By Clarke Stevens (Shaw), Sudheer Dharanikota
September 01, 2022
What is the Problem?
The COVID-19 pandemic has required people to discover new ways to do things from home over a home network. One area where this has become obvious is wellness. Cable operators are well-positioned to provide these services. They can extend their traditional offerings of bandwidth and television service to include aging in place (AIP), telehealth, How can operators offer such services with their existing infrastructure and what do they need to build?
These use cases provide insight into how common cable operator infrastructures might be leveraged to provide a common home wellness care service that is flexible enough to support a range of use cases from assistive services to the management of complex hospital-at-home healthcare services. Cable operators can leverage their existing competencies in providing network services, installation, managing monthly subscriptions, monitoring systems, analyzing data, and providing customer service to make a legitimate case for operating home wellness services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required people to discover new ways to do things from home over a home network. One area where this has become obvious is wellness. While many healthcare providers have scrambled to provide remote visits, this only solved part of the problem. What people need is a support infrastructure at home that gives wellness providers the information they need as well as the ability to provide remote assistance. This requires a secure and reliable home network with connected devices to do the observing and controlling. Additionally, connected services beyond the home are needed to log measurements, connect families and wellness providers, and provide notification of significant events.
Cable operators are well-positioned to provide these services. They can extend their traditional offerings of bandwidth and television service to include aging in place (AIP), telehealth, in-home care, and safer alternatives to surgery. This can unleash many inter-industry, revenue-generating opportunities in healthcare by linking healthcare devices, families, and wellness providers into a coordinated health community. In-home care solutions over 10G, highly available access networks can both improve the wellness experience and provide new cable operator revenue streams while fully satisfying stringent HIPAA data security and privacy requirements. The operators already have the core technology and the consumer relationships to naturally provide this type of solution.
This paper will explore use cases in this space and point out the key areas where cable operators can provide a collaborative in-home wellness solution, introducing several use cases that SCTE standards working groups are considering from the aging in place  and Telehealth spaces in the wellness industry, and considers use cases common to both areas such as connectivity and analytics infrastructure, as well as use cases specific to AIP and telehealth.
Key Words: Telecom for Wellness, Aging in Place, Telehealth, Hospital At Home, Independent Living