021.
In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the development of companion robots that have artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and sensors that enable them to understand and respond to human emotions. These robots are also capable of holding conversations, playing games, remembering medication intake, and even monitoring the well-being of patients.