36. Alcove

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Founder: Hellen Bowey
Founded: June 2014 (Launched in 2015)
Website: www.youralcove.com

The care industry has undergone major changes over the last few years, on the back of bad press about how customers were being treated and spiralling costs.

Where most of the start-ups that have stepped up to disrupt the industry are changing the nature of care provision, Alcove is focused on updating the equipment used to keep old people safe and living independently in their own homes.

The idea was inspired when, in her previous job working for Capital, founder Hellen Bowey  was tasked with pulling together a managed service proposition for the CEO of a large council.

Bowey was “staggered” to see the dated ‘telecare’ equipment deployed at scale for old people and so, 2015, she launched Alcove.

In an age of the Internet of Things, Bowey decided to look into replacing these items with sensors, wearables, video calling, Alexa emergency response and smart home automation.

Alcove’s design-led smart technology products include a ‘fall prevention package’, ‘a dementia concern package’ and ‘a take your meds package’.

Its technology can also collect a wealth of vital data such as movement, light, eating, medication compliance, bathroom use, carer visits, heat, family visits, sleeping location and time, doors being left open, wandering, bedwetting, visitors, voice calls, and video calls.

Already, Alcove has 800 live users and customers across councils and social housing organisations including Essex County Council, London borough of Newham, London borough of Enfield and Wigan Council.

Bowey is also in the process of expanding Alcove to France, Germany, Spain, Poland, and North America.

And, if you needed any more evidence of the importance of Alcove’s offering, the business helped to save someone’s life within its first three months of trading:

An elderly woman tripped over in her bathroom. Having fallen unconscious,, she wasn’t able to activate her personal alert button or her old-school emergency pull cord.

However, the woman’s home was also fitted with Alcove motion sensors, which detected that she wasn’t moving and alerted her family meaning that the woman could be given appropriate care and treated immediately.

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