Informal Care: Support from your social network (Family, Friends, and the Community)

It is well known that an increasingly aging population is one of Europe’s social and economic challenges. For the health care industry this means that, according to the new report from Nesta Impact Investments, the current health care system will fail to meet the demands of the population, perhaps as soon as in ten years time. The need now is to build a system that will provide for the anticipated care and support needs, whilst delivering improved quality of life.

What Nesta found is that social entrepreneurs have already begun designing to improve informal care. Nesta analyzed twenty-five early stage ventures including Patients Know Best to understand how technology is providing the communication, support and efficiency of personalized informal care needed to lower health care costs and provide an improved quality of life.

However, to “achieve the scale necessary to tackle this problem these entrepreneurs need investment capital. Now is the time for impact investors to engage with this serious social need, which is also a significant economic opportunity.”

– Joe Ludlow, Impact Investment Director, Nesta.

Patients Know Best was featured in a Nesta case study that described its safe platform enabling patients to invite their “Circle of Care” network to communicate and share personal information. The service, which is also integrated into the NHS secure network, allows for the patients to take control of their own data with the result that

“costs are lower, care is safer and patients are happier. Symptom–tracking, home testing kits and personalised care planning mean that L&D’s patients can self–assess and self–manage, saving A&E costs while freeing up clinicians’ time to focus on the patients who need the extra help.”

– Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO of Patients Know Best

Thus, PKB can be used to bridge medical care and informal care. Putting both together can significantly improve the personalized care that everyone deserves.

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