March 12, 2019 | Written by: Tim Payne
Categorized: AI | Cloud Computing | IBM Cloud
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At some point in our lives, nearly all of us will provide care for a loved one. When that person is elderly or disabled, the experience can be overwhelming. About 18 months ago, I was approached by healthcare professional Helen Dempster who, after being a caregiver for her grandfather, had an idea for how to make the experience easier for others. I’d been working in IT and telecommunications for 20 years and had started a few businesses in my time, but I’d long wanted to work on something that improved lives. Together we devised a solution that care providers could use to better manage care plans and provide live updates to family members, thereby increasing transparency and peace of mind for all.
We established the startup company Karantis360 and incorporated IOT and AI capabilities into the solution. Care providers responded positively but there were security issues with the Microsoft Azure Cloud which we first used to run the solution. Users logging into the Karantis360 portal via multiple devices would be locked out of the system. Another issue was that the solution was dependent on care notes from scheduled home visits, and therefore only provided a limited picture of a person’s wellbeing. We knew we needed a better approach and that’s when we started to talking to IBM.
It was clear from the start that IBM not only could fix our legacy cloud security issues, but also could help us develop a much more innovative approach to care. Working with IBM’s experts – and using IBM’s Cloud and Watson Internet of Things (IoT) technologies – we devised a transformational new solution. We were able to use sensors to gather real-time data about the living environments and physical behaviors of persons in care.
By analyzing this data and using machine learning to get to know a person’s routine, we could produce new levels of insight to help us ensure their wellbeing.
For example, caregivers could be alerted to a fall or an accident, or if a person in care did something out of character such as leaving the house at an unusual time of day, not sleeping at night, leaving the stove on, or not returning from the bathroom. This non-intrusive approach would be undertaken with the full consent of persons in care and their families and IBM would ensure the highest standards of data security and privacy.
Working with IBM gave us access to an enterprise–grade cloud platform and AI technologies, plus the deep expertise we needed to scale our innovation ecosystem globally. IBM introduced us to their business partners EnOcean – a German company that produces sensors and wireless technologies used in everything from transportation to smart homes.
Within 12 months, Karantis360 has gone from concept to working solution, to a network of business partners and now, just this week, announcing a new customer: Care Response, a domiciliary care provider which is implementing Karantis360. Using our mobile app, Care Response can offer families increased visibility of the care they provide.
IBM solutions, expertise and partnerships have helped us develop an innovative digital solution that could revolutionize the way people care for loved ones – removing many of the routine tasks of care, improving peace of mind and helping vulnerable and older people to live in their own homes longer. It’s been an incredible journey so far and has huge potential for the future.