Care receivers can be paired with carer based on religious understanding and culture thanks to AI tech developed during pandemic.
A graduate has created what she claims is the world’s first cultural-matching app for the care sector. Created during the pandemic caused by COVID-19, Maaha Suleiman’s care app allows those needing care to be matched with carers on the basis of religious understanding, languages, food, hair and grooming, festivals, etc, thanks to AI technology.
Longevity.Technology: According to the UK’s 2011 Census, 13% of the UK population identified as belonging to an ethnic minority group and this figure grew to 14.4% from the 2020 Census . Also, one-fifth of the UK population was aged 65 and over and this increased by 23% in the recent decade. Despite this, until now, there have been no businesses who specialise in culturally matched care .
Add to this our own findings that over three-quarters of people see themselves as aging in place, it’s clear that the need for appropriate care is growing, and it should be care that is holistic and culturally appropriate as well as affordable, reliable and qualified.
Maaha Suleiman, a social entrepreneur and the founder of Care Matched, spent the pandemic creating this new resource and tool for the care sector from her home in Tower Hamlets in London. She describes herself as a “woman on a mission to innovate the social care sector”, having spotted a gap in the market while studying for a degree in Global Health & Social Medicine. Her new app matches care workers with care receivers using AI technology to deliver culturally-appropriate care so that care receivers can age more comfortably and live a higher quality of life.
Care workers are paired with care receivers based on life experiences, skills, religious understanding, cultural food, special holidays such as Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Hanukkah, and much more.
Ms Suleiman told Longevity.Technology: “I studied Global and Social Medicine at university and in my third year I did a module on the ageing population. During this module I learnt about how we are living in a rapidly ageing society and how innovation is far behind and other issues such as the lack of care workers available to meet the demand. At the time I was also doing a module on personalised medicine, so that coupled with my own personal experience as an ethnic minority individual, raised in Tower Hamlets and whose mum worked as a domiciliary care worker is what motivated me to solve a big problem that a lot of my own community was dealing with and is so widespread among people from an ethnic minority group.”
Having recently finalised the software development for the application and completed beta testing with a leading London council, Care Matched has launched its app today.
A bespoke care tech platform
Care organisations and councils use a bespoke PaaS (platform as a service) tech platform, which follows this process:
- Care organisation signs up to Care Matched
- Care workers then set up their profiles (experiences, skills, religious understanding, languages, hair and grooming and more)
- Care receiver also set up their profile via a questionnaire on cultural and special requests
- Having reviewed the information, the care receiver connects with their desired matched care worker
- Both parties can rate their experience and provide feedback
Ms Suleiman says: “I am delighted to have worked with multiple care sector and charitable organisations, including a London council, Care Quality Commission, Care Innovation Hub and Unltd to name just a few. The organisations have been key in developing our Care Matched technology, which will have a huge impact on the care sector”.
A senior member of the Care Quality Commission commented: “Care Matched is very relevant in addressing Regulation 9 and Regulation 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, by providing this culturally-appropriate matching technology to care organisations, Care Matched is ensuring that vulnerable people are receiving the personalised care they’re entitled to and live out the rest of their years with dignity.”
An executive level social care commissioner says: “Person centred and user-friendly tech solutions are increasingly important in the care sector, as are products that make it easier for people drawing on social care to find services that match the cultural, language and other characteristics that matter to them. I have been fortunate to monitor the progress of the Care Matched solution since its early days and can say with confidence that it ticks all of those boxes.”
Kariba Amachree, Founder & Registered Manager, Pragmatic Health Care services, commented: “I love how simple and sleek the design of the technology is, we’ll be using it every day in our agency.”