As the future sustainability of home care remains fragile and uncertain, our new startup MyHelpa believes AI-driven software can do more to support home care providers.
The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and uncertainty of Government’s proposals to reform social care, continue to apply unprecedented pressure on home care providers and their care teams.
Despite the risks of Covid-19, and difficulties obtaining PPE and regular infection testing, across the UK, selfless home care professionals put themselves, and their families, at risk.
The stress experienced by home care professionals during this pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to their mental health. We don’t yet know the human cost of the stress that comes with working in home care and facing emotional toil. We need to care for everyone right now.
“For both men and women in England and Wales, the age adjusted mortality rate of covid-19 in social care workers is twice that of healthcare workers.
To protect those providing and receiving domiciliary care, the importance of this sector needs to be recognised.” BMJ 2020;370:m2751
We believe easy-to-use and cutting-edge technology can help to support home care professionals to provide excellence in care, especially now with people and resources being stretched beyond their limit.
We want to help, and we are starting by making the capability of artificial intelligence (AI) accessible to all home care providers, at no cost.
Before Covid, I experienced the difficulties and brilliance of working with a home care provider.
When my grandparents needed home care, I could see how challenging it was for them to receive the continuity of care they needed.
Their care professionals were amazing, yet there seemed to be a constant stream of challenges to overcome. It was difficult for everyone.
After working in financial services for 13 years I took a break to have children, and what I thought would be a minor career break turned out to be a career change.
Like so many people, I witnessed vulnerable loved ones receiving rushed and inconsistent care, accessed through an overly complex system, where commercial pressures eroded the caring ethos of our wonderful care professionals.
I began to ask, “Can technology do more to help home care providers?”
That is when I decided to create MyHelpa. I had seen what technology is capable of in banking, and I could not help feeling that home care was not yet benefiting from advanced technology.
I met with hundreds of people involved in home care: care professionals, agency owners, sector experts, and I immersed myself in my friend’s home care franchise.
I realised how few resources are available to home care providers that ‘do’ the routine and often repetitive, yet important, tasks. I had seen how software was able to do much more than exchanging manual pen and paper tasks with the same procedure on a computer.
Thoughtfully designed, easy to use, advanced technology can automate and solve many complex criteria in minutes and seconds, freeing precious time and saving money. I had seen how robust and effective algorithms can support people in their roles.
The more I researched, the more I became inspired by the potential of technological innovation. People were interested in the idea that tech could do more and wanted to be involved with MyHelpa.
Today, I am working with a brilliant team of experienced home care and tech professionals. From the very start we were looking for ways to enable home care professionals to harness the power of AI.
We wanted to augment home care professionals by creating a platform and algorithm that would ‘do’ complex, office-based routine tasks for them, and, through the automation of cognitively routine work, create greater efficiency and productivity.
The future of care is people
I understood that we needed to do everything we could to support all the people that work in home care. The pandemic brought this reality into even sharper focus.
Even with the most advanced technology in the world, especially in home care, people could not be replaced. Only people can feel, judge, anticipate, imagine and be curious within changing situations.
Only home care professionals can act on alerts or data insights from predictive modelling and machine learning.
Our thinking kept coming back to the same point: in the end, no matter what tech we put in place, we need a qualified, experienced, and engaged home care professional to travel to a person’s home in a specific window of time.
We also need each visit to place no extra burden or stress on the person or people receiving care; so there needs to be a good fit between the people providing and receiving care.
The future of care is people, and we need more compassionate people to join the sector.
We decided to look at how AI can be harnessed to help home care professionals and their performance to grow in more efficient ways.
We wondered if AI could help home care professionals to think and act, such as solving complex schedules, and promote positive team dynamics, like sharing and regularly updating employee availability, so the platform is supplied with up-to-date data.
Finally, we wanted to learn from the data and use it to create better processes and further improve a care provider’s ability to consistently deliver excellence in care.
To be helpful, technology must be universally accessible
Importantly, we wanted all home care providers to be able to access our technology.
We decided that cost should not be a barrier to MyHelpa and we wanted to provide at least one key feature of our platform completely free of charge, and it had to be a feature that really helped a provider’s daily operation.
So we built a business model that allows us to provide a scheduling tool at no charge. Our scheduling tool is an AI solver; this means at the click of a button, it can solve complex schedules in minutes, if not seconds.
We wanted to help providers with limited budgets to access our core product and benefit from all our AI driven capabilities and solve complex schedules easily and quickly.
MyHelpa’s scheduling software is cloud-based and designed to be easy-to-use, so care professionals can feel confident using it, and access it through devices they probably already own.
It is accessible on a computer or mobile device with an internet connection, and over time we will add more features to make our software even more helpful.
Our journey is just beginning
Our team is passionate about building the best solutions for home care providers; solutions that really make a difference.
Our small pilot group of brilliant home care providers continue to rigorously test MyHelpa’s beta version and provide crucial feedback ensuring the platform works in all known scenarios.
As we prepare to launch MyHelpa, we also know we have a lot to learn from the extraordinary people in the home care sector. We welcome your feedback.
We are at the beginning of our journey and we are focussed on building technology to strengthen home care, and do what we can to help ensure the sector’s future sustainability.
Thanks for reading.
Tracy Greenan, CEO & Co-Founder of MyHelpa
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If you want to talk about MyHelpa and learn more about how it can help you, or if you want to use MyHelpa’s scheduling tool to see the platform first hand, or share your views on what you need from your software, please get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org