HomeHealthcareIBM partners with Delos to build healthier living spaces

IBM partners with Delos to build healthier living spaces

IBM announced earlier this month it is collaborating with wellness and technology firm Delos to adopt IBM Cloud and cognitive technologies to speed the discovery of new insights in health and wellness and their connections to the design of indoor spaces.

Designed to be a multi-year collaboration, Delos plans to use IBM’s Watson platform and data analytics services through IBM Bluemix to create cognitive applications designed to probe the connections between human health and indoor environments. Watson’s work will draw from the terabytes of research data being generated from Delos Labs, Well Living Lab and Delos Applied Research units.

Delos says it expects to realize insights that not only improve the design, construction and management of indoor space, but will identify the potential return on investment that can be achieved by building healthier living and working environments.

“We spend about 90% of our time indoors, which is why it is critically important to ensure that indoor spaces are not only livable, but also healthy,” said Delos COO Peter Scialla. “Delos is generating massive amounts of data to measure the impact of the built environment on occupant health. We were looking for a technology partner to deliver a flexible development platform through the cloud, as well as higher value cognitive services that would provide insights we have yet to fully realize to improve indoor environments.”

The Well Living Lab, a collaboration between Delos and Mayo Clinic, simulates a variety of real-world indoor environments – including homes and offices – to enable scientists and researchers to study the effects of indoor light, thermal comfort, acoustics and air quality on the health and well-being of building occupants.

“IBM’s extensive technology stack and expertise in areas such as ‘internet of things,’ sensors and data analytic capabilities, including Watson cognitive computing, made them an ideal cloud partner as all of these areas are critical to the future of Delos,” Scialla said.

In addition to the medical histories of study subjects, researchers capture data from thousands of sensors embedded throughout the Well Living Lab, in the furniture, on the walls and ceilings, as well biometric data from wearable devices, and information from surveys and questionnaires from the subjects.

To analyze the data, Delos and IBM developers, working out of the New York site of IBM’s Bluemix Garage network, are developing cloud apps. First experiments are said to be underway involving simulations in the built environment that affect stress and productivity for office workers.

“As the health care community increasingly recognizes the many factors that impact health, the Well Living Lab is improving our understanding of how indoor environments impact health and wellness,” said Shawn Murray, worldwide director for Bluemix Garage. “By infusing the Lab with advances in cloud innovation, cognitive computing and the ‘internet of things,’ we believe we can help identify insights that deepen and accelerate this important research.”

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