In March, the UK Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced that funding would be available to innovators who can find digital ways to support people who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This ‘Techforce19’ challenge aims to support those who are particularly vulnerable or isolated as a result of the outbreak and need help, including people who need mental health support or who have social care needs.
The NHSX, which is responsible for the digitalization of public social and health services in the United Kingdom, has been working with partners PUBLIC and the AHSN Network to run the fast-track competition for innovators, creating a pool of ready to go technologies that have the potential to be rapidly scaled regionally and nationally.
Through ‘Techforce19’ challenge, NHSX chose Finnish VideoVisit® HOME remote care platform to support the daily lives of elderly people who have been isolated at home because of the coronavirus.
In the application process, 18 different solutions were selected from among 1 600 service providers. VideoVisit was the only solution chosen from outside the UK. With the help of the remote care platform, the NHSX wants to support communication in particular between the vulnerable elderly, their relatives and caretakers. With VideoVisit, it is possible to make home care visits via a secure remote connection. In addition, elderly persons using the service will be able to have video connections with their loved ones.
According to VideoVisit’s CEO Juhana Ojala, the strength of the service lies not only in its ease of use, but also in its humane dimension. “VideoVisit cannot be compared to traditional telemedicine or conference services, for example. VideoVisit is a door to the world for the person taken care of at home. It brings together the nursing staff, the client living at home, who needs regular care, and his loved ones.”
VideoVisit is already Finland’s leading remote care service platform. In Finland, the easy-to-use service designed for the elderly is already in use in half of Finland’s municipalities and with thousands of home care customers. Moreover, the company is currently in the process to internationalize. The possibility to join the TechForce-19 project will open an important route for VideoVisit to the UK market, where the company works closely with locally based Nursebuddy.
Nursebuddy, a key partner for VideoVisit on TechForce19 initiative, has established its position as a trusted solution not only in Finland but also in the UK and Ireland. Nursebuddy enables homecare managers to plan and manage visits effortlessly remotely. The aim of the business collaboration is to expand the remote care service to Nursebuddy’s customer organizations in the UK, and to further integrate both solutions together.
The coronavirus has increased the need for remote care for the elderly to a whole new level. Home care service providers are deploying services at a record rate to ensure the availability and quality of their services. In order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus to the at-risk group, as many visits as possible are transferred to remote visits. Similar developments are taking place throughout Europe.
Juhana Ojala, Tel. +358 40 568 2182, firstname.lastname@example.org