You brush your teeth in the morning, and the bathroom mirror dings with an alert: Missed a spot.
The “smart mirror” inside Cheryl and Billy Murdoch’s bathroom does it every day. The second Cheryl Murdoch, 59, turns on her toothbrush, a screen appears with an image of two rows of teeth. If she brushes too fast, the mirror will flash to tell her, “use less motion." If she fails to reach the back of her molars, the mirror will highlight those teeth in yellow.
“It’s important to track these things, and these tools make it easier for us to do it,” she said.
In a growing residential community in Pasco County, “smart homes” are a real thing. Metro Development Group is the real estate developer behind Crystal Lagoon, a growing suburban community clustered around a seven-acre, blue-water swimming pool and dozens of other amenities aimed at helping residents live healthier lives.
Metro is partnering with AdventHealth, the operator of several hospitals in Tampa Bay and around the state, to test and implement technology inside homes that helps residents keep better track of their health.
The list includes “smart toilets” capable of collecting urine analysis, razors that monitor skin condition and hydration, and a camera in the smart mirror that can one day connect virtually with doctors for in-home appointments.
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Epperson, as the Wesley Chapel neighborhood is called, is already considered a “connected city” with its built-in “ultrafi" — making it the first residential community with up to one gigabit of high-speed data and internet inside every home. Solar lights line the streets. The wellness component is the next pilot program to roll out.
AdventHealth tested home products — from mirrors, to coffee makers, to blood pressure cuffs — developed by Philips, the global electronics company that has expanded into health care and lifestyle devices. Six homes in Epperson are equipped with Philips smart mirrors, and are the only place in the world to have them, said Kartik Goyani, vice president of operations at Metro Development Group.
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"Philips updates the software in the mirrors every month based on the feedback from our residents,” Goyani said.
The goal is to have this new technology connect with devices people are already using, like their Android phones, FitBits or Apple Watches.
“It gives the user the power to control their own medical records, which are stored on their own personal device,” said Ana Gonzalez, an assistant vice president of strategic innovation with AdventHealth’s West Florida Division.
AdventHealth will soon launch a “Connected Life” app that will allow homeowners to monitor health information like their weight and body mass index over time, and send that information to physicians or family members.
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“If it helps people lower insurance premiums or brings their stress level down, then it’s helping them stay healthy,” Goyani said. “It’s bringing health care into the home.”
Metro and AdventHealth are hoping to use what they learn from Epperson in similar developments across the country. The work demonstrates how health care is evolving to keep up with population growth, changing patient preferences and government rules designed to keep people out of the hospital, said John Johannessen, senior executive officer of non-acute care at AdventHealth’s West Florida Division.
“It’s difficult to be innovative in this industry,” he said. “But the goal these days is wellness and prevention, and to keep people out of the doctor’s office.”
Cheryl Murdoch says she enjoys being able to stream music or watch the news from her new smart mirror while she’s in the shower. But having a camera in her bathroom does make her worry, she said. The cameras are disabled for the pilot program.
“There are still some kinks to be worked out, but I see the value in it,” said Murdoch, who keeps a notepad on her bathroom vanity to jot down feedback or note glitches. She then shares the information with the Philips team.
“We love living here,” she said, "and think this is an amazing tool.”