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Five Good Friends New Investor
By: Five Good Friends
Since 2016 Five Good Friends has become a highly respected national home care provider, facilitating more than 20,000 home visits a month. However, it is the development of a digital care management platform, Lookout, that attracted EQT's attention.
Five Good Friends founder Simon Lockyer said he and co-founder Nathan Betteridge were surprised when they started the business that a sector so reliant on checks and balances was starved of software solutions.
"Apart from what technology can do for employee management and compliance, it's the drastic improvements in care recipient monitoring that are the real game-changers for any provider in the home care space," Mr Lockyer said.
"It's well documented that technology holds a central role in enabling care recipient monitoring rather than in a higher-cost institutional setting. More importantly, well designed technology can improve responsiveness and enhance a care recipient's feelings of security and safety."
This point has been reiterated by Commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs in their recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, stating: "Technology can help vulnerable people remain living at home for longer and enhance their quality of life."
Mr Lockyer said Five Good Friends saw a combination of personal care and technology as the way forward.
"In no way does technology replace human care, but it can dramatically enrich the level of care a person receives," he said.
"Our goal from the outset was to develop a world class solution for use across the home care industry, and that is why we launched Five Good Friends as Australia's first technology enabled care provider.
"It is data from nearly half a million home visits by Five Good Friends that has informed Lookout so the algorithm at the centre of Lookout's remote monitoring system can now detect risks, ranging from cognition to falls.
"Lookout has been built by a care organisation for care organisations,"
EQT also saw the gap in the market for smart IT solutions in home care and invested in the project based on its purpose-built platform and its results.
"We've been impressed by the innovative platform that the Five Good Friends and Lookout teams have developed and by the range of services they have been able to provide, including to some of Australia's largest retirement living operators," said EQT Australia director Sam Franklin.
"As one of the largest and most active private equity investors in the healthcare sector globally, EQT has extensive experience and expertise in aged care, retirement living and digital health."