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Zuri: using technology to innovate home care

November 02, 2015 Matthew Robins Image Author: Matthew Robins

The spirit of innovation is very much alive in Jersey. Members of MedTech.je are building towards securing our Island’s future as a globally recognised medtech centre by bringing visions to life using cutting-edge technology.

Our local healthcare system in Jersey is a compact network, with our primary, secondary and tertiary health sectors often overlapping. This makes the Island an ideal place for businesses to trial and soft-launch medtech products. Jersey’s most recent innovation, Zuri, is living proof of the benefits of using Jersey as a place to test market potential and build a product on organic feedback as it is used in a real environment.

Organisations can benefit from our tightly knit medical community, where news of new tech spreads through word of mouth, allowing organisations to easily and organically grow both market share and reputation. Businesses have already taken advantage of this, with medtech products like the recently NHS assured billing system, MediBooks, which grew its base at local GP practices before moving its sights to the UK and global healthcare communities.

Zuri, a new home care management system built by Webreality for start-up company Care Software Solutions, is also beginning to gain momentum in the healthcare community, with many local competitors already rushing to implement the system in their own establishments, even before its official launch!

Zuri represents Jersey’s ability to innovate and create solutions that benefit medical professions exponentially and the great potential we have for testing products in our community. The Jersey home care community is looking to be just the beginning of the Zuri journey.

The Journey Towards Innovating Home Care

Director at Palm Springs Nursing Home and founder of Zuri, Cheryl Kenealy had a vision to change the home care landscape as we know it; to replace the dated paper based systems that are currently in place across the majority of home care organisations using technology.

Cheryl found that the existing paper based systems that covered all aspects of home care including care plan management, record keeping and communication posed numerous problems for carers. The processes were slow, documents and data could easily be lost, important patient information could be compromised or miscommunicated between carers… the list went on. Home care systems drastically need to step into the digital age.

Cheryl had an ambitious creative vision. She wanted to create the first multi-functional, personalised care plan management system software for home care. She just needed the right tech expertise to successfully make her vision a reality.

Webreality worked closely with her to meet her functional vision, using an agile project methodology, allowing us to adapt to spec changes in Zuri as we made releases and saw them tested on site with patients.

Cheryl’s experience working in home care and using health care systems was vital to the testing, enabling us to build and develop additional features as we discovered their necessity. Through testing we were able to include features that will safeguard the standard of care in the long term, eg using photo alerts that can allow carers to monitor the progress of bruises and wounds. Clinical charts were another element added late in the development process. This feature allows carers to keep detailed and accurate records of individual patients, which are stored securely in the cloud. This way, care workers that share clients will all have access to the same information, so that no important care information is lost or missed.

The Future of Zuri and Possible Impact in The Wider Health Community

Home care follows a standardised set of processes across the board, which will make Zuri immediately useful to home care organisations generally, so the system can easily be implemented for any home care business in the UK.

During Cheryl’s initial market research, she discovered that there is currently no widely adopted home care system that combines features in the way Zuri does. We built Zuri in such a way that it can be integrated with third party products, combining their capabilities and increasing its appeal for businesses that may already have systems in place. Zuri is configurable, allowing client companies to adapt aspects of its functionality to their own needs.

In use, with care workers collecting data as they work, Zuri will become a rich source of data for any home care business using it, and, by extension, potentially for health authorities seeking trend data on home care activity and practice. Subject to data usage agreements, health authorities will be able to respond swiftly and intelligently to evolving demographic and professional needs.

While Zuri is still early in its journey, we are confident that Islanders and eventually the wider home and health care communities will see the benefits of Zuri and the opportunities of using Jersey as a test bed for future medtech software.

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