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CES 2020: Connected Health & Independent Living

The connected health industry has been experiencing a shift the past five years to a more consumer-centric model. This year at CES 2020, exhibitors demonstrated a clear move toward marketing their solutions as beneficial to the consumer’s overall health and wellbeing rather than focusing on a specific aspect of the consumer’s life. This is especially true of solutions marketed toward older consumers and people caring for their loved ones.

The shift toward sensor-based technology in the home is a significant component in connected health solutions geared toward independent living for seniors. While sensors detect situations that may warrant emergency assistance like a fall or fire/smoke warning or notify caregivers when something is amiss, they also assist in providing simple daily notifications (oven on, garage door open, etc.) to seniors. Some sensor-based solutions also have the ability to sense a shift in a user’s gait or daily habits, providing real-time feedback that can prevent potentially debilitating health events and give the user greater peace-of-mind.

At CES 2020, Plume introduced new technology poised to have a significant impact on sensor-based solutions in the connected health and independent living spaces in the near future. Utilizing Wi-Fi waves, Plume’s Motion turns the smart devices in a consumer’s home into camera-free motion sensor, transforming the whole home into a sensor providing real-time updates. Though Plume’s new technology does not yet have a specific health use case, the company anticipates this technology being used as part of health-focused systems within the year. 

The non-invasive aspect of most sensors is a key value proposition for sensor-based health technology, and one that older consumers find very important. Parks Associates research shows that nearly 90% of consumers age 65 and older identify living in their own home for as long as possible as a top priority, meaning connected health and independent living solutions combining health and safety with the promise of peace of mind will become more prevalent in the coming years.

Other data highlights from Parks Associates research include:

  • 9% of US broadband households consider the ability of a connected health device to interact with a security system or smart door lock to perform an “all is well” check at night appealing.
  • 15% of US broadband households have a connected pedometer/fitness tracker, 11% have a smart watch, and 5% have a connected sleep-quality monitor.       
  • 13% of seniors 65+ and 30% of caregivers consider voice control a must-have feature for independent living system.
  • 27% of seniors 65+ report safety monitoring is a must-have feature for an independent living system.  
  • 22% of US consumers used a self-diagnosis app in past 12 months.  
  • 25% of people with a chronic condition believe on-demand remote consultations would help them better manage their condition.

For an in-depth look at personal emergency response systems (PERS) and the future of home sensor-based systems in the senior assistive technology space, check out the recently published Enabling Independence: Connected Solutions for Seniors and Caregivers.

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