Ones to Watch

Ones to Watch – HaloCare are assisting the elderly to live quality and more connected lives in their own home

By Business & Finance
08 October 2021

Pictured: David Walsh, CEO at HaloCare

Each week Business & Finance highlights an up-and-coming start-up making waves in its industry. This week we look at HaloCare. Located in Carlow, HaloCare is a company underpinned by clinically trained staff in their Care Hub, supporting customers 24hrs a day, 365 days per year should an incident occur. They empower older people to live quality, more connected lives in their own home.

What is it?

HaloCare offers a solution to older people, and those with chronic illnesses, who wish to remain in their own homes but need extra support to do so. Headquartered in Carlow, HaloCare fosters independence and empowers older people to live a better quality of life, with the care they need when and where they need it.

Smart Sensors in the home alert HaloCare’s 24/7 care specialists should something out of the ordinary happen, such as a fall or emergency. Aura, HaloCare’s proprietary software platform incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence and can detect a fall, even if the person is unable to call out for help.  HaloCare’s highly trained care specialists then verify with the older person if they need help and alert their family immediately.   

Customers are not reliant on wearable panic alarms and no cameras means privacy and dignity are maintained. Additional devices, such as the HaloPad allows the older person to stay connected with their loved ones, because if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us all, it’s the importance of social connections to protect against poor mental health and isolation.  

Who’s behind it?

HaloCare is the latest business venture of Netwatch founders David Walsh and Niall Kelly.  Two of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, Walsh and Kelly built Netwatch into Ireland’s most successful remote monitoring security company with offices in Ireland, the UK and the U.S. Having secured a majority investment in Netwatch from global private equity firms, for their latest business venture they have teamed up with serial digital health entrepreneur Dr Johnny Walker who set up the remote medical imaging company Global Diagnostics, which he successfully exited with 350 staff around the world and Group revenues of over €38M. He also founded Jinga Life, a digital health enterprise which safely stores health records in a secure environment and provides fast and easy to access important health and well-being information anytime, anywhere.

The idea for HaloCare was sparked when Niall’s mother, who is in her 90’s, fell but could not call for help despite wearing a panic button at the time. They soon learned that 58% of fallers are confused and forget/cannot press panic buttons, and in looking for a way to combat this issue HaloCare was born.

Board members include Dr Rhona Mahony, former Master of the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street and a member of the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and Prof. Dermot Power, Consultant Geriatrician at the Mater Hospital Dublin whose special interests include dementia, health service planning, medical ethics and the delivery of person-centred healthcare services.

How is it funded?

The company has raised in the region of €6.2 million from the founders and other investors, including Enterprise Ireland.

Future plans?

355,000 people in Ireland presently are living at home and being cared for by family or friends, with demand for aged care services expected to grow 4% per annum. HaloCare is well positioned to meet that demand and step in to give everyone peace of mind when carers cannot be there. 

While HaloCare is focusing on the Irish market for 2021, the plan is to quickly expand internationally. HaloCare CEO David Walsh has his eye on the US market, where, as an insurance-driven market, there is an even greater emphasis on keeping people at home, out of hospitals and nursing homes. Having successfully launched Netwatch into the US, the outlook is bright for HaloCare’s international expansion.