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Smart Appliances and IoT: The Leading Vendors and Market Trends

There was a time when the notion of a “smart home” was simply one with walls to keep the elements out. Anything beyond that was science fiction. But innovation has made science fiction into reality, and now smart appliances communicate through the Internet of Things (IoT). A refrigerator notifying an app when it’s low on food? It can happen. Smart home entertainment systems can play music or record favorite television shows with simple voice commands. Crock pots sense when food is cooked and reduce the temperature. It’s a brave, new world. And with the IoT now a part of banking, agriculture, communications, and even cities themselves, it’s a world that’s expanding.

Just how big is it getting? Juniper Research estimates that manufacturers earned some $60 billion from smart home entertainment systems in 2017. That’s a big business. Which makes it worthwhile to keep an eye on the leading vendors and market trends of the sector.

The sector leaders for smart appliances and smart home entertainment systems includes Samsung, Amazon, Apple and Google.
The technology behind smart appliances is advancing at a breathtaking pace.

The Industry Leader for Smart Appliances

There is a demand for smart home entertainment systems, smart toys, smart circuit breakers and smart wearables in virtually every corner of the planet. But one only has to step into a kitchen where everything talks to each other to see that the demand for smart appliances is exploding. The smart home market is anticipated to increase from $76.6 billion in 2018 to $151.4 billion by 2024, according to MarketsandMarkets Research Private Ltd.

Samsung has emerged as a leader in the smart appliances market.  The company’s Family Hub smart refrigerator allows users to view refrigerator contents remotely. The smart refrigerator also sends out alerts about expiring food. Family Hub will simultaneously suggest recipes and plan meals that include those soon-to-be-expiring food products.

Family Hub can be integrated into a smart home entertainment set-up as well. TV mirroring allows viewers to watch what is on TV in the living room through the refrigerator’s touch-screen panel.  “People love this feature, specifically around game-time—where people don’t want to miss a play while preparing food,” says Adnan Agboatwalla, Director of the Innovation Programs at Samsung Electronics America.

The biggest driver in smart appliance appeal for consumers is convenience.
Charles Henderson, Global Managing Partner and head of X-Force Red, notes what consumers want in connection with smart appliances.

Smart Home Entertainment Systems Dominate the Market

For now,  fun, cool and sometimes quirky smart home entertainment systems dominate the market for smart appliances.  MarketsandMarkets expects the demand for such smart devices to see even more rapid growth. The smart home entertainment system category includes smart TVs and mood-match lighting systems like Philips Hue. It also includes smart music systems and smart speakers.

App-based hubs like Amazon Echo and Google Home will enjoy a particularly robust expansion as well.

Forrester Research Inc. foresees an increase in the number of U.S. households with smart home entertainment systems in the coming years.  The company says homes with smart appliances will increase from 26 million to 66 million between 2018 and 2022. Smart speakers built by Google, Amazon, and Apple are likely to lead the expansion.

People who buy smart home entertainment systems look mostly for devices that promise speed and convenience.

Smart home entertainment system and smart appliances cartoon
People who buy smart appliances and smart home entertainment systems look for devices that promise speed and convenience.

A Messy Space… For Now

Despite the high demand for smart appliances, the road to mass adoption is going to be rocky.  Purchasing, setting up and connecting smart home entertainment systems are costly and sometimes burdensome.  Many buyers often simply give up. Forrester’s survey indicates that one-third of smart speakers are still in their boxes. Frank Gillett, Vice President, and Principal Analyst at Forrester, says that the market for smart home entertainment is difficult to pin down.

a photo quote of Frank Gillet on the market for smart appliances or a smart home entertainment system
For now, the smart appliance space is crowded and confusing.

There are also misgivings.  Security, privacy, and trust remain a big concern among owners of smart home entertainment systems. Charles Golvin, a senior director analyst at Gartner Inc., says many are wary of the Internet of Things.  He adds that many assume a “big brother is watching” frame of mind. In the U.K., about 33% of the population does not trust smart home technology, according to a survey published by OnePoll last year.

Even so, innovators see opportunities in the demand for reassurance concerning smart appliances and systems.

“It is not a matter of if but when these systems will be compromised, and the consequences could be much more severe than lost social security numbers,” says Dimitri Stiliadis, founder, former CEO and current Chief Technology Officer of Aporeto Inc. “Addressing security and privacy will become a fundamental concern that will shape this industry.”

If that’s the case, then the smart appliance sector – specifically, the security aspect of it – will expand. The rise in smart technology ownership means more people will need their devices protected.

No matter how you look at it, though, one thing is certain: this growing industry will continue to grow.

Haunted? Nope! This is How Smart Appliances and IoT Work Cartoon

Smart home entertainment system and smart appliances cartoon
People who buy smart appliances and smart home entertainment systems look for devices that promise speed and convenience.

Using Xenon Gas Therapy to Prevent Brain Injury—Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited Starting Patient Trials

Cardiac arrest remains a serious cause of death and disability throughout the world. When the heart muscle is damaged severely, or a rhythm disturbance prevents blood flow, the brain suffers and suffers fast. Within a couple of minutes, neurons can be permanently injured once circulation stops. If this isn’t reversed quickly, lasting brain injury and even death are common outcomes. Recently, however, scientists have found an interesting inhalation therapy that might help protect brain cells post-cardiac arrest— Xenon gas therapy.

Xenon gas is a noble gas that has been traditionally used in lamps and headlights. But Xenon gas therapy can also be used to protect the brain based on prior research studies.

Thanks to NPXe Limited—also known as, NeuroproteXeon or NPXe—and partner Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Xenon gas therapy may soon offer hope to post-cardiac arrest patients.

a photo of the logos of NPXe Limited and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals to depict their partnership in advancing Xenon gas therapy research to trial patients
NPXe Limited has partnered with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals to advance Xenon gas therapy to post-cardiac arrest patients.

How Xenon Gas Therapy Prevents Brain Injury After Cardiac Arrest

To appreciate how Xenon gas therapy protects the brain after cardiac arrest, it helps to understand what normally occurs. Immediately after a cardiac arrest, specific receptors on brain neurons become activated. These receptors—called NMDA receptors—trigger calcium and other inflammatory particles to rush into the neurons, thus causing severe injury. This process adds insult to injury, so to speak, considering neurons are already being deprived of oxygen and glucose during a cardiac arrest.

Xenon gas therapy, however, stimulates receptors on these same brain cells and helps deactivate the NMDA receptors. If given soon enough, the inhalation therapy can prevent some of the injuries that might otherwise occur.

Based on prior research studies, Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited are now advancing this inhalation therapy research to Phase III patient trials. If successful, favorable results are seen, Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited will be granted fast-track status for possible drug treatment approval.

a photo quote of Steven Romano amidst the advancement in Xenon gas therapy
Dr. Steve Romano discusses therapeutic options for post-cardia arrest patients, such as Xenon gas therapy.

“We look forward to the upcoming start of the Phase 3 trial and learning more about this potential therapeutic option in a population of resuscitated cardiac arrest patients.” – Steven Romano, M.D., EVP and Chief Scientific Officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited’s Proposed Inhalation Therapy Phase III Trial

The inhalation therapy trial, which will be implemented in the U.S. and Europe, will involve over 70 medical centers and 1,400 patients. Xenon gas therapy will be administered through special devices provided by NPXe Limited. This plan will potentially include patients who are in hospitals and who are in transit in ambulances. In the study, half the patients will receive targeted temperature management, which is the currently approved treatment for cardiac arrest. The other half will receive Xenon gas therapy combined with temperature control. In this way, a good comparison can be made to determine just how beneficial Xenon gas therapy is for this patient population.

Mallinckrodt, a $1.68 billion pharmaceutical firm specializing in autoimmune and neurological conditions, partnered with NPXe Limited in this effort.

a photo quote of Nicolas Deye amidst the advancement in Xenon gas therapy
Nicolas Deye sums up the need for and the benefit of further research in innovative treatments like Xenon gas therapy.

After NPXe Limited received regulatory approval for the Phase III trial, Mallinckrodt awarded NPXe Limited $5 million per their agreement. Mallinckrodt will have distribution rights for Xenon gas therapy in North America, Japan, and Australia—if they are given approval. NPXe Limited will provide both Xenon gas as well as the inhalation therapy devices required.

Fast Track Approval for Mallinckrodt’s and NPXe Limited’s Xenon Gas Trial

Prior research studies have shown that Xenon gas therapy has notable benefits for the brain following cardiac arrest. In a smaller, Phase II trial, cardiac arrest patients were administered Xenon gas therapy within 5 minutes of the arrest. High-level MRI brain scans showed patients receiving Xenon gas therapy had less damage in the deeper parts of the brain. The study did not look at functional outcomes long-term, and it only involved a small number of patients. But the findings were optimistic enough to prompt the current Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited inhalation therapy trial.

Bill Burns CEO NPXe Limited discusses Xenon gas therapy
Bill Burns CEO NeuroproteXeon is guiding the company through Phase III clinical trials

Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited have been given a Fast Track designation for the current study to expedite potential benefits. That means that ongoing monitoring of results will be performed in case clear inhalation therapy benefits are identified early.

“Receiving Fast Track designation expedites the review process and, if approved, inhaled xenon gas will help treat patients with an unmet medical need.” – Bill Burns, Chief Executive Officer, NeuroproteXeon

Study results are expected in 2020 at the latest, potentially offering new care options for cardiac arrest patients soon. If effective, Xenon gas therapy could notably improve neurologic outcomes that are, sadly, currently rather unsatisfactory for many cardiac arrest patients.