The Stack Archive News Article

Why digital platforms are delivering higher quality home care

Fri 23 Jun 2017

Digital health

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, co-founder at the NHS Innovation Accelerator, speaks on the opportunity to deliver more efficient care services through innovative digital solutions…

An aspiring new home care start-up is using technology and digitalisation to deliver more efficient, high-quality services.

‘Our ambition is to transform the social care sector in this country,’ says Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, co-founder of CERA.

A junior doctor and adviser on innovation to NHS England, Maruthappu says CERA is an efficient, streamlined end-to-end digitalised and automated platform which is able to cut out the middleman.

Digitalisation enables the start-up to match care workers to those who need care based on where they live, what type of care they need and when they need it.

All its back office operations are automated and care workers are equipped with iPads to make notes digitally. This improves the efficiency of handovers and transparency of records for families and other healthcare workers.

CERA recruits all its care workers directly online, while its cheap and efficient running costs enable the company to pay a higher rate and invest in training. This attracts the very best recruits and improves the quality of service.

There are thousands of home care providers who are largely offline, quality is a real issue

The start-up also partners with a number of other technology-enabled companies to provide additional services such as an on-demand transport service and a medical courier service which delivers medicines direct to a client’s door within the hour. Maruthappu describes this as a one-stop shop for all his clients’ needs.

Launched in November last year, CERA has already developed partnerships with 10 NHS organisations providing home care services for older people. It is currently focusing on delivering a comprehensive holistic service in London but plans to expand to other cities and provide services for people with other conditions as well.

‘If you look at social care in this country it’s experiencing a number of challenges. The sector is extremely fragmented. There are thousands of home care providers who are largely offline, quality is a real issue, many care providers are struggling to survive and the NHS has a problem with getting people out of hospital.

‘Our aim is to deliver a higher quality, more efficient service using technology which enables us to afford a much narrower profit margin than other care providers. We offer safe, efficient, and transparent care. We also provide very fast care and at the moment speed, or lack of it, is a real problem in the sector. We are passionate about quality and believe in designing around the needs of our users and our care workers,’ says Maruthappu.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 09.07.09Dr Mahiben Maruthappu will be giving a talk at the Digital Healthcare Show, taking place at London’s ExCeL, 28th – 29th June.

Register here for your complimentary pass.


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