The Future of Independent Living in the Smart Home - Insights from The Greystone Group

by Parks Associates | May. 29, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ 23rd-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, Chris Gibbons, MD, Founder and CEO, The Greystone Group, Inc. spoke with the firm’s analyst team to his thoughts on independent living in the smart home.

Chris participated on the Special Session: Independent Living in the Smart Home panel on Wednesday, May 22, at 3:30 PM. Panelists who joined him on this session included:

Jeff Cutler, Chief Commercial Officer, Ada Health
Chuck Hector, Chief Revenue Officer, Papa
Sean Kane, Client Engagement Manager, Mayo Clinic
Josh Locke, Director of Sales, Essence USA

Q: In developing smart home service offerings, how might service providers be thinking about partnership alignments that enable differentiation without the heavy investment of building everything from scratch?

A: In the healthcare and wellness smart home space, much of the needed technology has already been built. Therefore, hardware and software R&D is not often required. However, partnerships with digital health consultants, digital health service providers as well as technology hardware and software providers would avoid developmental costs and still provide significant ROI.

Q: What role will “white glove” or “last mile” services play to help onboard mass market consumers buying smart technology through new channels, such as homebuilders, insurance, energy, and healthcare?

A: Clearly last mile broadband service providers will be critical to achieving the vision, particularly in certain geographic areas that have fewer options available.

Q: As the number of connected devices in consumers’ lives increase each year, what solutions need to be created to allay rising consumer concerns around data security and privacy?

A: Enhancing security should be seen as an iterative and ongoing process that is part of all devices and solutions. Improving security and privacy standards to which all innovators and manufacturers must adhere is ideal.

Q: With the rollout of 5G technologies nearing, what impact will this technology have on connected consumers?

A: Ultimately 5G will usher in an age of truly “pervasive and ubiquitous” computing. This will erase barriers and challenges related to distance and time, enabling the “On Demand” economy to go beyond retail and enter the health sector to provide “On Demand care at the point of need”, the education sector to provide “On Demand” educational and skills development services. It will also enable significant economic growth through the development of a wide variety of jobs and services supporting the new “On Demand” economy.

Q: As the smart home experience expands outside the home, how will the role of the car evolve as part of the smart home ecosystem?

A: Advances in technology, connectivity and technology will enable the basic car to evolve from being merely a transportation vehicle into becoming a multifunctional consumer living space that enables multiple personalized living experiences. For example, currently if a person has a heart attack or stroke while driving, they would likely crash resulting in death. However, in the future, smart cars will be able to automatically detect the problem and transport occupants autonomously to the nearest critical care facility (which might be a Walmart, Minute Clinic, Consumer home or hospital) and begin providing needed healthcare services prior to arrival. By communicating with the traffic light system in the smart city, the car would open up traffic congestion to facilitate the fastest possible transport. The car would also send the critical health information, obtained not only from the car, but also the consumer’s home, personal fitness trackers and electronic health record, to the healthcare provider’s so that they could be prepared for the patient’s arrival but also influence therapy while the patient is still in route. The car would automatically execute potentially life-saving “treatments” via cloud based, AI driven algorithms as well as orders from the doctor examining the patient via the in-car A/V video link. The end result is more efficient, timely and personalized provision of healthcare, an enhanced transportation experience optimized for the consumers health condition and ultimately lower automobile accidents, injuries and deaths.

Q: What impact will emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and block chain have on the smart home? What are the associated challenges with implementing these technologies in the home?

A: The impact of emerging technologies on the smart home are potentially staggering. The largest impact be seen in those solutions that enable consumers to accomplish and achieve more of the things they want and need to do. Those solutions that enable new experiences will be the most disruptive.

Q: With smart home adoption flattening in 2018, what must the industry do to reach new buyers?

A: To be successful over the long run, the industry will need to better understand evolving consumer trends in related sectors (healthcare, education, transportation, retail etc.) and develop smart homes that address consumer articulated needs and provide new consumer value.

Q: What innovations have you seen that will address the existing needs of the elderly to enable independent living in the smart home?

A: There are many opportunities to support the independent living needs of the elderly. Those solutions that empower seniors, without requiring them to learn a new skill or buy a new device will provide the most value.

Q: How will the continued rise of DIY security expand the smart home?

A: The potential of DIY security in the smart home sector is analogous to the value and impact of the App store for smartphones. A huge number of innovations will be produced, some will have wide market appeal. Most will have relatively narrow market appeal, but collectively they will provide a tremendous amount of customization options for consumers. Far more than any one manufacturer or vender could hope to provide. This will ultimately prove beneficial and desirable to consumers.

Q: What strategies are needed to achieve a unified experience in the home for consumers between smart home and connected entertainment products and services?

A: On the one hand a coherent vision from the industry, for what this unified experience can or should be is needed. On the other hand, there is also still significant need for new consumer options that provide greater value than current offerings.
 



Next: Connected Health Market Insights - American Well
Previous: What is the Future of Independent Living? Insights from Ada Health

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