It all started with some metrics; some very important metrics. These metrics are what attracted Paul Scialla to a business opportunity nine years ago when he founded Delos, a global wellness company focused on enhancing health and well-being in the places people live, work, sleep and play, and a HIVE Top 5 Innovator.

And those metrics were:

  • We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  • How can ambient temperature have an impact on pulse rate?
  • How could air particulates affect cognition?
  • How is lighting influencing sleeping patterns?

That was the beginning and became the original data that inspired the product, DARWIN by Delos, a whole-health technology system that now comes in packages that fit all price points and home types, making healthier homes accessible to everyone.

This technology is part of the solution to being healthier at home, which is a large proactive piece of changing the dynamic of health care and also happens to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist, advisor and trend weaver from HealthPopuli, is seeing some remarkable progress in the way that patients and health care providers can interact without being face-to-face, basically, while the patient remains in the comfort of their home. A technology-enabled world allows for the secure collection of data, then the dissemination of that data to the right providers, that allows for an on-going health plan to develop, literally in the cloud.

“Doctors and hospitals in the U.S. have universally implemented electronic health records systems, digitizing our clinical data such as lab results, imaging, clinician visits, and medication lists,” says Sarasohn-Kahn. “More information platforms are being built through cloud computing that enable our data residing in different sites to flow through algorithms and inform our care. The more actionable advice a consumer can have in hand, the more we can be ‘nudged’ to make helpful health decisions and sustain lifestyle changes to benefit us in the long-term.”

Not only will these technology advances benefit patients, they will have a broader impact by lessening the responsibilities of caregivers, a role that is becoming more and more relevant in the U.S. as the population skews older.

The benefits of these programs also extend beyond the home. Right now the DARWIN product costs about $2,000 per home and provides a holistic health solution to improve health and well-being, yet also has a tremendous impact on local economics by making residents happier and more productive, contributing much more to the local economy.

In this short video from the HIVE conference in November 2018, Scialla shares how DARWIN came about and how it benefits every aspect of housing – the resident, the community and beyond.

As with any disruptive innovation, part of the hurdle is getting accepted. It will take a culture change that Delos recognizes and is combating with a strong public relations campaign along with continued education and awareness on the impact our homes can have on our health and well-being.

Part of the culture change will take place when it’s transparent, when the process is so seamless and intuitive that it becomes an unconscious, innate part of daily living. Yet, right now, data related to health care gets silo-ed in many ways.

“In the current environment, we lack interoperability – from personal health data in electronic health records in doctors’ offices and hospitals, in the pharmacy, generated by our wearable tech like Fitbit and mobile apps, and even our retail receipts that can hint at lifestyle choices we’re making that might be sub-optimal for our overall wellness,” says Sarasohn-Kahn. “AI is already being adopted in healthcare among providers. Increasingly, AI will be deployed that can inform people, patients, consumers, and caregivers in daily life on decisions to bolster our health.”

That will also take a leap of faith from a security perspective, but one that Delos and its DARWIN product are committed to solving. The company is currently working on ways to deliver additional accessibility, connection and awareness, all with the goal of making homes healthier.

“Assurance of privacy and security will be key to Americans fully engaging in digital health,” says Sarasohn-Kahn. “A patchwork quilt of privacy laws and rules address various kinds and flows of data that, together, can mash up for health. But there are many data ‘leakages’ that flow out of privacy protections. I believe the U.S. is ready [for a program] to embrace the right to opt-in (not opt-out) to programs that would be mining our personal data for health, along with controlling where our data flow.”

Many builders are bringing this to life in their new home developments. Design tips for healthier housing are available in the 2019 BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt white paper available here for download.

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