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StoriiCare — The Easy-to-Use Digital Platform Opens Silicon Valley Office

Health tech startups are getting more visibility nowadays—including StoriiCare. The company based in Glasgow, Scotland has been called the “Facebook for care”. It originally started as a life story app for reminiscences but later evolved into an app for care staff, communications between family and seniors, and a safety device for emergencies.

As a social network for healthcare home workers, StoriiCare allows the recording of staff activities and helps families stay informed through updates about their loved ones. The evolution came about when the developers heard the feedback and revision requests from their early clients. The additional functionalities made it possible to improve the level of quality care provided.

Some Details on StoriiCare

Founded in 2014, StoriiCare has been attempting to raise funding of up to £5 million by 2018 to support product development and for marketing and sales campaigns. The first step was when they recently started a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. Led by StoriiCare CEO Cameron Graham, the company has also been trying to make a beachhead of California.

Graham recently met with Sir Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital, which in 2013 took a stake in Edinburgh-based Skyscanner with a valuation of $800 million. Sir Michael Moritz joined the board of Skyscanner after the initial Sequoia funding. (In addition, Calum Peterson is also on the board, as the Scottish Equity Partners was an early investor of the company.)

StoriiCare Positions Itself for the U.S.

a photo of a male elderly on a laptop, browsing his health records stored by StoriiCare
StoriiCare allows home healthcare workers to record patient care electronically and in real-time!

It’s true that StoriiCare is not yet in the same league as Skyscanner. However, it is actually still in the early stages of funding. It launched a crowdfunding campaign in Seedrs last July, with a £300,000 target. This action might not seem much though, considering that the company is taking aim at both the U.K. and U.S. markets. The reality is that these are lofty goals. And the initial funding target is a bit of a stretch.

StoriiCare nevertheless has already started marketing in the U.S. and has signed its first contacts. At the same time, it was also able to obtain investments from Robert Kilgour. (Kilgour is the founder of Four Seasons Health Care, the U.K.’s largest care provider chain. After selling Four Seasons Health Care, he founded Renaissance Care which is based in Musselburgh. It has 12 care homes in Scotland, with a 560-bed capacity and around 800 staff.)

Now, StoriiCare is opening an office in Silicon Valley in preparation for entering the U.S. market. The U.K. has more than 20,000 care homes, while the U.S. has around 60,000 with an estimated market of around $1 billion. This case is a step up, as the home healthcare industry itself has been slow in embracing technology. Most homes still rely on paper-based systems. And it was only recently that some have installed Wi-Fi in their facilities.

What Care Providers Are Looking For

Markedly, care providers are looking at new technologies and startups that show some proof of concept or innovation specific for the care industry.

StoriiCare started out as a social network for recorded memories but has evolved to allow care providers the tools to keep records of the care home residents. Without this functionality, care personnel would have to spend extra administrative time in writing the reports every day. Instead, the record-keeping can be done in real-time, electronically. This case means the care providers can have their records kept as audio —and these pieces of information can be shared with doctors.

For doctors, these records are invaluable in providing much-needed information about the care home residents. In addition, the records can create a bold impact on the industry. Information may be shared with the residents’ families, as well as shared with specialists for consultation. Indeed, this bold innovation can save a lot of time and effort for parties concerned!

IoT for Trucks, Increase Uptime

Fleet managers have long used automation tools, GPS, and other computer aids to manage trucks, destinations, delivery schedules, and loading. As such, there is a mountain of information available to managers at any one time. These are due to the use of GPS tracking, and equipment inventory software. These tools are about to be further enhanced with a new bold concept – telematics using the Internet of Things (IoT).

The 78-year old company created a system which uses automation software and analytics to deploy enhanced fault guidance.

Telematics is the collection of data from remote trucks for analysis to optimize operations. This includes vehicle telemetry (vehicle and driver performance measurement via sensors), downtime, driver history, route optimization, and compliance verification. The most important information is only derived once the data has been analyzed. The data can give an idea or a forecast for potential truck failures or driver accidents. The information gathered has proven very helpful in running a successful business.

There are further improvements along the way, but these would have to make use of different technologies, approaches, and methods. The most promising technology makes use of IoT devices which can be used to capture data helpful in predicting engine and other equipment failure. Predicting downtime can help managers keep the cost of repairs down.

In fleet management, the main metric is based on the number of trucks running, the total distance, and for how long. Downtimes are hard to predict; however, it would be a big help if these could be forecasted. A truck can fail at any time. The problem is that addressing issues becomes difficult when the truck is far from base. It has to be towed to a garage, its contents have to be transferred to another truck and the disabled truck has to be repaired.

When a damaged truck is under repair or awaiting spare parts, it is not earning anything for the company. In some instances, drivers would even quit while the truck they’re using is under repair. What’s more, there are additional costs such as paying for towing to the garage or base. To top it all off, there is the opportunity cost due to the loss of revenue while the truck is under repair.

IoT Keeps Trucks on the Road

truck, computer and charts.

Another piece of technology already in use is Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). This data is collected continuously while the vehicle is in operation. A downside to this technology is that it has raw data so it has to be correlated with other information to pinpoint trouble spots. In a way, DTC provides data but requires additional information in order to work. Mechanics using DTC data have to manually go over each part and equipment to find the potential source of the problem.

Peterbilt Motors Company, a Denton, Texas-based manufacturer of mid-sized to heavy duty trucks, has created a bold solution which uses IoT coupled with DTC to pinpoint where the problem area might occur. The 78-year old company created a system which uses automation software and analytics to deploy enhanced fault guidance. The raw data comes from DTCs, repair histories and fleet operating conditions. The company has been able to help their customers forecast possible mechanical failures thereby increasing uptime.

The current status for trucks is a long way from ideal. However, with other sensors coming on line either due to innovation or through regulation, the data to be gathered could prove to be instrumental to creating proper diagnostics. With preventive maintenance standards in place, this can also help further increase uptime for fleets.

Robots in Early Learning Classrooms

Robots are entering kindergarten classes, augmenting teaching methods in various ways. There are endless opportunities for classroom use of robots, yet they have not been used to their full potential. The use of robots in education as a tool have the capacity to make a bold impact in pre-school classrooms: helping to teach reading, spelling and giving an introduction to programming.

The island-nation of Singapore is implementing a maker-centric program which encourages students and parents alike to make use of simple robotic toys to create new things.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and humanoid robots are being introduced to pre-school classes. These technologies are giving early education classes added opportunities and methods to learn basic language skills as well as an introduction to coding.  The tools in use, for the most part, look like advanced tech toys. However, the way these toys are used teach students different skills.

One example is Newsela, which is already in use in over 75% of classrooms in the United States. Newsela is a personalized learning tool which curates news articles according to the user’s language level. For advanced users, Newsela publishes an article as it was originally worded. For those who have a less advanced grasp of English, the same article would be revised to use easier and more understandable words. The vocabulary used for the articles would depend on the language level of the student user.

Newsela is part of the personalized learning movement which has gathered a large following in the United States, especially among philanthropists who donate funds for education. Newsela is a favorite due to its premise. Students learn and use language different from one another. The language used would allow students with a lower level reading ability to catch up with additional exercises and instruction.

Use Of Robots In Education

Other robots and AI look more like toys. For example, Fisher Price’s Code-a-pillar teaches kids about programming and robotics, without them knowing it. This animatronic caterpillar toy can be controlled by school children with the use of commands.

Little kids with a robot.

The island-nation of Singapore is implementing a maker-centric program which encourages students and parents alike to make use of simple robotic toys to create new things. This allows students to learn and develop their reading skills without the need to use a computer monitor; experts agree that staring at a computer for more than 2 hours a day can make children less able to interact with others and the maker-centric program helps to overcome that.

The Singaporean system makes use of four toys each with their own specific roles. There is BeeBot, Kibo, Dash and Dot, and Circuit Stickers. BeeBot uses a robot to move across a board to answer a question; students can program BeeBot to go to the right answer on the board. Kibo is a wooden robot with attached sensors to detect light and sound, and it also has a bar code scanner. To program Kibo, student scan instructions under a wooden set of connected blocks, which Kibo would follow.

Dash and Dot is also another tool which can teach programming, and is planned to be used by advanced users. The fourth tool, Circuit Stickers uses copper tape, watch batteries, and LED lights, which can all be connected together. The set then lights up when connected to a battery.

These toys are not meant to replace human teachers; instead, these are meant to push what a child can learn, at the same time teach them to work together. These robots can truly leave a bold impact and create a love for technology among children. They learn early on that computers and robots are positive tools that are empowering.

SpaceX New Spacesuits Set to Revolutionize Space Exploration

Gone are the days of big bulky spacesuits which hamper the movements and ability of astronauts to perform tasks in space. Elon Musk’s new SpaceX spacesuit is set to create a bold impact and revolutionize space exploration with its compact and sleek design.

Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,’ and when people put this space suit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux. You look heroic in it.

The Tesla billionaire is renowned for his bold ideas but when it comes to putting those into practice, he can be a little slow off the mark. However, Musk hopes his new spacesuit will not only be aesthetically pleasing but also practical.

According to CNBC, the new spacesuit is the “James Bond” version of space wear. Musk said it “was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately.”

“Our spacesuit design is finally coming together and will also be unveiled later this year. We are putting a lot of effort into design aesthetics, not just utility,” he said back in 2015. “It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well. Really difficult to achieve both.”

Musk brought in Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez to give his SpaceX spacesuit a “sexy” look. Fernandez was behind movie costumes for the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman and X-Men. According to some reports, Fernandez thought Space X was a film project and had no idea it was a space agency when Musk first reached out to him.

“I worked with [Musk] for six months and at the end of that, we created a suit that they are now reverse-engineering to make functional for flight,” Fernandez said. “He wanted it to look stylish. It had to be practical but also needed to look great. It’s pretty bad ass.”

“He kept saying, ‘Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,’ and when people put this space suit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux. You look heroic in it. It’s an iconic thing to be a part of,” he added.

This move is consistent with Musk’s persistent emphasis on combining form and function. He is renowned for delivering aesthetically pleasing projects, although putting those into practice and making them happen has been less of a success for the billionaire. The Boring Company looks good, but will it actually happen? Hyperloop looks good, but it is slow off the mark. “I think the aesthetics matter a lot. As you know, [at] Tesla we’re super sensitive to aesthetics,” Musk said.

This bold idea will certainly make the SpaceX entrepreneur look good when he’s sitting in his spacecraft waiting to head to Mars. The question remains, whether man will actually get there, as the jury is still out on that one!