You could have all the latest A/V offerings and gadgets, but as Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Delos, Anthony Antolino, explained during The New Frontier panel at KBIS 2021, “a home is not smart unless it’s healthy.”

Antolino explained that 70 percent of our health outcomes come from our physical and social environments, meaning that, for the most part, we’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to our health. But negative health factors can’t always be traced back to one particular source. In reality, our bodies are affected by a multitude of things in our environment including the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the light around us. After years of extensive research with some of the world’s leading experts across these disciplines, Delos created the DARWIN platform.

DARWIN is designed to improve respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, and cognitive health. During their research, Delos found that 75 percent of people believe housing plays a role in their health and well-being, but it’s not enough to just know it’s a problem, taking action is necessary. Delos wants its DARWIN platform to be available to everyone whether they live in an apartment or a 50,000 square-foot home. The best time to make these plans for a healthier home, Antolino says, are in the very beginning, like when architects like Chris Brandon, President of Brandon Architects, are putting together blueprints.

Brandon says that architects and designers may not necessarily need to be smart home experts, but they certainly need to know enough to be “dangerous,” and that’s where strong partnerships factor into the equation.

“If people aren’t asked about it, they may not know they want it,” says Brandon.

He also explained how important it is for there to be some room in the budget for technology. From his observations, homeowners are allotting anywhere from 5-10 percent of their construction budget to making their homes smarter.

“Picking up and taking tech from your old house isn’t really the case anymore,” describes Brandon. “You have to make sure you have the right infrastructure in place.”

While that budget could be larger, Brandon is seeing the necessity for tech go up and Daryl Williams, Senior Director of Engineering at GE Appliances agrees.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of smart appliances and interest in cooking has skyrocketed. People are increasingly seeing food as medicine and adopting new eating styles to meet their health goals. Smart appliances are able to optimize the temperature for freshness, alert homeowners when the water filter needs replaced, and even send a notification when food is approaching the end of its lifecycle to minimize waste.

“We’re starting to see more interaction with appliances in the kitchen,” says Brandon. “Smart appliances are unleashing possibilities to really bring forth value to owners.”

With smart appliances and home wellness platforms like DARWIN, homeowners are better able to future-proof their homes because updates to these products can be done over the air. As these products work to improve several different elements impacting health, homeowners are also ensuring a brighter future for themselves and their families.