The company behind the communication and collaboration technology that could vastly improve home care for older people across the UK is scaling up following a successful pilot in the Leeds City Region.
Konnektis is delivered via a 4G internet-enabled tablet that stays permanently within a person’s home acting as a care hub and giving vital real-time information to both carers, family members and health professionals. Care service users can also use the tablet to see when a carer is scheduled to visit, enabling them to play as active a role as possible in their care and wellbeing.
Bradford City Council piloted the technology in the homes of 10 service users for three months from September 2016 and is now scaling this up to a year-long project involving 150 service users.
Mark Howells co-founded Konnektis with his father after experiencing poor care for his grandfather. He said: “As a family we found the communication between various carers to be poor as it tended to rely on paper based notes. As my grandad’s health declined over time, the need for concise real-time information increased but the tools just didn’t exist. We wanted to build a product that should have existed for the network of carers that supported my grandad. We’re thrilled to be rolling Konnektis out in the Leeds City Region, which is already well known as a hotbed for advances in digital health technology.”
Carers use the tablet to log-in and access care information at the point of need and to quickly and easily record their visit comments, which can then be read by home care managers and health professionals, from anywhere via a web application that benefits from the latest security protections. Family members can also log on in the same way and can actually alert carers to relevant information or preferences that will support the highest standards of personalised care delivery.
All information is securely recorded to support enhanced auditing of care delivery and, importantly, Konnektis has developed exceptional reporting tools so that permissioned users have real-time alerts. This enables users to identify and track changes in a service user’s needs so that person-centred care is delivered as pro-actively as possible.
Mark Howells added: “Social care in the UK has never been more topical. We have an ageing population with an increasing number of people suffering from complex, chronic conditions and older people are staying in their own homes for longer.
The number of elderly people receiving support will only increase so as a society, we need new and more effective ways of ensuring that the complex network of information coming in from carers and family members can be integrated to provide the most personalised and effective care possible. We have built Konnektis to be a key pillar supporting care delivery in the 21st century.”
One of the home care managers involved in the Bradford pilot said: “Konnektis provides very useful information. I receive live information instead of waiting four weeks for the folder to come back in. I can also get a live view of a carer’s visit – I like that.” A family member of a service user said: “From the tablet, my sister can see who’s coming… That’s very beneficial.”
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, commented: “The Leeds City Region is the perfect place to be rolling out this exciting and revolutionary new technology that I believe will ultimately vastly improve the delivery of care services across the UK. The region really is a hub for medical tech as not only is it home to the only independent Internet Exchange Provider (IXP) outside London, it also has the only Digital Health Enterprise Zone in the North. As a leader in promoting and providing integrated health services, it is the perfect place to invest in digital healthcare.”
Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council said: “I’m delighted that we are piloting such an innovative product to optimise the delivery of social care, the resourcing of which is a problem facing Councils up and down the country. We need creative solutions like Konnektis to tackle this. Here in Bradford we recognise that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not solely for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility. Konnektis can help facilitate this by improving communication within our community. I encourage other businesses developing digital health products and services to come and visit Bradford to see what support is available to help grow their business.”
Bradford Council and Konnektis are now rolling out the platform across the district with a large number of service users and providers.
Ben Ormsby, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership