Putting the human touch into assisted-living medtech
HaloCare Group has developed an innovative solution that combines smart devices, social connection and around-the-clock support to create better health outcomes for their customers as they live independently
Founded in late 2020 by David Walsh and Niall Kelly of Netwatch and Professor Johnny Walker of Global Diagnostics, HaloCare has become a leading innovator in assistive technology solutions.
Combining 24/7 support through its Care Hub with user-friendly technology, HaloCare empowers people to live in their own homes with a holistic, bespoke service based on the client’s needs.
Number of staff: 28
Why it’s in the news: HaloCare Group is expanding both its Irish and international reach and is having scoping conversations further afield including in the US
Having joined HaloCare seven months ago, Martin Dunne, managing director of HaloCare, describes the company as being in a very exciting stage of growth.
“What we know is that from a quality assurance and governance point of view, the HaloCare system has been proven and validated, which is vital for any care solution, and we’re now ready for the next phase of accelerated growth,” he said.
With experience as assistant national director for the HSE, Dunne has significant experience in considering services from the patient side. He describes HaloCare’s solution as flexible enough to meet everyone’s needs.
“What is different about HaloCare is that it’s individually focused,” said Dunne. “We design the service to meet the needs of the individual and their home as no two people are the same.
“Anyone that needs a level of assistance to live independently at home can be vulnerable, be it as they age, or post-hospital discharge, or even if they have some additional needs. With HaloCare, we find they gain more confidence, and the solution gives both our clients and their caregivers much-needed peace of mind.”
While HaloCare is a technology-based solution, its efforts wouldn’t be possible if it didn’t prioritise the human side of care. One big area Dunne speaks about is the ‘circle of care’ – family, friends and healthcare practitioners who all play a part in looking after a person.
Through the care specialists in the Care Hub, one of the big pieces of feedback HaloCare received is the peace of mind the solution provides the customer and their circle of care, removing the constant questions of how they’re doing and creating more moments of conversation and human connection.
The Circle of Care app shows what HaloCare calls a person’s ‘day story’, detailing what time they got up, where they went in their house, when they opened the front door, what appliances they used, and more, to create a clear picture of their day.
“Our customers get a phone call from our Care Hub specialists every day . . . that’s the difference, and there’s a warmth there that supersedes the technology and adds in a human chat,” Dunne said.
“That’s huge from a social inclusion point of view – it breaks down that barrier between the person receiving care and HaloCare as the provider. It’s difficult to measure that outcome, but it means a lot to the people we’re dealing with daily.
“This creates a connection that the technology complements. It has been extensively researched how a lack of social inclusion can have a severe mental and emotional impact on people that can manifest into physical symptoms.”
The day story, combined with tiny smart sensors in a person’s home and vital sign monitoring if needed, gives the person, their circle of care and HaloCare’s care specialists a clear idea of what’s happening and provides them with the opportunity to notice anything that is out of the ordinary.
As Dunne pointed out, something small could be very significant.
“There is the wellness and safety aspect of what we do, because you’re not looking at information in isolation,” he said. “Even if you go to the doctor now, if you go from one part of the health service to another, the patient is the only person who knows the whole story.
“At HaloCare, we empower the client and their circle of care so they see a complete holistic day story from the time they got up to going to bed, including the movement through the rooms, usage of technology, use of facilities – it’s all mapped out.”
The company is gearing up for a third series of EIIS funding, which has helped it in the past to build the infrastructure required and the team needed to scale the solution at pace.
Much of the work is to future-proof HaloCare so it can expand its capabilities when needed.
“People say HaloCare is the future, yet the future is here,” Dunne said. “With our type of technology solution, people can remain in their own homes and in their community, and it is well proven that people do better in those circumstances.
“As a society, we need to drive innovations that empower people to manage their health and independence in their home or community for as long as possible, because that’s where people do their best.”
For 2024, the strategy is to expand HaloCare’s Irish and international reach. It’s working on becoming a trusted partner to the HSE as it wishes to add value to the Irish healthcare system, while abroad it’s having scoping conversations further afield, including in the US.
“Every country in the world is experiencing the same type of demand for care at home from a humanitarian point of view,” Dunne said.
“The three pillars we have at HaloCare are safety, social and wellness (using a HaloPad tablet), and vital sign monitoring. HaloCare is one of the only companies I know that has the ability to combine all three pillars together and paint a holistic picture for a complete solution.
“HaloCare itself, without a shadow of a doubt, is going to develop and grow on a global scale because of the demand out there in the market internationally, not just in Ireland.”