Smart Homes Increasing the Reach of Home Care

By Valerie VanBooven, RN BSN, Editor in Chief of | August 24, 2018

With the explosive growth of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), a network of devices that are connected to the Internet, which can include basic devices like laptops and tablets but also dishwashers, TVs, washing machines, and so much more, it’s possible to control numerous devices from home or away. It’s also making it more likely that people who need some level of care at home can receive remote assistance and monitoring.

Smart homes (homes that are connected through technology as a means of scheduling services, turning on and off lights, etc.) provide greater flexibility and opportunity for someone who may need direct health care to remain home while getting healthy or staying safe.

Digital health vendors are capitalizing on these smart home technologies and it’s providing elderly and disabled people more choices when it comes to potential long-term health issues.

As reported by Telecoms Tech News, in its blog, How smart homes are enabling new models for healthcare, written by David H. Deans:

“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.””

As people become more aware of their health and various options for short and long-term care, as well as the benefits of being at home, especially for longer duration ailments, these technologies open more avenues through which patients can be cared for. It also allows doctors, hospitals, and home care aides greater tools to offer improved access to care.

Not all homes are considered ‘smart homes’ (in fact, it’s only a small percentage throughout the country that qualify as a ‘smart home’), but more and more devices, appliances, and other opportunities are coming to light each year and that’s making it more possible to provide better care and support to a growing number of people who prefer to age in place or stay home as opposed to being in a care facility for an extended period of time.