We caught up with Helen Dempster, founder of Karantis360 to talk all things from transforming end of life care through smart technology, to the importance of early identification and diagnosis in elderly patients…
Tell us about Karantis360
Karantis360 – Predictive technology for remote care monitoring using IoT, AI and ML.
Karantis360 is a radical innovation that provides discrete remote monitoring and predictive care for older adults and vulnerable individuals – making independent home living possible for longer for individuals that would otherwise require 24×7 care. The solution utilises Internet of Things energy harvesting sensors to capture behavioural data, which is continuously transmitted via an ethernet/cellular gateway to the IBM Cloud.
Utilising Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to understand and interpret patterns of behaviour, Karantis360 is able to identify any anomalies to normal behaviour patterns which are automatically flagged and reported to carers/clinicians/family members, ensuring the wellbeing of individuals being cared for.
In addition to reducing the administration overhead for carers, the solution increases the levels of transparency for family members and care providers. Karantis360 unites agencies, caregivers, clinicians, clients, and their families to benefit all – whilst using the aggregated data for predictive and preventive analytics.
The solution reduces both the amount of hospital admissions and allows for the safe discharge of patients in NHS Trust hospitals. Furthermore, the ease of instalment makes Karantis360 unique; despite the product being technically sophisticated it doesn’t require any technical expertise to install and can be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
In 2017 KarantisCare was launched, with Karantis360, developed in partnership with IBM, coming quickly after in 2018. In 2019, Karantis360 was recognised by Volvo in partnership with The Sunday Times as a Visionary company for its work to make the world a better place. This year, Karantis360 has been awarded a place on the Government’s new Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework “Spark” Dynamic Purchasing System Marketplace. This framework is reserved for new and disruptive technologies within the Public Sector.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
My beloved grandfather is really where my entrepreneur chapter began. Retiring from his painting and decorating business, the later part of his life was planned out to enjoy some much-deserved time back. Unfortunately, only a year into his retirement, my family and I started receiving some worrying calls from my grandmother expressing concerns about his health. On one occasion my grandmother received a call from a member of the community to say they had found my grandfather wandering the streets not remembering where he lived. From then on, my family and I would make regular visits to my grandparents’ home, 45 minutes away. Witnessing my grandfather deteriorate, the decision was made to get a diagnosis, which as expected, turned out to be Alzheimer’s disease. At that point we built a property next door to our family home where we could help provide care for him and my grandmother.
Over the next few years, my grandfather further deteriorated, going from stage one to stage three on the Alzheimer’s symptoms scale, and receiving an additional diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. This increased the level of support needed from professional carers. Once a day domiciliary care was no longer enough, combined with regularly being let down by the care providers, it was agreed that a live-in carer would be a better solution, before eventually, my husband gave up work to become a full-time carer for my grandfather.
It was during this time that the consultant explained how astounded he was that my grandfather was no longer losing his cognitive capability as quickly as his physical capability. This was the power of one-to-one care and stimulation, combined with the ability to start detecting early illness such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), as often my husband and family could identify this based on behaviors that were out of character.
It was not until my grandfather passed away, that I decided to re-investigate the patterns of behavior from the diaries we’d kept. I was sure that we could stop other people from going through what we went through. At that moment in time, it became my mission to change the delivery of social care, to give families and loved ones the care and support they deserve, give families transparency and to find a way that helped individuals to stay safely living in their own homes for end of life care.
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Why do you think the care industry needs innovating?
The current social care system is a broken record. Year after year, the Government acknowledges the crisis but ploughing more money back into a care model that has long proven its failings is what needs to finally change for the better.
We know that individuals want to remain independent for as long as possible, and importantly remain in their own homes – it’s proven to be the safest and most cost-effective option.
Crucially, clinical and social care must be much closer aligned to deliver better care for the population as a whole. This can be achieved using digital technology. We need to look at a care model that enables prevention by using predictive analytics and preventing critical care through early detection, thus reducing strain on the NHS in multiple ways.
Using technology to monitor individuals’ health in their own homes not only provides a safeguarding solution, but also enables behavioural and biometric patterns to be learned. The solution can therefore identify problems such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) at the earliest onset to begin treatment immediately. Early identification and diagnosis minimises the risk of an infection escalating to a critical point that requires a visit to A&E, and possible hospital admission – saving the NHS money and reducing bed blocking.
In addition to the obvious benefits of remaining independent in one’s own home, is the severe carer shortage that the UK is faced with, only to be further aggravated by the post-Brexit new immigration rules, since the sector relies on so many overseas workers. If the care sector doesn’t start to adopt intelligent technologies like so many other industries have had to, our loved ones will be catastrophically failed by the care system.
What advice would you have for other women looking to start their own business?
First and foremost, don’t take no for an answer if you are passionate and believe in what you are doing. Secondly, ask for help. Surround yourself with people who believe in your idea as much as you do.
What can we hope to see from Karantis360 in the future?
We continue to conduct a lot of research in the areas of AI, biometrics and incorporating environmental factors. Our solution already has leading edge AI, so our focus is looking to enhance this and add additional proactive care capabilities. Please keep an eye out on our website and social media in the coming months for exciting news and updates.