Samsung Electronics and CDW Healthcare have partnered to develop a Connected Home solution designed to support the needs of seniors. Samsung and CDW Healthcare share a common vision that seamless and easy-to-use technology embedded in the home setting will improve the user experience for seniors and lead to better health outcomes. CDW Healthcare is dedicated to making technology accessible to its senior care customers, and the Connected Home powered by Samsung Electronics is one such solution that has been thoughtfully and purposely created to transform the experience of aging.
This month has been full of dialogue about aging and improving it (e.g., WHCOA), and we want to keep the conversation going. Learn more about the Connected Home in the following Q&A with Alex Hawkinson, Founder & CEO of SmartThings, and Dr. David Rhew, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness of Samsung, below.
Q: What is the purpose of the Connected Home?
Hawkinson: In the most basic sense, a Connected Home includes one or more devices that are connected to the Internet and can be controlled through an app on your smartphone, tablet or smart TV. Pertaining to seniors, a recent AARP poll showed that 8 out of 10 Baby Boomers indicated a desire to stay in their homes and communities as long as possible. With wireless technology, more and more functions in the home can be controlled by smartphones or tablets so the goal is to empower seniors to stay in their own home and carry on their lifestyle in a secure way.
Q: What technology solutions and components are featured in the Connected Home?
Dr. Rhew: Within the Connected Home, the technology solutions for seniors fall into three major domains: home functionality, health monitoring and enhanced lifestyle. The Samsung SmartThings hub connects sensors in a home, which can detect room characteristics such as temperature and moisture or the status of room fixtures, such as doors and lights. It can also send immediate texts or calls to the user’s smartphone or to the user’s designated contacts when problems or emergencies arise at their home.
Samsung tablets, smartphones and wearables can also assist seniors in taking a more active role with their health. Samsung devices may be connected to remote monitoring devices (e.g., blood pressure cuff, weight scale, glucometer, spirometer), which enables seniors to relay personal biometric data to their physician or care provider. Wearables and smartphones can detect acute changes in a senior’s health status or body position (e.g., falling to the ground) and, when appropriate, alert the care provider.
Finally, the Samsung tablet and smart TV can serve as easy-to-use “hubs” for seniors to access entertainment; interact with family and friends through email, Facebook and video chat; view video clips and pictures of loved ones; and control the room environment.
Q: How does the Connected Home get implemented? Where do you start?
Hawkinson: Many aspects of the Connected Home are available right now through Samsung and its partners. To be connected, all one needs is a smartphone or a tablet to connect to the Internet and a SmartThings hub. From there, you can customize different scenarios to fit your needs.
Q: How can the Connected Home play a role in the aging landscape in the coming decade?
Dr. Rhew: Perhaps the most significant opportunity with the Connected Home for seniors lies in its potential to improve care and reduce healthcare costs. The Baby Boomer population in the U.S. is expected to double between now and 2050, and healthcare costs will increase accordingly. With the Connected Home, new opportunities to monitor and care for seniors become possible. Monitoring of seniors’ health in the home setting can enable the early detection of problems, promote proactive interventions by healthcare providers, and minimize hospital and long-term care costs.
In order for us to realize this goal, however, the Connected Home for seniors needs to be easy, connected and secure — the focal points of the Samsung Smart Home solution for seniors. Ease of use is important to enhance adoption of the technology. Connectivity to devices in the home, to personal health data, and to family, friends and healthcare providers enables improved health outcomes and enhances the user experience. Security of the data becomes ever more important as data streams from multiple sources in the home and body flow into common platforms.