For Healthcare, There’s No Place Like Home

A fast-growing Canadian firm's software solutions are helping mobile careworkers focus on what counts: providing care to patients.


Countries all over the world are experiencing a major demographic shift as people live longer, and with that shift comes a growing need for healthcare services to accommodate them in old age. Home healthcare is an effective and cheaper alternative to hospitalization or moving to an assisted living facility and it accounts for an increasing share of the workload.

Delivering home healthcare is a challenging, multifaceted operation that can be bogged down by administrative inefficiencies related to outdated software, endless paperwork, lost health records, difficulties with coordinating field staff, and so on. This can have a knock-on effect on the cost and quality of care for clients and their families.

Alaya Care cuts through the noise with their all-in-one mobile software solution designed to help home care agencies deliver telehealth and visiting health services to vulnerable individuals. It assists clients by increasing the scope and efficiency of care, improving the patient’s quality of life while reducing healthcare costs.

This cloud-based software solution has proven a hit with overextended healthcare systems enduring high turnover rates, as they can optimize their efforts and improve the quality of care. The platform has even emerged as an important remote support tool for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alaya Care’s software handles a range of tasks related to dispatching care workers to patients’ homes, such as scheduling, dispatching, billing/payroll, record sourcing, referral intake, and assessments. Mobile careworkers get real-time access to personalized information so they can brief themselves on each patient while doing their rounds.

“Alaya Care brings significant quality-of-life improvements by enabling patients to receive healthcare at home,” said Charles Émond, from the investment partner, CDPQ, to BetaKit.

“Homecare solutions are especially adapted to elderly patients, who represent an increasing share of healthcare beneficiaries. Alaya Care’s tech integration solutions save precious time for practitioners by automating clerical tasks.”

Allowing careworkers to focus on caring

Mobile careworkers only have so much time in their day, and navigating how to get to each of their patients while juggling paperwork limits the amount of time they can spend on supporting patients and the number of them they can see.

As the mobile careworker starts their day, they can log on to the app on their phone and see their schedule, the route of how to get to each location, and the health records and personalized care plan details for the patient. There are also digital versions of standard reporting forms that can be quickly filled out, signed, and sent back to the agency’s admin team. This condenses the workload of tasks extraneous to providing care, bringing a heightened focus back to the patients.

The system also features integrated employee/patient matching. Each employee’s profile details their preferences, skills, capacity, location, and cost, so the right individual is assigned to the right patient. Improved efficiencies aside, this provides the space for long-lasting, special relationships to grow, which can be an invaluable addition to a homecare routine.

This might look like an Alzheimer’s patient with a specific cultural and/or linguistic background being paired with a nurse trained in dementia care who shares that background. Being able to relate better or even just communicate with each other at all could mean a world of difference to such a patient.

For the admin team, they can organize the daily, weekly, and monthly schedules for field staff and support them through direct messaging in case anything changes. Administrative systems that are typically separate like payroll and scheduling are integrated on one platform with Alaya Care, and this helps to increase efficiencies while lowering the risk of issues like duplicate data entry.

Families can stay connected and engaged with their loved one’s care through the Family Portal. The portal is updated in real-time (e.g., schedule updates or payment confirmation) and can be accessed securely from anywhere, and any new information is clearly documented so everyone is on the same page. This improves communication between all parties and creates a more personalized experience.

Telemedicine and COVID-19 response

Optimizing the operation is one thing, but the restrictions brought about by the pandemic demanded a new strategy to maintain care standards while ensuring safety.

Alaya Care has stepped up to the challenge with their virtual consultation tool for patients and care providers. Care can be electronically delivered into the patient’s home while simultaneously protecting the health and well-being of both frontline staff and the patients themselves by reducing exposure.

The Remote Patient Monitoring feature allows clinical staff to monitor patients centrally including checking daily for vitals (heart rate, temperature, weight, and so on). Thanks to the integration with modern home monitoring technology and analytics software, agencies can make informed, data-driven decisions on their patients’ care. Remote monitoring is expected to become increasingly prevalent in the healthcare field, and there are several ways in which it could provide significant savings.

Alaya Care also provides a COVID-19 screening tool that healthcare providers can use to assess the patient’s risk status and check for symptoms before providing home services.

For rural dwellers, this is big news. Living at a greater distance from healthcare facilities need not be as much of a burden as it normally is because of technology like this. It also narrows down the time cost for careworkers which means they can tend to more patients across the day, a significant point considering the widespread issue of staff shortages.

On top of these efforts, Alaya Care collaborated with Freshii to organize the delivery of healthy, fresh food options to seniors in Ontario during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Through donations from their partnerships, Alaya Care pledged $100,000 to seniors in need.

Success and Scale AI investment

Alaya Care has over 250 agency clients across Canada, the US, and Australia that use the software to assist with over 10 million monthly visits. This generates some $10 million in annual revenue, making them the eighth fastest growing tech company in Canada, according to Deloitte.

To date, the company has raised over $98 million in funding from numerous investment partners, a notable example being Scale AI who selected Alaya Care as one of eight important projects focused on tech solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. They received close to $300,000 to support the development of their remote monitoring tools that are helping communities cope with the burden of COVID-19 restrictions.

Commenting on the rapid growth and success of Alaya Care, CEO and Founder Adrian Schauer said: “When I started Alaya Care, our vision was to be more than just a software company – it was to bring home care into the future and make a real impact on patient outcomes.

“I’m so grateful to our incredible employees and clients who are the reason behind our consistent growth and success – and for turning that vision into reality.”

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Barry is a journalist, editor, and marketer for several media outlets including HeadStuff, The Media Editor, and Buttonmasher Magazine. He earned his Master of the Arts in Journalism from Dublin City University in 2017 and moved to Toronto to pursue a career in the media. Barry is passionate about communicating and debating culture, science, and politics and their collective global impact.