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Local software company takes GDPR in its stride

Business | Published:

A JERSEY-based digital company is well ahead of the GDPR rules and is also proving the Island’s prospects of becoming a digital centre of excellence is far from hype.

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Care Software Solutions Ltd, developer of personal home-care planning programme Zuri, has announced that its innovative software already meets the requirements of the new Europe-wide data protection regulations coming into effect on 25 May.

That follows more than four years of work ensuring effective and secure medical records management, including encrypted data storage, was at the heart of Zuri, according to founder and CEO of the company, Cheryl Kenealy.

‘When we started developing the platform in 2014 we already knew what was coming in 2018, and so we developed it according to the standards we knew were coming,’ Ms Kenealy said. ‘The result is that we’ve got an incredibly secure platform.’

Developers, including their head of technology and security, Ricky Magalhaes, have helped transform Zuri from the basic tablet-based system focusing on patient care records, that Ms Kenealy wanted but could not find when she set up her own home-care agency in 2010. There were plenty of software programmes for rostering staff, but nothing that concentrated on the care planning side,’ she said, and so she set about developing her own.

The result was Zuri which went live nearly three years ago and has grown ‘quite dramatically’ since then, she said. Now it has customers ranging in size from an individual carer who pays £10 a month to use the software to an organisation with 650 staff. Apart from Jersey, Zuri is also being used in Hong Kong, South Africa, Malta, Argentina, Canada and Abu Dhabi.

Client care planning is still the central focus of the programme, but many useful features have been added so that Zuri is now the only comprehensive end-to-end care management product that a home-care agency or care home would need, according to Ms Kenealy. They would still need separate payroll and accounting software, because there was no point in re-inventing the wheel, she said, but these are easily integrated with Zuri.

Among the new modules are one for HR and Zuri eMAR, displays medication information to appropriate staff at the right time. Zuri Rostering, can also complete 1000 hours of staff rotas per week in just one hour and many of the features save valuable staff time. This is particularly useful in Jersey where care staff are increasingly difficult to find.

The latest development with Zuri is an IOT module, which uses the internet-of-things capability being developed locally by JT. This ability to connect with different devices in the home means, for example, that the failure to put on the kettle at the normal time, would automatically alert care staff that there might be a problem.

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‘This is very exciting because nine out of ten people keep to a routine and if there is something amiss, you can pick up on it very quickly with IOT,’ Ms Kenealy said.

As one of only a few locally developed digital products, Zuri is a valuable example of what can be achieved in the Island with the support of agencies like Digital Jersey and Jersey Business. With a staff of 12, some of them part time, Ms Kenealy is conscious of the danger of expanding too quickly, and has no real desire to employ hundreds of people in any case.

‘We are fortunate being based in Jersey because of the control we have over the development of the product. The Island is also a very good testbed,’ she said. ‘We could have gone off to India and paid a third of the price for software development, but you can’t see what’s being developed, and the spec with something like this has to be 100%.’

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