Digital health-startup Alodokter raises $9mn in Series B funding
Led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, digital health start-up company Alodokter has raised $9mn in Series B funding. The investment will see the company develop and integrate its app technology to further provide exceptional patient support across the platform. Golden Gate Ventures and Feng also participated in the funding round.
Established in 2014, patients can access their data through the mobile app and have the ability to book appointments and be the ‘go-to’ app for individuals who have a healthcare issue access medical services through one core platform, providing an essential solution for its 16 million active users.
Recently, the company has installed a chat feature on the app, which utilises artificial intelligence and enables its users to chat with medical professionals at a time convenient for them.
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“We believe that a mix of AI and real-doctor interaction is the future of healthcare online,” explained CEO Nathanael Faibis. We are gathering one of the largest databases of patient/doctor interaction, which will give us an important edge in providing one of the best digital healthcare services.”
“We want our app to become top of mind for patients when they have a medical issue,” he added.
“By managing so much information about patients, doctors and service providers, we are gradually building a much more efficient solution than traditional methods to find the right solution for patients.”
Supporting over 250,000 patients a month, the company aims to further expand its service offering and enter further markets, but is going to meet stiff competition with competitors, such as MeetDoctor and 1Health.
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”