How Can Smart Homes Help The Older Population?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 one in five US residents would be retirement age. This comes with healthcare provider shortage and increased costs.
That fundamental mismatch between an aging population and the current capacity for care in existing health systems has driven a host of smart products to the market, aimed at leveraging an increasingly connected world to meet the rising demand for healthcare services among seniors.
Most IoT-based efforts come in the form of wearables, such as CarePredict which works to gather activity data and share it with friends and family.
“e-skin” pajamas designed by Xenoma comes with sensors and identifies issues and analyzes vitals as the wearer sleeps. Another option that is in the market is something called the Cherry Home device. It sends alerts to the caregiver or family when the normal pattern changes or in case of fall. Images are not captured, but skeletal overlays of a human-based image are caught and sent. This allows them to stay independent and value their privacy while still being able to receive care when they need it.
Sekisui House is working with MIT to create Platform House, a connected home for the retirees. It is designed to have ambient technology, sensors, and more to quietly monitor the health of the users. While there have been plenty of innovations, it is yet to be seen if the older population finds it useful.
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