How Yodda is Using Technology to Provide Healthcare and Convenience Related Services to Elders

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Tarun Sharma, Founder and CEO, Yodda Elder Care


Q1. When did you launch Yodda and what are the key services offered by Yodda?

A1. In 2016, my father passed away after battling the effects of a paralytic stroke for approximately 6 months. A couple of years later, in 2019, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, but despite her tough battles, she lost her life to the illness six months later, right at the beginning of the pandemic. After one year of considering various methods on how others in similar situations could be better equipped to handle these situations, we officially incorporated Yodda in March of 2021, and began service deliveries in October. Yodda has three key offerings: 24/7 Emergency Response, Healthcare Facilitation, and Comfort & Convenience Services. Our team of professional & dedication Primary Care Representatives work closely with our elders to understand and care for their day-to-day needs. Our Field Care Representatives, on the other hand, are all trustworthy ex-army veterans, meticulously trained in first aid response and emergency management – they are our feet on the street in critical situations. Anything that an elder may need, from monthly vitals check-ups to home & appliance repairs to life-threatening emergencies, Yodda is there to care for them. Another one of our offerings, Yodda Enable, is a self-service model for elder care, where senior citizens can set up and equip their own personal support networks to effectively handle service requests and emergencies, with the help of an app and trained Yodda moderators, available in times of need.


Q2. What kind of role does technology play in offering these services?

A2. Our operations are driven by our technology – we trust our software and ISO processes to deliver high-quality care to all of our users. Our strong backend system, called our Service Request Management System, ensures all requests are taken care of in a timely manner and that no service goes missed. In times of emergency, our systems blast loud alarms, and equip us with crucial information for efficient emergency management, such as live location information, insurance & KYC information (for swift hospital admission), health profiles, and more. In order for our elders to ask for help seamlessly, each of them is provided with our Yodda Care application, where they are able to request for a service or alert us of an emergency with the simple press of a button. In a world dominated by upcoming technologies, which are overwhelming and difficult for seniors to use, our platform allows them to live a simple, independent, and hassle-free lifestyle. Elders can also make use of a range of smartwatches and GPS pendants to raise requests, if they are uncomfortable with phone applications. Furthermore, our technology ensures peace of mind for their loved ones living oceans away. From real-time updates to simple transaction management systems, the Yodda Entrust application helps manage the emotional burdens of family members living apart from their elders. As we continue to expand, we are exploring various hardware and AI/ML solutions to further support our elders and improve their quality of life.


Q3. Would you like to talk about any particular technology/area where Yodda stands out?

A3. Since Yodda is a tech-first elder care company, we are investing significantly in building out world class systems hosted on the best technologies currently available to us. We have already built out a very impressive technology stack – everything is cloud native, completely elastic, and secure, as all the data in our systems are encrypted, real-time, and redundant to ensure high levels of uptime. Despite our complex backend systems, our customer-facing apps are incredibly easy to use. If you are able to press a button, you are able to use our app. Our infrastructure is hosted on AWS, and MongoDB is our database of choice. We have built integrations with GPS pendants, smartwatches, and virtual assistants to ensure that we can be informed of emergencies, even when the elder does not have a phone on them. We are also one of the only elder care companies in India to have a 24/7 Emergency Command Centre, manned by diligent army veterans. We currently have a 100% emergency success rate, a figure we can confidently attribute to the use of state-of-the-art technology and formal standard operating procedures.


Q4. How do you ensure that the elders (some may not be tech-savvy) can use these services from the app or various other devices?

A4. We recognise that some elders may not be comfortable with complicated technologies or apps and have thus developed our solution with this factor in mind. For elders to make optimum use of our services, all they need to do is press a button to inform us that they require routine assistance, and hold it down for three seconds to inform us that they are having an emergency; our backend team takes care of the rest. For those elders who are not comfortable using an app, we have developed numerous alternative solutions for their ease-of-use. Some elders prefer to wear watches – we have given them the provision to communicate with us through a variety of smartwatches. Similarly, we provide an in-house GPS pendant that enables elders to connect with our Emergency Command Centre at the tap of a button. This pendant also enables geofencing capabilities, useful for those seniors who are living with cognitive disorders. Last but not least, for those elders who don’t engage with smart technology at all, we have built out an extensive IVR system, where they are able to reach out to us at any time, for any assistance, simply through a phone call.


Q5. Do you plan to bring any new technology/ technical expertise in future?

A5. We are constantly looking at technological innovations in the elder care space worldwide. There are already some very impressive security, health, wellness, and collaboration solutions available for elders in the West, but unfortunately, the pricing does not suit the Indian wallet. We intend to develop some of those solutions in India at a lower price point, if possible. There are also many technologies that we are researching right now in the space of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Image Processing to allow for a proactive response. In addition, we are exploring developing hardware solutions such as affordable wearables and physical emergency buttons, typically installed in bathrooms and bedrooms, that integrate with our technology stack.

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