How smart homes are enabling new models for healthcare services
Home-based healthcare options have exploded since the availability of internet access has become pervasive. Moreover, as healthcare shifts from reactive to proactive patient care, a huge market is ready for automation products that can help deliver health and wellness services through smart home solutions.
The ubiquity of broadband connectivity, development of smart sensors, and the decreasing costs of devices have already made it possible to offer aging-in-place, chronic disease management, and post-acute care services in smart homes.
Smart healthcare market development
However, digital health vendors are striving to take telehealth to the next level by developing solutions that will allow caregivers to check on the health of all the residents of the house, not just the patient's, monitor diet and nutrition, the environment, and overall wellness, and be integrable with existing and newer systems.
"Patients are conscious of their health quotient and want to be involved in the wellness and disease management," said Sowmya Rajagopalan Global Program at Frost & Sullivan. "With consumerization of healthcare, enabling patients to clinically manage their disease at home has been of crucial importance for care providers and OEMs today as they have made this a reality with the launch of innovation in design, devices, services, and solutions."
The latest Frost & Sullivan market analysis examines the concept of a smart home delivering healthcare. It segments all the resident profiles and lists the individual health needs that are relevant to healthcare delivery in the home.
The health and wellness segment of the "connected homes" market revenues was $6.67 billion and it's expected to grow to $22.26 billion by 2022 -- that's at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.3 percent between 2017 and 2022.
Several vendors have unique capabilities and value propositions to serve the smart homes market for healthcare delivery, with a variety of their smart solutions. That said, there are further expansion opportunities in the healthcare segment:
- Providing an intelligent layer that will collect and analyze data to generate precise, customized insights for sharing with residents, caregivers, and clinical care teams;
- Developing solutions that enable further actions, such as hailing an ambulance or notifying the care team of a heart attack or a fall;
- Enhancing pre-defined architecture, protocols, and standards to enable easier integration of products into platforms; and
- Offering smart thermostats, virtual voice assistance devices, and smart security systems, in addition to ensuring tech development for residents, patients and caregivers.
Outlook for more health tech innovations
Any solution that can monitor the health of various individuals in a single house, using cross-industry business models, while operating in a stringently regulated industry, will have to be highly dynamic, integrable, and interoperable.
While the barriers to market entry seem high, there are substantial opportunities for automation and health tech vendors that are keen to develop technologies, products, and models for this market.
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