'Amazon for care' boss says NHS must empower patients
The CEO of an 'Amazon for care' platform has called for the NHS to be more open to cutting-edge solutions like WeMa.
Lavanya Plus’s new service WeMa Life brings together a range of health, social care and wellbeing services in one place. Users can book multiple services at a time from a massage to a gardener, companion or nutritionist.
WeMa Life co-founder Rohit Patni says the health service needs to be less restrictive.
“They keep saying 'yes, we want to empower people' - but they aren’t delivering a solution,” he told BusinessCloud.
“I hope that’s where we can start to fill a gap and they’ll begin to recognise players like ourselves who will make a change for the customer.”
The site will cover the UK and India at first and is planned to launch formally this month.
Patni said the platform is set up to disrupt the outdated platforms that aren’t compatible with mobile apps and don’t offer integrated payment options.
“I compare it to Amazon for care,” he said. “On Amazon you can buy multiple products from multiple suppliers. We’re not selling products, but services.
"You can go online to book a social care worker at the time you want through the company you choose. Then you can continue shopping and book a physio from a different provider and a nutritionist from a third.
“If that’s £100 in total our platform accepts it as a single transaction and then segregates all the funds to the appropriate service providers minus a commission charge.”
All services on the site are fully vetted and the platform also offers a ‘friends and family’ feature for the older generation who aren’t as tech savvy.
“They maybe don’t understand how to use their mobile and want their son to look after them,” said Patni. “Maybe they’re living in India and their son lives in London. He can now remotely book and manage services and pay for them for his father.
“We see this as a short-term issue though because those people who aren’t familiar with tech unfortunately won’t be with us much longer.
“Even as people in their early 50s get older they will be totally familiar with technology and the younger generation can’t live without it.”
The company also provides scannable QR codes so that providers can log in and out when they arrive at the user's home, along with alert buttons for both clients and providers in case anything happens.
“This way I know that it’s the right person who’s turned up to my door and if they arrive five minutes late it’s all logged,” he said.
“Afterwards they scan out and do a visit report, I do one too, and we can rate each other which means people know they can trust that provider.
“We’ve also got to protect the service provider and don’t want to send them to someone who hasn’t been risk assessed. It’s a two-way street.”
WeMa services will mainly be provided as a SaaS (Software as a Service) model – providers will be charged a monthly SaaS fee for using the platform plus a transaction fee as the platform should help them get more clients, says Patni. The clients won’t be charged to use the service.
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