A new app called Companiions has launched in the UK to tackle a major side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: loneliness. CEO Lisa Robinson tells us how it works.
When and why was Companiions created?
Companiions was incorporated as a company in December 2019 and we launched in December 2020. The company was created to modernise the care sector and make it safer, easier and more affordable to organise help and companionship for yourself or your loved ones.
Who is it aimed at?
One half of the customer base of Companiions is made up of people we call ‘organisers’. These are people who typically fall into three distinct categories. Firstly, families trying to organise help or companionship for an elderly relative; next are new parents adjusting to life with their little one and finally people recovering from disease or surgery.
Then we have our wonderful ‘companions’ who are the people who provide the companionship - they range from students to full time healthcare professionals who want to earn some additional income by helping people in their spare time.
How does the app match people up?
An organiser creates a profile which includes their key requirements, including the care experience and ability to travel they need their companions to have. The platform then asks about hobbies and interests. Once that information has been gathered, organisers can be matched up with companions who have ticked the same boxes and are in their location. Organisers can also filter by price and distance to ensure the right companions appear in their search results.
Many people experiencing isolation may not have access to a smartphone or be digitally literate. Is this app accessible to them?
The target market of Companiions is largely made up of the grown up children or family of the person who is experiencing isolation. For example a busy mum who’s working long hours might book a companion for her elderly dad who lives alone two hours away.
However, Companiions strives to be inclusive and is driven to fulfil its mission of bringing companionship to every community. If we receive feedback from customers who wish to use companions but are less digitally savvy, this is something we will look to adapt to. Perhaps in the future we could partner with great initiatives like Barclays Eagles, to make digital healthtech solutions more available by educating people on how to use them.
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