Globally, technology needs to take a broader, evolving and always present role in our health and wellness. We know that today about 8.5 percent of the global population is 65 years in age or older. The National Institute for Health states that by the year 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.
“Aging-in-place” is just one of the many facets of global health and wellness that requires technology to not only bridge anticipated gaps, but to identify new ways technology, and particularly IoT devices, can improve our health and overall wellness.
The Moment is Now.
This month, the Connectivity Standards Alliance announced the formation of a Health and Wellness Working Group to create technical standards and a certification program for IoT device interoperability in the space. Just as the Alliance released Matter last year with a common language and certification program supporting interoperability of IoT devices, the goal is to align major contributors in the industry around a common tech standard to support secure, plug-and-play interoperability of health and wellness devices.
Transforming the Health & Wellness IoT Landscape.
At the outset, this initiative calls for adding health devices to the smart home ecosystem, enabling a trusted approach for sharing health data, including support for regulatory requirements. The Working Group development roadmap will begin with support for aging-in-place and independent living by utilizing valuable data generated from connected smart home devices. It will then expand to address a broad set of home health and wellness devices and use cases, like remote patient monitoring, chronic condition management, and acute care in the home.
In taking a cue from Matter, the Health and Wellness Working Group will apply global scale to technology solutions, allowing individuals to stay healthier and live in their homes longer, with greater independence. As a result of the global COVID pandemic, we have become accustomed to healthcare interactions in our homes, with services such as telemedicine and at-home testing. This will rapidly expand to new healthcare devices and repurposing existing IoT devices to generate data that is vital to our health and wellness.
To achieve success, the Alliance will need to drive simplicity and trust when connecting devices and services that incorporate health data into the smart home. The market potential for supporting aging-in-place and home healthcare tech and services is tremendous and growing. Reaching the full potential of this initiative requires standardized technology approaches that support interoperability, security, reliability of data, and ease-of-use — the linchpins to drive scale and market adoption.
Get Involved. Make Change Happen.
While the Alliance has nearly 600 existing members, many of which will play an important role in the Health and Wellness Working Group’s efforts, success will require broader input from those within the health and wellness ecosystem.
To ensure we best meet the needs of the industry, individual companies, and most importantly consumers, we are seeking leaders who work in the health and wellness space to maximize our efforts and expand our reach. Medical device manufacturers, aging-in-place service providers, healthcare providers, third party payors, pharmacies, and relevant government regulatory agencies, we invite you to help us make change by becoming a member of the Alliance. Your unique perspective can help create standards that mutually benefit the industry and consumers.
As we all hope to age gracefully with dignity and as much independence as possible, the senior lifestyle you’re transforming could be that of someone you love, or quite possibly, your own.