• Nancy Griffin

Longevity Innovation Summit Features Panel on The Future of Smart Homes for Older Adults



Laurie Orlov, principal of Aging and Health Technology Watch, led a panel of experts to discuss The Future of Smart Homes for Older Adults at the What’s Next Longevity Innovation Virtual Summit December 1st and 2nd. Orlov, known in the industry as the “Oracle of AgeTech,” and her panelists discussed the US smart home market, estimated to be a $52 billion opportunity by 2024. Panelists were Jennifer Kent with Parks Associates, Lainie Muller with Alarm.com and Ryan Elza with Volunteers of America.

Here are some key takeaways from the panel:


  • Of the $200 million of smart home purchases, most were “one-off” purchases that are not integrated into a full-functioning system. There panelists foresee a migration from the DIY process of “buy, install, and replace” to full system-based solutions.


  • The future of smart home capabilities will be preventative, predictive, and adaptive. Technologies will be based on machine learning that adapt to user needs over time. There will be multiple tiers of service based on status and preference.


  • Older consumers and their caregivers want thoughtful, relevant solutions. The approach to technology must be person-centered. Data from smart home technologies will be combined with information from wearables. Personalization will occur with an opt-in collection of relevant data.


  • Consumers have stepped up purchases, and the opportunities have never been stronger. Smart home technology must cater to two or more primary customers—older adults and family caregivers.


  • There is a huge shift taking place as the home becomes a valid and viable venue for healthcare, according to data by Parks Associates, a market research firm bringing data insights on consumer technologies.


  • 73% of caregivers express interest in purchasing one or more smart home solutions: (Source: Parks Associates.)


  • Top 3 reasons for not purchasing smart home technologies: 1. Perceived lack of usefulness 2. Too expensive and 3. Loved one too frail.


  • The staffing shortages brings opportunity for new technologies. There is a need to automate and streamline workflow and utilize home technologies to reduce healthcare costs. The goal is for caregivers to spend time with residents more effectively and in ways that provide the most value.


  • Access to the internet and technology has become a human rights issue


  • The idea of home as caregiver and an integral participant in the care of older adults. There will be notable change in the next 5 years – suites of capabilities subscribed to by individuals, more personalized and based on overall experience in the home.


  • There are currently discounts on homeowners’ insurance based on the integration of smart home currently, with potential deductions on health insurance on the horizon.


  • Effective smart home technologies deepen the connections between family, home, and business. Beyond emergency response, they will get ahead of problems to improve quality of life.

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