The Future of Digital Living: Speaker Insights from Medical Guardian

by Parks Associates | Jan. 7, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 13th-annual CONNECTIONS Summit at CES, in Las Vegas, Geoff Gross, Founder and CEO, Medical Guardian shared his insights on the future of connected devices, smart home, and independent living solutions with the firm's analyst team.

Geoff will be participating on the Independent Living: Serving Consumers at Home panel during the conference on Tuesday, January 8, at 4:15 PM. Panelists joining him on this session include:

Steve Chazin, VP, Product Management,
Rob Flippo, CEO, MobileHelp
Chris Gibbons, Founder and CEO, The Greystone Group, Inc.
Claire Miles, Managing Director, Centrica Hive Ltd

As the number of connected devices in the home increases year-over-year, how can technology providers ease consumer concerns associated with data security and privacy?
With this booming growth of connectivity, there are more personal data and security concerns than ever before. Norton shares the average home contains five potentially harmful devices other than laptops, smartphones, and tablets including game consoles, printers, smart TVs, and more. The more connections within a home, the more privacy vulnerabilities for the consumer. Because of this, it’s important to understand how to protect your data security and privacy. 

The best way to counter a security threat is to ensure a device and connectivity design and paradigm focus extensively on both data and control security. In addition to creating strong, new passwords (updating each device regularly), it’s also important to use the strongest encryption available, such as WPA2, and set up a firewall to protect against all attacks. When you’re on-the-go, be aware of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, as they may not be secure, and you could be browsing on a hacked network. If devices, such as connected health devices or smart home devices, go on a network without proper security design, any security lapse will expose all levels of vulnerabilities including bad data and violation of data privacy.

How will AI, blockchain, and/or 5G technologies impact the smart home IoT, and connected entertainment landscapes in 2019 and beyond? What will be the impact for consumers?
Relating to healthcare, innovations in connectivity including AI, blockchain, and 5G, will transform the healthcare market, enabling people to live healthier, more connected, and longer lives. With the ability to transmit data faster than ever before and reduce bandwidth strain, these types of innovations will increase efficiency and pave the way for personalized 1:1 healthcare between someone in need of immediate healthcare assistance and a healthcare provider. 5G is the next generation of wireless technology with a high-bandwidth, low-latency network, set to revolutionize telehealth and how IoT and wireless products interact with one another. Whether that be through lightning fast response time, virtual reality or video streaming, IoT has the ability to enhance effective communication—providing help wherever and whenever someone needs medical assistance. Overall, advancements in connectivity will give individuals better access to higher-quality healthcare treatment, doctors, and overall experience.

What emerging technologies could tip the smart home scale from early adopter to mass market adoption?
Advancements in AI, machine learning, and natural language processing will drive smart home market growth. Overcoming challenges including simplifying installation steps, creating better user interfaces for simple user experience across connected devices, and reducing costs and pricing, will also be needed to tip the smart home scale from early adopter to mass market adoption.

What impact will DIY solutions have on the traditional security landscape?
Medical Guardian’s Family Guardian uses three in-home safety sensors, which enables family, friends, and caregivers to stay up-to-date on a loved one’s health and activity levels throughout the day. Loved ones and caregivers will also be alerted if the system’s safety sensors detect that the customer isn’t going about their normal routine or if they use their medical alert help button to request outside assistance. By implementing a DIY strategy within the traditional security landscape, there is great opportunity to increase customer base, as well as enhance current customer experience with remote support and round-the-clock protection.

How can companies capitalize on consumer interest in a home insurance-smart home connection? How will that interest impact business models for both sides?
The benefits of having a smart home go beyond convenience, energy efficiency, and safety, as smart home technology can also reduce insurance costs through home insurance discounts. Smart home technology reduces the risk for insurance companies to have to pay expensive home insurance claims, as homeowners are notified immediately when an accident within the home occurs. Not only is the homeowner notified, but they’re also able to remotely control their smart home technologies and appliances, virtually, i.e. shutting off the home’s water supply, or turning off certain appliances to prevent a house fire. By demonstrating that you’re being proactive in protecting your home through installing a smart home system, you’re protecting your family, property, and potentially lowering home insurance rates.

What are the best use case scenarios for voice technologies in the smart home?
Voice technologies are transforming the way people live and do business. Voice technologies are great for those who are not the most tech-savvy, as they use voice recognition and natural language processing to provide a service—conveniently saving you time and energy. It’s never been easier to multi-task with a voice technology in the smart home. Through hearing a wake word or a command, voice technologies can turn on lights, answer questions, play music, place online orders, call for help, and more. Additionally, if someone needs assistance, they can receive it faster than ever before simply by using their voice to have either emergency or non-emergency services contacted.

In the future, every household object within the home will feature voice capabilities, thanks to IoT, making voice experiences the heart of any smart home.

What trends do you see in home building and energy services for the smart home industry?
Many of the upcoming trends include providing additional value to consumers for smart home solutions. Through a smart home’s devices, energy can be optimized and controlled from anywhere with a smartphone. In the future, smart home solutions will coincide with in-home energy tools, so when one system is set, the other connected device is also automatically adjusted for a more energy efficient smart home. This type of energy efficiency will positively impact someone’s budget, home, and the environment.

How can the quality of life for seniors be impacted by smart home solutions?
The benefits of smart home solutions, ranging from medical monitoring to on-demand services to telehealth technologies are all aimed to improve the overall quality of a senior’s life. Some of the best types of technology for seniors not only provide some sort of service, but also enhance their independence, connection with others, and healthy aging. With the variety of at-home technologies available to consumers, today’s top aging challenges—mobility, falls, loneliness, and financial security—can often be solved within the home.

The demand for healthcare technology innovation driven by the aging population and the development of new health and wellness-related products and services have disrupted the aging and health industries in ways previously unimaginable, bringing incredible opportunities to choose how people want to live as they age. Rather than moving into an assisted living facility or nursing homes, there are more products, services, and technologies today than ever before that are helping older adults safely age in place—monitoring and sensor systems, mobile applications, at-home delivery for medical devices and prescriptions—as well as enabling smarter caregiving. By providing independent in-home living solutions and having life-saving resources at the tips of your fingers, care is brought directly to you. While some might hesitate to embrace technology, the truth of the matter is that there is really no escaping it. Smart home solutions allow seniors to live a life without limits, which is exactly what Medical Guardian aims to achieve for all nationwide clients.

For more information on the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES, visit:

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