The Places Tech Can Change Lives

by Mitchell Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance
We spend a lot of time talking about the use cases for the IoT. Cities, industrial, manufacturing, food, homes, health. Smart home tech can make people feel safer and more secure in their homes and also make life a little easier and a little more fun. But there are some ways that smart devices can be implemented that can actually help to change the quality of life for someone. There's an entire generation of people who are raising kids at home and taking care of aging parents, many of whom have health issues. When we look at living at home solutions, we're really looking at ways to make something so fundamentally important - taking care of your loved ones - easier, safer and more in line with their wishes.
Whether it's a solution designed to alert a caregiver if a loved one has left the area with sensors and a remote app or tech that gives a senior or disabled person easier access to complete every day tasks in their home, there are no shortage of ways that smart home technology can absolutely change lives.
I'm excited to see our members looking at the aging-in-place tech market and coming up with solutions for seniors that may enable them to stay in their homes longer and remain independent, safely. These are the kinds of solutions that not only help people understand the value of connected tech but can be the difference between someone being able to stay in their lifelong home with a loved one keeping tabs on them and help only a reach away to having to move and live in a care facility.
We look forward to seeing more implementations of smart home tech tailored to seniors, the disabled and those who are responsible for their care. There is much good to be done.

July 26-27, 2017, Houston, TX, USA
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IoT Solutions for Healthcare Monitoring and Aging in Place

By: Robert Lutz, VP Marketing & Business Development, Systech Corporation
When you prepare for a family road trip, as you get in the car and start the engine, one of the first things you do is confirm your car's health from the information displayed on the dashboard.  You are looking for signs of trouble.  Why do you do this?  Well, you don't want to start going down the road, only to have to return home due to an issue you could have easily detected earlier.  Even while you are driving on your car trip, you still monitor key parameters such as engine temperature and oil pressure.
Healthcare IoT is similar in many ways to monitoring your car on the road trip.  Not only does health care IoT involve monitoring of key health indicators of a patient, but it also includes monitoring the equipment and medical devices used by a patient.
Taking advantage of Z-Wave technology, Systech and its partners have created SysMED, a healthcare IoT solution the brings several benefits to health organizations, caregivers, and even family members of patients.  The use of Z-Wave brings with it the simplicity of wireless installation and the robustness of a mesh networking solution. 
In a clinic or hospital setting, increased patient healthcare monitoring is a significant factor in improving the health of a patient.  Early detection of health issues can significantly reduce the time and cost for recovery.  IoT Z-Wave devices are increasingly being used in clinic and hospital settings.  Healthcare is projected to be one of the largest growth markets for IoT in the coming years.
Example Z-Wave devices for this application include door contact sensors to monitor restroom usage.  Also, a bed sensor, customized with Z-Wave, is used to monitor real-time patient movement as well as unexpected bed moisture.
Besides patient monitoring, the SysMED solution monitors the health of the medical equipment used in a patient's room.  This includes monitoring the status of specialized medical equipment and generating alerts caused by conditions such as a low battery, or if a device is experiencing behavior outside of normal parameters.  Advanced data analytics, helps minimize equipment downtime.
Another health market for IoT involves the growing interest for the 65 and up population to "age-in-place."  Oftentimes, when an aging parent chooses to live at home, other family members grow concerned with the daily health of their parent.  Did they take their medication?  Are they are eating enough?  Did they get out of bed today?  Aging parents largely want to live in their homes longer. 40% of U.S. adults who are older than 85 live alone.  More than 4 in 10 U.S. adults care for a parent or child with a major health issue.  Aging baby boomers will increase these numbers further.
Systech's SysMED is a great example of how Z-Wave technology and products may be used for the health market.  The attributes of low cost, robustness, and ease of installation are perfect for health institutions to easily leverage IoT hardware and software to optimize operations and improve general patient healthcare.  Visit the Systech Corporation website for more information about the use of Z-Wave for health applications. 
Smart Home Solutions for Aging in Place

by Alex Gil, Caster Communications

According to AARP statistics, the growing baby boomer population prefer staying at home as they grow older instead of in a nursing or group home, with 87% of adults 65+ reporting that they want to remain in their current home and community as they age.
How can a smart home system be used to help the aging in place demographic and their caretakers? There are a few different products and solutions to consider.

With a connected home, Z-Wave smart devices can be programmed to work together in such a way as to reduce numerous physical actions into the simple press of a button. This can help limit movement around the home for those who face mobility challenges. Adding voice control by pairing an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker with a smart hub further simplify home control. Motion sensors can be used to automatically turn lights or appliances on, temperature on a smart thermostat can be turned up or down from anywhere in the home, and even remote garage door openers can be synced to a smart home setup for easy entry and exist.

Smart home technology benefits not just senior adults but also any family members or caretakers who may be helping them. These caretakers can simply download a smart hub home app to their smart phone, connect devices around the home and then monitor the status of the devices from afar. This allows caretakers to keep a watchful eye while still giving home independence to those under their care. This is especially important for some who may not be in the home to easily manage water shutoffs, prevent fires and detect carbon monoxide.

Home security is another potential use case for smart home technology. For senior adults who live alone, installing smart security cameras or door locks is one way to prevent potential break ins or security issues. Door locks can be set with codes unique to the homeowner and their family members or caretakers and can be remotely accessed via a smart phone.

By connecting smart devices and creating scenes with Z-Wave smart home devices, life becomes a little easier for senior adults and their caretakers. As the need for solutions that address the aging population increase, smart home manufacturers will continue to develop devices that are tailored to their specific needs. 
Communicating Smart Home Tech to the Growing Senior Market

By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that those over 60 will make up over 30% of the US population, and even in 2017, 50% of the US population are over 50. Emerging technology is often thought of as a marketing target for younger millennials only, but how can the benefits of smart home, and in particular, aging in place solutions be communicated to the growing senior population? In a piece on the Enveritas Group blog, they discuss how to market to seniors online. We took their suggestions and applied them to the smart home, below.

Streamline your e-commerce content
For many seniors, online e-commerce is a fairly unfamiliar territory. As Enveritas Group points out, "many seniors aren't going to look very hard for the buy button before they give up," so making sure that your site's call to action and product value is clear and visible is important in engaging them.  

Establish credibility and express value upfront
In addition to streamlined content, you'll want to make sure that you're establishing trust and expressing the value that aging in place smart home solutions bring clearly on your website. That may mean creating a landing page for aging in place products or solutions that can be easily accessed from your homepage, outlining the specific ways that senior consumers can use smart home products.  
For example, your landing page could explain the benefits of a secure, Z-Wave network and how consumers can use products like lighting, security, or sensors to stay safe and make things in their home more accessible with less effort.

Offer customer assistance
Establishing trust and credibility is also important when it comes to customer support. Senior consumers are uninterested in traversing through a website to find help when they need it and if it's hard to find assistance while they shop, it's unlikely that they'll make a purchase. If possible, always offer a customer support telephone line or at least an easily accessible online chat.

Use imagery and text to reinforce your message
In addition to compelling content, use images that senior consumers can relate to. Enveritas Group points out "psychology proves that we naturally gravitate towards other people who look like us. Successful marketing to seniors will include quality stock images that include seniors for your website." Other considerations include increasing image sizes and text. 
Using Z-Wave Technology to Expand Aging in Place in the Insurance Sector
Groupama is a leading insurer based in France and present in 11 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. With over $13 billion reported in revenue and 13 million customers. With the traditional insurance models becoming stagnant and harder to sell, they began to look for new opportunities to expand the business to new sectors.

Traditional insurance policies have become a stale product for many insurance providers. Companies struggle with customer retainment and providing additional value to their consumers.The European housing market has lost momentum and with rideshares and driverless vehicles, automotive insurance is also seeing a downward trend. Groupama recognized these disruptions to their business model and looked to connected technology to provide new products and offerings.

Groupama identified an opportunity for an entirely new model for their business in at home monitoring and connection for senior citizens. As more seniors choose aging in their present homes over nursing homes or other home care options,  new products and services are developed for senior safety and wellbeing. Groupama determined that expanding to senior monitoring would enhance core businesses as well as enhance revenue streams.

Groupama worked with different stakeholders and decided to leverage Z-Wave technology to develop Noé, a remote support platform designed for senior citizens. Z-Wave was selected as a key technology partner because of its market-proven reliability, high levels encrypted security, backwards-compatible device interoperability and large ecosystem of products across brands.

The Noé platform includes a tablet and wristband for a senior citizen to use and an app for relatives to monitor their loved one. The Noé platform works with Z-Wave devices such as Z-Wave door locks, flood and motion sensors, and smoke alarms that can be monitored through the tablet and app.

By using the platform, senior citizens have a connection to their loved ones as well as outside support and have reported reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation. Noé acts as a personal social network along with a medical alert system, keeping seniors in touch with their family members and letting the family monitor their loved ones. A 24/7 helpline is available on the system, providing assistance and a counseling.

Z-Wave's extensive ecosystem means that the ability to add devices to assist an individual with remaining in their home is simple. The activation of a flood detector, smoke alarm or motion sensor will trigger alerts to the caregiver so they can check on the individual's safety and wellbeing.

Groupama recognized senior monitoring as an insurance opportunity to generate new revenue, extend to new areas and acquire valuable customer data. The platform is preventative and provides day-to-day value rather than incident-based value. The venture has resulted in new partnerships as the insurer is perceived as an active partner for customers aging in place. With the Noé platform, Groupama has seen success with the RMR model as well as optional fees for add-on devices.

The connected aging in place platform has been a success due to the protection, security and social engagement it provides. Activity data reports on wellness, and integration with Z-Wave devices ensures the individual is safe in their home. For more information on the Noé offering, visit
Aging Well with Smart Technology
by Crystal Xu, Aeotec
With increased life expectancy and a birth-rate decline across developed nations, a dramatic increase in the proportion of older people in the population is projected, specifically, those aged 65+ are forecast to more than double by 2050, with the greatest rate of growth in the 85+ group. Connected home technology providers: this is your cue.

Many people prefer to spend their autumn years in their own home - a concept known as aging-in-place. With aging populations more vulnerable to health risk factors, aging-in-place becomes an important consideration: higher hospitalization rates and wait times are often decreased in societies where home care is more prevalent.

Taking this special consumer group into consideration, one for whom security and safety devices are as paramount as simpler home control devices, Aeotec has crafted a range of products designed to help.

Aeotec WallMote & Aeotec WallMote Quad: A portable wall switch powered by rechargeable batteries and magnetically attached to a wall, this wireless wall switch can be easily accessedno matter where a user is in their home, and can controlmultiple devices with a single tap, simplifying the user experience.

Aeotec Water Sensor 6 and Dock: Flood damage is the most common home insurance claim, and damage caused by forgotten, running faucets can cause financial burden for both the homeowner and insurers. The upcoming Water Sensor 6 offers Aeotec's flood detection standard with a host of new features, including both Z-Wave Plus and Gen5 technologies. With a tapered design, it is crafted to fit into even the smallest of gaps in the home, whether it is in the bathroom or the kitchen where forgotten faucets tend to cause the financial damage. Complete with temperature and tamper sensors, it offers protection and fail-safe prevention perfect for aging homes.

With the system integration, smart home devices can do much more for the elderly than is immediately obvious. Outcomes from those smart home projects have been reported to be positive in extending the length of community residence, enhancing physical and mental health status, delaying the onset of serious health problems and reducing the strain on family and caregivers. Smart home technologies have enabled continuous monitoring, improved psycho-social benefits and enhanced the overall sense of well-being for older adult users.

For more information on Aeotec, please visit