Wirelessly Connected Homes Are Coming, But When?

New technology tends to catch on in the consumer space before it makes its way to healthcare. Consumers were using iPhone apps for everything from navigation to gaming long before doctors were using them to diagnose, for example. Watching what’s catching on among consumers can provide a clue as to what’s next in medical.

As such, medical device developers should take note of a recent article published in the New York Times, “Home of the Future Still Years Away.” It talks about how consumer products that take advantage of wireless connectivity in the home, such as smart thermostats, stereos, and appliances, have not yet seen widespread use. Barriers to adoption include protocol diversity and the cost of mobile data.

But there are a few encouraging signs. Sales of the Nest, a smart thermostat made by Nest Labs (Palo Alto, CA), “skyrocketed since it went on sale in October,” according to the article. One expert quoted said he expects consumers will embrace wireless connectivity in the home over the next five years.

That bodes well for companies such as Qualcomm that have been quick out of the gate with wireless medical products for the home. The company’s 2net platform and hub for facilitates the transfer, storage, conversion, and display of health metrics from wireless medical devices.

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Jamie Hartford is the associate editor of MD+DI. Follow her on Twitter @readMED.