Years of working for the NHS gave CEO/Founder Deepak Samson a first-hand experience of how overwhelmed the healthcare system is, often failing to care for some of the most vulnerable patients due to lack of capacity, poor communication and inefficiencies across the board.
Born and raised in India, Deepak moved to a small village in Northern Ireland to spend a gap year after completing his undergraduate degree. He liked it there so much, he then pursued a second degree in Theology, attending Queens University. Upon graduation, he began a career in youth work, and after 8 years he transitioned into healthcare management.
Deepak then spent almost a decade working in various management positions in Northern Ireland’s Health Service and “loves nothing more than to think (and act) outside the box – although Jazz and Theology are his first loves”. His parents still live in India so keeping in touch with distant relatives is a challenge he knows all too well.
“As someone who lives away from parents, I’m used to connecting with them over (starting with) telephones, then Skype came along and then WhatsApp. However, there are people like my dad who although not that old have never used these devices and we tried everything to teach him ‘new tricks’ but failed. I realised that it would be amazing to have a dedicated, no-nonsense, easy to use, plug & go solution to enable busy families to support their elderly loved ones who live on their own.”
During his time with the NHS, Deepak often heard carers “crying out for support and tools” to meet the demands of patients visits while tackling the issues of staff shortage. He saw the solution in utilising technology to provide them with tools that ease these processes, giving suggestions to his colleagues and stakeholders, until one day he said “why would I give people my ideas instead of making them happen myself?”
His innovative solution borrowed its name from an elderly lady who often cooked for Deepak when he first moved to Northern Ireland. With family members scattered across the country, Ethel relied on physical nurse visits to help her avoid living in a care home – as do another 2 million people just like her currently in the UK healthcare system.
The growing frustration from both his professional and personal lives brought EthelCare to life.
“It is essentially a solution for her” says Deepak. Ethel now has an always-on, large 16-inch touchscreen device that is tailor-made for people with little to no computer skills, allowing family members and care staff to offer remote support instantly.
The platform brings together a variety of Internet of Things technologies, linked up with sensors, cameras and other supervision techniques to make care services accessible remotely, thereby reducing the resources needed and increasing their reach and impact.
Ethelcare facilitates virtual visits, medication reminders and remote patient monitoring deploying hospital level care in a patient’s own home. efficiently and at a cost a fraction of the £550 per day it costs on average staying in a UK Hospital. On top of this care providers are suffering from an enormous turnover of staff – approx. 30% annually – and expected to be exacerbated as many workers drift back to the Hospitality and Travel sectors as they come out of lockdown.
There are approx. 3 million people over 65 living on their own in the UK. Deepak and his team are on the mission to fulfil a real need for care for the elderly through technology, showing a huge potential to becoming the next Global Champions in Healthtech. We are thrilled to be their trusted advisors on Deepak’s journey, firstly by obtaining Seed Funding for him and then graduating to a larger Series A round in due course.