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City of Brampton Hospitals First to use innovative health care apps to support growing ageing community


Nectari Charitakis, CEO of uCarenet, a Canadian health tech company dedicated to improving quality of life for ageing seniors and their families, is excited to be working alongside Dr. Ron Heselgrave, Chief of Research at William Osler Health System (WOHS). A community-based hospital system that includes Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, WOHS serves 1.3 million residents of Brampton, Etobicoke, and surrounding areas.

Working hard to deliver better health to residents, particularly the ageing community, one focus for Dr. Heselgrave’s team, is using technology created with uCarenet to improve on gaps in the current system and provide better support to patients. “We’re working with uCarenet to build and test evidence-based digital apps that support ageing and palliative designated patients, by improving communication on symptoms, care needs, as well as beliefs and values for end of life wishes. Ultimately, we want to reduce unnecessary hospital visits, and ease the transfer from patient to home, and uCarenet’s technology can do this.”

Through personal experience with his own ageing parents, Nectari Charitakis saw a need to build a connected community, to bridge the gap between health providers and in-home care, and give families easier access to affordable home care. As such, uCarenet hosts an online marketplace called MATCH (Market Place to Access Trusted Care at Home). MATCH was developed in consultation with health professionals and design experts from George Brown’s School of Design. The platform, and its mobile app version Caremap, connects Canadian families with home care providers, so those in need can remain in their home and community.

“Millions of Canadians provide care to a senior family member or friend, and demand is growing. They’re struggling to find solutions that balance their needs with those of their family members who want independence and quality of life,” says Charitakis. MATCH launched with so much success that Mr. Charitakis and Dr. Heselgrave’s team are continuing to work together on two additional apps called PoEt and ReLief.

PoET (Prevention of Error Based Transfers) is an-award winning project which began in 2012, led by Dr. Paula Chidwick, Director of Research & Corporate Ethics and Ethicist, at WOHS. uCarenet’s task is developing the app based on their research and requirements. The idea is to capture the beliefs, values and wishes for end of life planning. PoET, being piloted in October, connects on-call physicians with long term care homes, giving them easier access to information and preventing errors related to consent, capacity and decision-making. These errors result in transfers to hospital that long-term care residents may not want.

The ReLief app is for terminally diagnosed patients. “Together with Dr. Chasen and his team, we’re testing ReLief, an app which enables palliative designated patients to self-report their symptoms remotely. The goal is to accurately assess patients in their home, to provide timely intervention and appropriate treatment,” says Charitakis, whose ongoing mandate for uCarenet is to support ageing well in the home. All of the apps are designed as a hybrid between modern technology and human connection, to optimize relationships and simplify processes. The result is better communication between patients, doctors, caregivers and families, ensuring peace of mind and a nurturing environment for those in need.​

Building partnerships in health care is leading to new business and care opportunities in Brampton. For more information on uCarenet, visit www.ucarenet.com​