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Smart home companies hone in on growing US elder care market

Smart home companies hone in on growing US elder care market
As countries around the world prepare for a future with aging populations, many smart home companies are investing in the development of elderly care technology.

Looking to capitalize on the growing elderly care market, several smart home companies at this year’s CES show showcased solutions and technologies for in-home monitoring of seniors.

The elderly care services market is set to see tremendous growth in the coming years, in part due to the rapid pace of population aging. Globally, the proportion of persons over the age of 60 is expected to nearly double by 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, the WHO predicts the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children under 5 by 2020. In the U.S. alone, the United States Census Bureau estimates the elderly population (persons aged 65 and over) will outnumber children under the age of 18 by 2035. 

In order to ensure the safety and security of older citizens while also allowing them to maintain their privacy, dignity and freedom, companies are developing smarter medical alarm and health monitoring devices.

Rafi Zauer,
Head of Marketing for Essence
Essence, an Israel-based IoT solutions provider, displayed its Essence Care@Home smart alerting platform developed specifically for the elderly care market. The platform leverages voice recognition technology, giving seniors access to emergency response from anywhere in their home, according to Rafi Zauer, Head of Marketing for Essence. 

New to their lineup, the company launched Essence Umbrella — a lone worker safety platform with two-way voice-communication for immediate response under duress. The system joins the company's lineup for safety and senior care solutions. They are also developing more passive ways of determining falls, which can also be used in the elderly care market and is expected to launch in the second half of this year.

Taiwan-based security manufacturer Climax Technology also highlighted its medical alarm system for the elderly care market, with the stated goal of “bridging the gap between health monitoring and medical alarm systems.” YK Chen, Director of New Business Development at Climax Technology, explained that their product's built-in Bluetooth module made it compatible with various Bluetooth-enabled medical devices, such as blood-pressure monitors and blood-glucose monitors.

YK Chen, Director of
New Business Development
at Climax Technology
Another aspect of Climax's medical alarm system rests in home automation. "It can help with elder care by automating lights, temperature, etc.," Chen said. And, because the system utilizes voice recognition, seniors can easily control many home automation features without needing to fidget with control panels or buttons.

Cognitive Systems, a Canada-based radio frequency (RF) technology company, has developed software that can turn Wi-Fi access points into motion sensors. The technology works by providing context to the motion network. One of the main applications of its software is for elderly care.

Taj Manku, Founder and CEO of Cognitive Systems said its technology can be used to track elderly people without having to put cameras on them. Manku said that by turning Wi-Fi-enabled clients (e.g., smart TVs, Wi-Fi plugs, Wi-Fi bulb, etc.) into passive sensors, it is possible to continuously monitor inside a home while still maintaining privacy. “With our technology, you can cover the entire home with your existing Wi-Fi infrastructure with the addition of our software." Once customers upload the company's software to their existing Wi-Fi network, they have immediate access to the technology.

*For more smart home trends of 2019, please visit Tech Experts Reveal 2019 Smart Home Technologies.

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