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The below article “An Innovative Union” was published in the Spring edition of LASA Fusion Magazine 2020.

An Innovative Union

Aged care provider invests in future through key technology acquisition

In an innovative step for the industry, Leading South Australian ageing care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) has acquired one of Australia’s leading aged care start-ups, Billy.

The Melbourne-based technology company uses smart sensors placed around the home to build a profile of an individual’s everyday routine, shared with families and aged care professionals via an app.

ECH initially invested in Billy in 2018 and has now had an offer accepted to take full ownership of the technology company, including the entire Melbourne-based team.

ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said ongoing investment and implementation of tailored technologies was vital for the aged care industry moving forward.

“ECH is determined to make real change in the industry through the investment of technology,” he said.

“When used correctly, technology can create positive change, enabling and supporting people to remain living independently in their own homes.

“We have seen recently during COVID-19 restrictions how technology can be used to support older people and it’s essential we continue to build on this momentum.

“It is vital that as an industry we place a focus on preventative measures to stop incidents being escalated to emergency situations, with the latter being the major focus of other monitoring technology currently on the market.

“This technology is also a great enabler in supporting the purpose of ECH, to help older people remain living confidently and independently at home.”

Billy enables families to have clear visibility that daily routines of their loved ones are being undertaken through a simple to use app. The monitoring of daily tasks helps aged care professionals to detect changes in behaviour over time, which can enable preventative interventions to occur, helping to reduce overall decline in an individual’s wellbeing.

“Technology will undoubtedly play a critical role in supporting Australians as they age—particularly those people who wish to remain living independently at home,” Dr Panter said.

“While it will never replace the personalised approach, the best outcomes for clients will be achieved through tailored and individual care plans combined with cutting-edge technology.

“The Billy team bring a wealth of knowledge and skills in the areas of software development and digital product experience which will give us the platform to develop advanced digital solutions in-house.”

The acquisition will grow the national presence of ECH due to the number of people based around the country using Billy.

“While ECH is predominately a South Australian organisation, Billy increases our presence across state borders, and it will be important to explore further opportunities that this may create,” he said.

“Many of our home care package clients and their families are already using Billy and finding great benefit from it.

“This acquisition ensures we can deepen the Billy offering for our existing clients and residents as well building out our customer base in the broader community.”

Billy Founder, Tim McDougall added, “The acquisition is reflective of the mission of the Billy team.”

“We have got to know ECH as an investor and customer over the last two years and continue to be struck by the differentiated way that they think about the future of care.

“When ECH approached Billy about acquiring the business, we recognised an opportunity to help drive the growth of Billy and support the expansive digital strategy that ECH is executing.”

Technology continues to be a key focus for ECH with three technology-related appointments.

Chris Dury has been appointed to the ECH Executive team as Chief Information Officer, while Tim and Melissa McDougall will also join the Executive team as General Manager of Billy andChief Technology Officer, following the recent acquisition of Billy.

ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said these appointments would bring a wealth of technology related industry experience to the organisation.

Click here to read the full article: An Innovative Union

Posted: October 8, 2020