Now that smart home technology is a necessity in new home builds, no longer a perk, the trend is moving swiftly toward using this technology to improve our health or manage conditions at home more easily.
If your clients have not already mentioned health and wellness concerns in conversations with you just yet, they will undoubtedly be grateful if you bring to their attention all that is possible with smart home technology to improve healthy living.
In a recent seminar sponsored by Parks Associates’ Connected Health Summit titled, “Leverage Smart Home for a Healthy Home,” panelists agreed that the next big opportunity is healthy home technology. Consumer concerns range from not just improving fitness but also to sleep quality and clean air. Compound these with the rising concerns about viruses and bacteria lurking in homes, and you have many pain points to target with potential clients.
Even with our increased time spent outside the home because of the pandemic, Paul Scialla of Delos, a company which focuses on integrating wellness intelligence within smart home control platforms, reports that 90 percent of our time is spent inside. Here, air, lighting and cleanliness corresponds with our respiratory, digestive and sleep outcomes. Scialla continued by adding that 5 percent of humans’ medical outcomes is genetic; 20-25 percent is determined by lifestyle and 70 percent is related to the surrounding environment.
“What surrounds us matters,” Scialla pointed out. “Lighting impacts sleep, and air quality impacts [the respiratory system].”
According to its website, Delos “designs solutions to reduce indoor contaminants that can negatively affect respiratory, cardiovascular, immune and cognitive health.” Among other innovations, Delos created DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence, “a wellness intelligence solution that brings together science-backed strategies, innovative technology, and home-based products to create an experience to advance well-being” in the home.
Lisa Reihl of Aprilaire concurs. She said she is seeing a shift from clean eating to clear air. “Many people know very little about the air systems in their homes.” Reihl noted that there are three main areas to focus on when thinking about improving and monitoring air supply: purification; humidity levels (monitoring is key for minimizing bacteria levels); and fresh air supply (having the ability to adjust based on homeowners’ needs).
Cassie Morris of SleepNumber said the company is joining this smart space because of the increased awareness of proper sleep patterns. “The whole idea of ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ is being dismissed,” she noted. “Sleep has been evolving in importance, Science demonstrates that sleep is the foundation [to healthy living], influencing our abilities, blood pressure and more.”
The company’s new Sleep IQ technology for its mattresses monitors people’s “well-being during sleep and gives users insight they can act on. The mattress provides information with no trade off for comfort,” Morris said.
Morris said that the company wants to integrate with smart home technology “where it makes sense,” such as lighting control because of its relation to circadian rhythm. Security of information is concern, of course, and an opportunity for the smart home integrator to educate and partner.
The healthy home focus will only continue to grow. “We see this as here to stay,” Aprilaire’s Reihl said. “The value ties to health benefits in big.” Consumer demand is growing as is improving existing home solutions, she added.