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Smart home? Let’s think of the caring home

Liat Ben Zur

Growing up, you likely saw futuristic cartoons and stories that depicted what the home of today would look like tomorrow. Mirrors that could talk to you; stovetops that cooked food themselves… the possibilities were endless. Thinking in terms of IoT (Internet of Things) and the technology available today, what could this really look like?



Well, it could mean that eventually your front door might be digitally connected to your light bulbs, shedding light in your foyer when you step in your home after work. Or, simply, that your car is connected to your garage doors, which will open when you drive on to your property. But imagine if this went a step further – towards something really “disruptive” - and your home actually became an empathetic home? A place that was brimming with technology tailored to your individual health and wellbeing needs?


The truth is that there’s a large population of people (like our parents and grandparents) that are not rushing out to buy the latest mobile door locks, but could really benefit from things like a personal alert system that can detect a fall (like Philips Lifeline), or a smart pillbox that sends a reminder via their television screen to take their medications. Or imagine the single mom taking care of her newborn baby who could benefit from a smart baby monitoring solution.


Connected devices can help people improve their lives at home by providing information to family members, physicians and care teams remotely, enabling better decision making and coaching to keep people healthy and reduce time spent in the hospital. Just connecting a device to the internet does not make it “smart;” it’s actually not that hard to add connectivity to a device. But it gets interesting when you can see the benefits of connected home devices sharing information and gathering insights to learn context and see the current holistic view of the consumer.


This is a unique role that companies like Philips play when thinking about the collision of mobile, wireless and digital health technologies. Take the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, for example. With our clinical background and personal health expertise, the HealthSuite Digital Platform can serve as the foundation to connect various devices in different aspects of one’s life from environmental trackers, to a wearable fitness tracker and even the reports pulled from the doctor’s office or at the hospital.


The real value lies in how these connected devices will further motivate people to improve their overall health and well-being. By pulling disparate data from varying sources, deeper intelligent analytics can be run and correlations in trends can be defined. Connecting data across the wide portfolio of Philips devices such as the Smart Air Purifier, wearable devices, connected oral health care devices, eCareCompanion app and more, Philips helps deliver more impactful outcomes by painting a holistic picture of a person’s health.


Think of the future. Imagine a COPD patient has difficulty breathing and it’s determined from their Air Purifier that there are high levels of particles in the air at home. Think of all the new moms who seek personalized guidance and support during those first crucial developmental months after childbirth. Philips’ ability to capture information across a wide array of connected baby feeding, monitoring and measurement products can really help simplify daily life and guide parents throughout different stages of their babies growth. There is so much that we can learn from connected technology and products we use every day.


I’d like to hear from you: what are your thoughts on the future of the caring home?  

Liat Ben-Zur

Liat Ben-Zur

Senior Vice President, Digital Technology

In 1998, Liat joined Qualcomm as an ASIC designer before building and leading the company’s Developer Ecosystem and Technical Account Management teams. She later ran the competitive strategy team, managing tear downs, assessing M&As, and contributing to the division’s long-range planning and technology road mapping.


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