Smart Home, Healthy Home
Today’s Integration of home automation and healthcare is life-changing
It seems we’re just beginning to truly understand the extensive benefits of home automation. For years, we’ve recognized the elegance, convenience, comfort and safety aspects of an integrated home, but we’re learning now that those attributes are just the start. Today’s smart home can aid the disabled, monitor the ill and afford us the opportunity to stay in our south Florida homes longer.
It wasn’t so long ago that baby monitors were introduced. We could breathe a sigh relief while carrying the walkie-talkie-like gadget from room to room. And then…the baby cam hit the market and suddenly we could watch over the tiny ones day and night. Flash forward to today and we can now check in on every room of our home via myriad smart devices anytime and from anywhere. We appreciate the convenience and peace of mind that brings in terms of home security or even keeping watch over our precious pets, but imagine the comfort of being able to watch over an elderly parent.
Automated Home Healthcare
Modern healthcare is finding new, innovative ways to capitalize on our connected homes, allowing people to remain in comfortable, familiar surroundings longer. Automated, simple-to-use devices can remind an elderly person to take their medication or instruct an autistic individual how to prepare a meal. Caregivers can be alerted when an Alzheimer patient opens a door or when a diabetic’s glucose monitor sounds. For an added measure of security, automated lighting can also be triggered so that, in the event an audible alarm is missed, visual cues will wake the caregiver while lighting the way to their loved one. Visual prompts can also be life-enhancing for the hearing impaired and elderly.
Voice and “Stress” Control
The recent introduction of google Home and Alexa’s integrated voice control has opened up a whole new world in home healthcare. Individuals that may otherwise be unable to physically or mentally operate a touch panel or keypad can now gain control of appliances, entertainment and security devices with a spoken command, affording them independence.
Home automation and, especially, voice-controlled devices also have a positive impact on our mental health. Multiple medical studies from various academics from Rutgers, Stanford, and University British Columbia have concluded that individuals who feel a greater sense of environmental control demonstrate increased motivation and optimism, and have been shown to have lower risk for psychopathology. That research extends to a homeowner’s ability to be “in control” of their smart home, accessing features that reduce worry and, therefore, stress levels.
The life-saving stories are many and each of us can likely envision a scenario where remote monitoring, automated lighting, cameras, door locks and voice control can make ours and our family’s life easier, healthier and more gratifying. Innovative technologies continue to transform our lives. Home automation, once considered purely a luxury, has become a wonderful, life-changing tool and essential part of our daily lives. Healthcare, along with our homes, just gets smarter and smarter.
Digital Doctors: Home Automation is Redefining Healthcare, Collective Evolution
Health Care in Home Automation Systems with Speech Recognition and Mobile Technology, American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)
5 ways tech is changing retirement, Ameriprise Advisors
Smart Lighting: A Home Solution with Lots of Health Benefits, Control4 blog