Sep 28, 2020

Cera Care buyout expands tech-focused home care in Scotland

home care
social care
digital care records
elderly care
Leila Hawkins
2 min
Cera Care buyout expands tech-focused home care in Scotland
The acquisition will also create new jobs...

Tech-focused UK home care company Cera Care has announced its acquisition of Mears Care Scotland. The multi-million buyout will enable Cera Care's in-home care technology to be available to users throughout Scotland. 

As a result of the deal Cera has announced 500 new jobs in Scotland, in addition to the 1,000 Mears staff members joining the organisation. The company is already actively recruiting for these roles, as part of a wider drive to hire 10,000 staff nationwide. 

The acquisition brings the total number of dedicated offices Cera Care owns to 12, making it one of Europe's biggest adult social care companies. 

Cera Care was founded in 2016 as a technology-focused home care provider. Digital technology and data analytics are routinely used to improve their care services for the elderly. One example of this are the machine learning algorithms developed to predict health deteriorations in elderly people before they occur. 

In 2018 the UK Government's Department for Health and Social Care published a policy paper outlining its vision for data and technology in health and social care . Cera Care was listed as a case study to illustrate how automating back-office functions and using digital care records can improve efficiency. 

Their mobile app also gives family members and medical practitioners up-to-date health information, ensuring the needs of elderly individuals can be predicted and addressed in real-time. 

In the first half of this year, the company provided almost two million in-home care visits to its users. Ranpreet Grewal, Finance Director at Cera Care, commented on their acquisition of Mears: “The first half of this year has reaffirmed how vital social care is across the UK as a whole. Ultimately, we want to provide as many people as possible with access to our technology. 

"This deal means we are able to create hundreds of roles across Scotland to help put people back to work, provide best in class support to the country’s elderly community and further support on the NHS during a time of unpresented pressure

 "We had set ourselves the aim of establishing a national footprint in Scotland earlier this year, and this acquisition marks a huge achievement for everyone at Cera Care. The infrastructure and talent we have been able to bring in as a result of this deal provides us with an ideal platform from which to continue our growth in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

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Jun 16, 2021

Five minutes with Stanley Healthcare's Troy Dayon

AI
elderlycar
machinelearning
remotepatientmonitoring
5 min
Troy Dayon, President of Stanley Healthcare and Stanley Access Technologies, explains how tech can help carers support an aging population

Stanley Healthcare provides technology solutions for caregivers, whether they are in a hospital, a care home, or at home. Here the company's President Troy Dayon explains the challenges carers face and what role technology plays in care for the elderly. 

The healthcare workforce is shrinking while the population is aging. How can this be addressed? 
Not only is the healthcare workforce shrinking, but the industry is facing the issue of overload and burnout among healthcare professionals. 

One major approach to address this is to help each caregiver to accomplish more – not by pushing them harder but by focusing their attention on the things that matter most, harnessing technology such as AI and machine learning. 

This technology provides caregivers with information on what care is needed, and which patients or residents to focus on first based on risk or acuity. The insights that it provides can help caregivers to be more efficient and address issues that would usually require more of their time, such as critical asset location, which takes time away from giving the care where it’s needed most. 

What do healthcare providers need to do to address clinician burnout? 
It is key for healthcare providers to understand the setting and the specific environment in which clinicians have been working. Many hospitals across the globe reconfigured entire wards to treat COVID-19 patients, and for more than a year, clinicians have been working in crisis mode. 

They need the opportunity to return to regular, sustainable routines, supported by technologies that help make them more efficient, but also more fulfilled because they maximise time with patients, applying their hard-earned education and experience to work at the top of their license.

In aged care, the experience of managing a highly contagious and deadly virus has reinforced the need for a proactive approach to managing the health of residents. Caregivers need predictive tools like the Foresite solution to help them understand which residents are at greatest risk, so they can focus their efforts where they can have the most impact. 

How can technology support older people? 
AI-based technology such as Foresite harnesses a range of passive monitoring technologies to develop a baseline profile of a resident in aged care that highlights changes in health or behaviour. This information can help caregivers see where and when they need to spend their time, identifying heightened risk for falls and early indication of heart issues and even infections. 

In fact, the technology has been shown to accurately predict events like falls, which allows intervention prior to an event occurring, rather than just automating routine processes.

Beyond this, connecting caregivers remotely to seniors to provide efficient care outside of traditional care settings is crucial. During the pandemic, there was a marked increase in the use of telehealth and remote monitoring of vitals, medication management and daily health. 

These technologies fill a major gap in healthcare delivery: care for patients once they’ve been discharged from hospital, or for seniors who need some level of care but don’t need to be in an aged care home. By caring for people effectively in their own homes, we can help reduce the burden on hospitals from readmissions and leverage the expertise of aged care organisations beyond the confines of the four walls of the facility. 

A lot of care is in fact delivered by unpaid carers. How can they be better supported with tech?

The remote monitoring technology that professional caregivers have access to can, in turn, also provide information and support to unpaid caregivers. For example, helping ensure a loved one is taking their medication, or knowing when they might be experiencing a change in health that can put them at risk. 

Human observation is inherently limited, no matter how often you see a loved one, and you can’t always rely on what a senior says about themselves. It’s very common that they downplay problems, because no one wants to be a burden or relinquish their independence. 

Remote solutions that connect family to an older relative help increase safety and wellbeing for the senior and reduce the burden on caregivers. They also make possible care decisions based on facts. At some point, a senior may need to transition to an aged care setting, which is often a difficult family conversation. This is an area where we can offer support to unpaid caregivers – reassurance during what is typically a very stressful period for the people providing that care. 

In Japan several large hospitals are deploying robot nurses. Is this a potential solution? 
I think the best path for robotics in healthcare is to focus on the root problem. It’s about dealing with a limited number of caregivers for a population that’s rapidly aging. Robotic technologies offer solutions that support the human healthcare providers with the information they need to make better and faster decisions about care. It’s about convergence and use of technology rather than a specific solution such as a robotic nurse.

This technology could be in the form of AI and machine learning or a robotic agent for routine administrative tasks. Removing low-value activities that distract caregivers from giving care is a key focus when it comes to robotics in healthcare. This automation can free up time for caregivers to spend more time with patients while optimising workflows. 

Robots in this sense don’t replace humans. They are leveraged for what they do well – repetitive routines done with speed and precision – while humans are given the time and space to deliver what ultimately we all want: human-centered care. 

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