Products and Services Technology

Optimo Care Group founders develop innovative COVID-19 staff test results monitoring App

Optimo Care Group deliver care and support for around 2000 people across the North of England from several registered locations. Richard is CEO of Optimo Care Group Ltd, a leading homecare provider. He has a passion for innovation and sustainability for all his community based care and support services. The Optimo team recently built a tracking app to improve OCVID-19 data management.

Late last year, homecare providers received the update they had been waiting for, it confirmed that they could finally begin to offer weekly testing to their frontline care and support workers. In terms of steps forward in the COVID-19 pandemic, this was a huge and welcome development, especially given the high numbers of asymptomatic carriers. But how best to collate and understand the resulting data this would generate?

Richard Walker, Co-founder of Optimo Care Group has worked with an app development team to try and solve this problem.

“I’ve been a homecare provider for more than 25 years, and well versed in the logistical and operational challenges that face all care organisations. Many of these challenges are unique to the homecare sector, dispersed teams, working under strict regulatory requirements, high variability in service requirements, weather and people related factors, I could go on..!

“With that in mind, receiving and distributing the tests from Government was actually the easy bit. But several weeks in, we now have a scenario where, in order to keep services and people as safe as possible, the thousands of homecare workers out there need active support and management to ensure they are undertaking the tests correctly and regularly and at the same time organisations need to collate the data and results, both for our internal compliance management and external organisation requirements. LA’s and other bodies are understandably asking for more and more COVID-19 related information.

“So, cutting to the chase, we built an app, called it Smrt:Monitor and deployed it to all our individual team members.  In three easy stages and from their mobile device, the user can confidentially submit tests, results and notify us in real time how they are feeling in terms of any symptoms. Both care home and domiciliary care providers can benefit from using the functions.”

The Smrt:Monitor app can alert and report on many aspects, from individual user compliance to an immediate emailed alert if a positive test has been submitted.

It provides real time visibility on all team testing and some critical management information that has eliminated a lot of COVID-19 related risks. Management now don’t need to ask staff to ring in or email their results, it saves office teams a whole lot of time and effort.

With added optional features for aggregating and printing reports and importantly for providers, clients and their families a visible “health badge” so you can immediately see who isn’t testing weekly.

Richard continued, “Most of our staff didn’t need asking twice to get involved and download the app, (it’s on all the well-known app stores). But, to further incentivise, we then added the ability to create payroll information and calculate user payment for the time taken – which saw active user numbers top 90%. It meant we could use our Infection Control Fund (ICF) to pay staff effectively and easily justify and evidence utilisation. This can also be backdated if you want to add retrospective test results.

Smrt:Monitor can also log and track vaccination evidence and teams are welcome to upload this information if they have chosen to have the vaccination.

With an incoming unique tool to track PPE usage and allocation, the app is also looking beyond the current pandemic. Other features are also in development.

The app works for all settings that have to test regularly, care homes included. It facilitates teams to track compliance simply and easily.

“I expect testing will continue for many more months and possibly longer. My teams really don’t need extra admin and data collection, they are busy enough frankly. So to receive critical information from every team member directly saves them time and ultimately makes our service safer.”

The basic version is available to all CareTalk subscribers free of charge.

If you think it might be useful for you, then you just need to register and download it from the link below and make sure you add CARETALK2021 into the redeem code section on the registration page.

“Right now, as a sector, we really need to innovate and collaborate using our operational insight and develop specific tech based solutions for areas that are not quite so obvious and this is the space that Smrt:Monitor will bring a unique focus.”

We also have a short video that shows the key features.




Edel Harris





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