COVID-19 Is Introducing More Australians To Billy

By Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 30 April 2020

There is an app called Billy which is focused on providing an innovative age-care solution that’s allowing older people to live independent lives, in their own homes, for longer.

It provides a useful service for health providers and Australian families during these unprecedented times.

At its core, Billy has been designed to alleviate the anxieties and angst amongst families and carers as older adults continue remain independent in their homes during COVID-19. Billy works by using a series of in-home sensors that detect the behaviours and wellbeing of the person living at home – sharing this information to loved ones via alerts in our Billy app.

Meet Billy
Meet Billy

The sensors work to detect the behaviours of adults as they go about their daily routines. Such as, when they have woken up and risen from bed, gone to the bathroom, taken their morning stroll and their medication, etcetera. Billy’s sensors can also detect when behaviours change, or anomalies occur – then indicating to families or carers that something may not be right.

The importance of innovations and technologies like Billy at these times, have come to the forefront as older Australians begin missing the social interactions that they generally would have in their lives before COVID-19 restrictions. Physical family visits have lessened, and non-essential service visits have also decreased. This has meant families and professional carers have begun working hard to ensure that older people remain connected during these times.  

David Panter, Chief Executive of ECH (accredited aged care provider and home care provider), and Board Member of Billy said: “We have seen a sharp increase in technology adoption – necessity is the mother of invention – as families look to close physical gaps with digital tools.

“We expect that many of those new behaviours will persevere beyond the crisis and may have the upside of supporting older people feel better connected to family, their community and the world at large. “Technology is being used in three ways to support older Australians at times like this, in both direct and indirect ways. “

David Panter, Chief Executive ECH

David said they are seeing an increased adoption among older Australians of the digital tools that are second nature to their children and grandchildren – video call and messaging apps being the prime examples. These are tools that historically were easy to dismiss as unnecessary; but in an environment where physical connection is not possible, they move from optional to almost being essential.

Home care and community service providers, David said are adopting digital tools at a faster rate to enable them to continue to deliver the care and support that their customers require at this time. Again, necessity is speeding up the adoption curve and helping organisations cut-through slow decision making and implementation cycles as a function of needing the tools to get the job done.

“Families are starting to investigate tools that help to fill some of the other gaps that are appearing as a function of COVID-19,” adds David. “With a limited ability to visit in person, how can you get comfortable that someone is doing OK, and that their routine is progressing as expected?

“Tools like Billy, which uses passive sensors to build a picture of someone’s routine and safely and securely shares that with family and loved ones, can create that peace-of-mind for family, and equally important, can give confidence to the older adult that they are coping well, despite this new environment.”

Families can consider any of the purpose-built tools that have been developed to support independence for older people: Billy, Lumin, Mint – and many more.

There are lots of small companies across Australia who are designing tools and products to make this specific challenge easier for people, during COVID-19 of course, but just as applicable as life starts to return to normal. Now is a great time to investigate your options and consider what might make sense in your family’s set up.

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