The smart home has many benefits in terms of convenience and security. But Frost & Sullivan points to another area where it believes the trend will become extremely valuable: healthcare.
Frost & Sullivan believes that the home will become an increasingly valuable site for enhancing the healthcare experience as part of the progression of digital, remote, connected and virtual care. Health systems are evolving beyond care delivery of the diseased to encompass numerous health and wellness touchpoints, transforming it from disease management to health management.
At the company's executive briefing in Singapore, the topic "The 2025 Smart Home for Delivering Healthcare" was discussed.
"With the transition from volume- to outcomes-based care, there will be significant impact on patient engagement strategies in terms of adoption of wearables, apps and digital therapeutics with value and innovation remaining relevant," said Reenita Das, Partner and Senior Vice President, Transformational Health.
The company believes that the smart home will be one of the most notable disruptions in healthcare services over the next five years, including a connected ecosystem of sensors and devices on and around the individual at home. Smart homes, says Frost & Sullivan, can amplify the benefits of precision health through personalization, decentralization, collaboration, and prevention. And they will evolve from serving critical care needs to monitoring and managing overall health and wellness of the individuals.
Driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies, smart home can deliver improved consumer experiences by communicating data between wearables, home monitoring devices, home-based sensors, consumer electronics, and mobile apps.
With this shift, the focus of a smart home will evolve from meeting critical care needs such as aging-in-place, chronic disease management and post-acute care monitoring to focusing on overall health and wellness in areas of maternal, infant and child health, care for physically and intellectually disabled, and health and wellness for all.
At present, current tech interventions for medical specialties work in silos, providing disease-specific insights. For instance, blood glucose levels are solely monitored by individual machines such as Glucometers and CGMs. However, the intelligent homes of the future will bring together technology to offer a holistic picture of person's health, providing quantifiable changes over time. An example would be smart toilets and sensors that can analyze factors such as the number of bathroom visits, urine output, and chemical composition.
In-depth connected ecosystems focusing on wellness and management will offer the greatest opportunities to industry and non-industry players. There will also be an increased need for cross-industry partnerships, says the firm, which will help establish therapeutic ecosystems that deliver value through multiple points of care.
With data the new currency in healthcare, there is greater need for cybersecurity risk management services to prevent loss of confidential patient data and workflow disruption across critical care infrastructure. However, many healthcare organizations lack the dedicated resources to manage this. Hence, they will increasingly depend on vendor partners to provide cyber-risk management and compliance services such as threat assessment and incidence response.
In addition to cybersecurity, another major hurdle would be the interoperability of various data systems and devices that are critical to capturing holistic patient outcomes. Other challenges include changes in the regulatory framework and payment models; significant dollar investment in new technologies and workflows, and cultural and consumer behaviour shift across all industry stakeholders.
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