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AI and algorithms: optimising care for an ageing population 


With an ageing population in Australia, the demand for care workers and the service they provide has never been higher. With many older people wanting to receive care in the place they call home, providers want to find ways to meet their needs more effectively and efficiently. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms come into play. 

Even before the advent of AI models like ChatGPT, the care sector recognised the potential of AI in supporting home-based care. Providers know that they require sophisticated decision support tools to handle the vast amount of client data involved in care delivery. That’s why AlayaCare developed the Visit Optimiser – a tool for vacant visit scheduling. It’s a product which leverages innovative advanced algorithms, machine learning, and AI to help providers fill vacant visits, save time and resources, and better match care workers to clients.   

Understanding optimisation 

While we may not label our daily routines as ‘optimisation’ – that’s often what they are. When we ask ourselves how to travel from location A to location B, we might look for the shortest path. That is optimising our route within our day, and it’s a basic example of an algorithm.  

When we relate optimisation to the care setting, these algorithms are developed by a computer scientist, put together with a mathematician and people who have operations and research backgrounds. This is how AlayaCare created the algorithm behind Visit Optimiser, which is purpose built for the home care and disability ecosystems.  

Reducing the burden of manual scheduling 

A significant challenge faced by providers is manual scheduling and the filling of vacant visits.  Providers must ensure that care workers are matched with clients based on their specific needs, while also considering geographic route mapping to reduce travel time and fuel consumption. This is where AI, algorithms, optimisation, and machine learning come together to predict care requirements and provide clients with the best possible care worker based on all these variables. 

To achieve efficient scheduling and coordination, a provider’s software should have the necessary application programming interfaces (APIs) and interoperability technology. These tools facilitate seamless communication and scheduling among the care worker team, ensuring the efficient allocation of shifts.  

The challenge of staff shortages 

Across the sector, care workers are facing ongoing issues such as unnecessarily long driving routes, poor matches between their skills and a client’s needs, inconsistent placements, or lack of available staff to fill vacant visits. When providers must rearrange schedules due to unforeseen changes such as workers calling in sick, clients changing their appointments, or issues with family members—adjustments need to be made quickly and intelligently.  

For today’s providers, care workers who are not quickly assigned shifts and given a reasonably full work week may seek employment elsewhere, and even leave the profession for good. This is why optimisation is so crucial. Advanced algorithms that can analyse all of the data variables can provide schedulers with the best possible decision support for their workforce and clients. 

Humans and technology: enhancing care together 

The most important thing to remember is that the value we derive from AI and advanced algorithms is with humans as the co-pilots, or as we call it ‘a human in the loop.’ Software providers like AlayaCare are developing everything from predictive algorithms used to identify which clients are at risk of adverse events, like falls, and alerts for caregivers and clinical supervisors to indicate a client that is trending down. And as we’ve highlighted in this article, we have just created a visit optimisation feature for scheduling.  

AlayaCare and our AlayaLabs team understand the importance of addressing all variables involved in modernizing the home-based care industry and creating an easy-to-use application for both back office and front-line caregivers. That’s how AlayaCare’s Visit Optimiser tool was created, so that providers can streamline care provision and eliminate burden of manual scheduling manual. With AI-powered scheduling technology at their fingertips, providers are able to put more focus on retaining their care workers, winning the war on repetitive tasks, and achieving better outcomes for their clients. 

Want to find out more? 

To explore how Visit Optimiser can help your organisation, contact AlayaCare for a free demo today, by visiting  

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