The Eldercare solution app was designed to deal with loneliness, above all, preventing it with the help of artificial intelligence and technology. Like a caring friend, its elaborated plans give support focusing on sport, physical activity, and social interactions improving the quality of life among older people, their wellbeing, mental health, and independence.
Social connections are critical in our daily lives. The worry experienced worldwide over the past year is, in part, driven by limitations on social interactions. The forced social distancing experienced since March 2020 and the economic effects of the pandemic is likely to have long-term consequences.
Loneliness is the sour and unpleasant reality affecting all vital spheres of life, depriving older people of the beauty of human relationships, daily motivation to keep fit and emotional balance. Recent research showed that loneliness is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and the experience put life in danger by 26% higher. Feeling lonely is the reason for issues with blood pressure, being overweight, heart stroke, coronary heart disease, cognitive decline, and dementia. And severe depression of course. General practitioners visitors are more likely people that are lonely. They take more medicine and have a higher chance of early entrance into residential nursing homes.
Currently, 45% of adults feel lonely in different extends in England, and they are 25 million people. The same percentage in the United States equals 42 million adults. Compared to feeling lonely, many more Europeans (20.8%) are socially isolated. Country variations for this measure are much higher than for subjective loneliness. The Americans are aging rapidly, which means about one in five US citizens will be 65+ in 2040. Compared to 2000 the growth is impressive as there were one in eight individuals over 65 at the time (36 million people). Moreover, the number is going to double during the next 40 years which means 80 million people facing loneliness and social isolation will need professional AgeTech care.
About the client – Eldercare Solution
EvZein is a project from Oxford University Innovation.
– The creators’ team – Dr. Vasiliki Kiparoglou, Co-Founder, Head of Research Operations & Senior Research Fellow.
– David Nogueras, Co-Founder Consultant Life & Health Insurance Strategy & Innovation
– Prof Hugo VanWoerden, Medical Advisor MD & Director of Public Health
– Dr. Sarwar Shah Research Advisor MD & Senior Research Fellow.
The app has become a tech vaccine against loneliness by making older people closer to their communities instead of TV as a beloved and devoted companion.
Business challenges – Eldercare Solution
Aged care software development is not an easy process and faces serious business challenges. We start with project requirements investigation, of course, collecting business and technical demands, what’s and how’s in other words.
In the initial stage, we develop technical product architecture. Lots of attention goes to the Database design and the choice is being made on the product’s most optimal technical stack. So the planning steps begin with Use cases and user journey preparations. They are essential for further technical tasks for UX/UI stage.
Then it is time for our app for the senior care design process. No need to mention it is crucial and defines if users will enjoy using the product in the end. No matter how perfect your service is, it all depends on the first impression. A well-defined design will help you reach target audiences and make them stay. Researching and understanding the preferences of target users are vitally important at this stage. Nice research creates cool UI/UX design and a pleasant journey with the app.
In our aged care software development, we focus on building a minimum viable product (MVP) and fast launching. Instead of time-consuming fully developed performance, we prefer coding the app with core features only.
The process is fluent and our experience showed many MVP advances when it comes to verifying market demand, studying business concepts, usability, UX, winning stakeholders, etc. Moreover, when it comes to feedback, it is much easier to understand issues the real users face and make the necessary corrections on your minimum viable product in its early stage of development.
THE SOLUTION – Eldercare Solution
We are proud of EvZein aged care software’s key features. To begin with, our product is a GDPR compliant app. Since we store private and health data, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation law makes it consistently safe. GDPR requirements apply to everyone in the European Union, and some of the most important ones include data breach alerts, collected data anonymizing, different consents demands for data processing, safety in data handling, etc.
Unique individual planning
Creating a tailored social activities plan depends on a proprietary algorithm to analyze loneliness risk which was developed by the EvZein aged care software team. The number of adults feeling lonely is set to reach 2 million by 2025 to 2026. We integrated preventative methods by leveraging digital technology to develop tailored plans which focus on physical activity, diet, and promoting social activities.
Let us illustrate it with the example of Mrs. Smith. The lady is 63 years old and currently lives in Chester. She is about to retire from teaching at a local school. Her husband passed away 2 years ago and her kids moved to London for work. She has dedicated her full life to family and work and does not have a lot of friends in Chester. Mrs. Smith was diagnosed with arthritis and lately, she has been having regular pain in her back and legs. Her employer currently plays her life insurance policy and she has to decide whether to carry on paying it or cancel it.
How does EvZein’s elderly monitoring app work? Is Mrs. Smith at risk of being lonely? The assessment based on an individual’s lifestyle and life events shows the level of her loneliness somewhere between Medium and Low. What can Mrs. Smith and her family do to reduce the risk of loneliness? The old lady has an event planned for today – walking to the local fair and meeting friends. Around 11 am Mrs. Smith walks to the train station to meet her friends. She walks 3 km. EvZein elderly monitoring app tracks her activity and confirms she’s with her friends.
Any EvZein aged care software user itself can become a volunteer and create their own events and organize interest groups.
Volunteering as the main cure
Volunteer activity is another important thing we are proud to feature. The ability to involve Volunteer organizations to create and moderate events on the platform is a gift of the modern world lifestyle. The volunteers either visit older people in person, use technology for providing care or organize some group activities like exercises, creative writing, reading clubs, etc. There are many shreds of evidence that one-to-one interventions can improve psychological and physical well-being. An increase in social activity, amount of time spent in active pursuits are obvious.
A study among older people in Ireland who received a volunteer visit for 10 weeks compared to usual treatment demonstrated a decrease in loneliness. Another example, from Canada, involving volunteer visitor programs in the community showed increased social integration at six weeks. For instance, the use of a video network in the Netherlands that allowed users to contact a nurse 24/7 and to interact with carers, friends and family contributed to a significant reduction in loneliness in older users. Similarly, a decrease in loneliness was reported by users who participated in a national pilot study in the United Kingdom of telephone befriending support projects, where volunteers provided emotional support for older people. In Finland and Slovenia, the provision of computer sessions teaching basic information technology (IT) skills and training on Skype and internet use also led to a significant reduction in loneliness overall especially for those using email.
Apart from volunteering to help older people, the EvZein aged care software users can become volunteers themselves in order to socialize. Even those who have never lived the experience may discover it at an older age with our app. So why volunteer? Connecting to others does good for your mind and body, it brings joy and fulfillment, the feeling of being alive every day.
Younger individuals with their busy lives have fewer opportunities to find time to volunteer, but elder age gives more freedom. The benefits of volunteering are enormous if based on a passionate wish. Helping people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community is very secondary beneficiaries. The greatest reward comes to the volunteer himself/herself.
Since sharing kindness with others protects our mental and physical health, fights stress and depression, motivates filling us with a sense of purpose, there is no time left for feeling lonely and social isolation is forgotten like a nightmare. Isn’t it a direct cure our app is offering?
Ways to measure loneliness and social isolation
Statistic and dynamic calculation of loneliness risk score depend on involvement in activities. It is also important that based on this assessment, the list of events and activities will dynamically change to suit the person in the best way.
Our eldercare management solutions app has four general levels of loneliness – Very Low, Low, Medium, and Hight. We use a list of questions to determine where the individual is right now. We are aware of social and emotional loneliness, of course. The latter stems from the lack of an intimate relationship, while the former is associated with the perceived absence of a broad social network – friends, close relatives, neighbors. Feelings of anxiety and isolation occur with emotional loneliness, whereas social loneliness is connected with aimlessness and marginality. Since loneliness is a truly personal and subjective feeling, its measurement is not so clear-cut and simple. It can be measured directly, by asking people about their subjective feelings of loneliness usually over a specified period of time like the past week or two weeks. Alternatively, we prefer indirect indicators, which explore specific determinants of loneliness. Surveys for indirect indicators do not employ the words ‘lonely or ‘loneliness’ but instead ask about feelings or facts related to loneliness.
In-app interaction and communication
We also provide In-app interaction and communication to engage and capture the users, deliver the right message to them, and improve the EvZein aged care software life cycle. Here we focus on public profiles of users like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Platforms where they post photos and share events with their social circle. And also internal chats for communication within the application. in fact, these are chats with users, they can send requests to friends and communicate with each other – share photos, etc. In other words, the in-app interaction and communication functionality comes from social networks.
THE RESULTS – Eldercare Solution
EvZein eldercare solution was founded in 2020. Extensive research preceded its launch. The available relevant technologies to tackle loneliness were studied thoroughly. Among many insights, the most important were the followings.
First, most of the technology interventions were focused on using social media like Facebook or Whatsapp to connect users. And then, no one was actually focusing on preventing loneliness and social isolation. It looked like these two problems were totally underestimated. But loneliness is becoming an epidemic in most countries in the world. There is even a Ministry of loneliness in many countries like Canada, the UK, Japan, India, etc. And covid increased the number of lonely people, like 40 million in the United Kingdom.
What makes EvZein eldercare solution unique is that this is one of the applications that focus on prevention using digital technologies. When a new user joins the app for senior care, we ask a set of basic questions in order to determine the risk of loneliness of that person. After that, a tailored plan is automatically selected with specific recommendations to that person in areas like fitness, companionship, well-being, and volunteering. It is very important for communities. So the users we were able to connect with the users on the application and link the activities together. So it will be possible to connect with all these volunteer communities based on preferences.
The team of EvZein eldercare solution co-creators elaborated the concept but they were not technology experts. ZenBit was able to provide that service. Being very involved in the project since the beginning, our developers’ team support allowed EvZein aged care software to make the best technical decisions with a limited budget.
As populations age, the use of health and social care services has increased immensely. Today identifying, preventing, and reducing social isolation and loneliness has transformed into a radical worry for health and social care professionals. Efforts are being taken internationally to face and deal with social isolation and loneliness. Although it is not easy to measure every positive effect and change, the experience constantly proves that much can be done to develop and encourage social integration and make the quality of life of older people better.
Though not always visible, the bad impact of loneliness on our health and overall wellbeing is not only out of the question but scary. Many platforms have been created lately to save the world. Some of them focus on elder people’s health care, others aim at connecting seniors both in and out of the home and enjoying human relationships. Technology is a gift and a blessing here for enabling interaction with others and bringing joy and meaning to their lives.
Any high-quality agetech software development begins with market research. Make sure the product is relevant to competitive challenges, its design is pleasant and user friendly, etc. The process goes on after launch, of course. EvZein eldercare solution app development cost significant time and effort but it was worth it.
We are happy to lend you a helping hand with our knowledge and experience in eldercare app solutions to successfully implement new ideas. Feel free to contact our team!