June’s start up of the month

jamie wilsonDr Jamie Wilson is a psychiatrist with 10 years experience working across the NHS. He is the founder of HomeTouch, a platform connecting carers and patients.

What is HomeTouch and why is it needed?

HomeTouch is an online marketplace that helps families find affordable, high quality and vetted carers in their area.

Why hasn’t anyone else done this before?

Websites connecting care seekers with carers have always existed. The difference now is the “tech stack”  to deliver different components of the service are much more easily configurable and road tested. These tools range from video profiles, customer ratings, smartphone apps for GPS tracking of carers, payment APIs all of which have become part of the normal customer experience in other industries.

What is your business model?

We take a flat commission on all funds transacted through the platform.

How do you see HomeTouch impacting healthcare over the next 10 years?

Finding care for a parent or loved one is known to be a highly stressful life event. As the population ages, more and more people will discover what this is like. Our vision is to simplify the process and make the experience of finding care more transparent, convenient and quality assured.

Tell me about some difficulties you encountered along the way. 

Where do I start? Introducing any new concept particularly in healthcare can be like pushing water uphill. There have been many hurdles ranging from dealing with customers, regulation, tech issues, defining culture and employing staff – but probably the most draining and challenging is raising capital from the right type of investor.

What have been people’s reactions?

We have some very satisfied customers who have intuitively taken to the concept. Our oldest customer who paid for care online was in her 90s. There is still some reticence about whether a purely online service can be trusted but video profiles of carers, CRB checks and interviewing carers all help with this.

Have you had any patient success stories yet?

No miracle cures, but our net promoter scores show improved quality of life for patients who were receiving patchy care.

What are you looking for right now?

Funding, customer acquisition channels and technical talent.

What one piece of advice could you offer for someone wanting to make an impact on the future of healthcare?

Achieving scale and impact is as much about the delivery model as the core idea. I would always advise an entrepreneur or inventor to think about your route to market before falling in love with your idea. Otherwise it may never be discovered.

[Disclosure: I have no commercial ties with HomeTouch]