Entrepreneur hoping ‘Ethel’ can help people stay in touch

Deepak and Preetiy Samson showcase the innovative touchsreen 'Ethel'  with the Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Development Committee, Councillor Uel Mackin; the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Mayoress, Mrs Rosalind Bloomfield.
Deepak and Preetiy Samson showcase the innovative touchsreen 'Ethel' with the Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Development Committee, Councillor Uel Mackin; the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Mayoress, Mrs Rosalind Bloomfield.

Lisburn start-up Connected Care Solutions, founded by local entrepreneur Deepak Samson, is set to make a big impact among the ageing population with ‘Ethel’.

Ethel is an innovative touchscreen tablet that allows families and carers to stay in touch with their elderly loved one, via use of an ‘always-on’, large touchscreen tablet.

The elderly care smart hub is now being used by the Shetland Islands Council under the EU-funded RemoAge project. And Deepak is hoping that it will soon be rolled out in other areas of the UK.

The tablet has a simple to use interface, specifically designed for those unfamiliar with technology that allows an older person to contact a pre-set list of contacts like family members, a carer or doctor simply by tapping the screen. Ethel also allows additional functionality such as medication reminders, when to do exercises etc, and can also send instant SMS alerts to family or carers if a user fails to respond to medication prompts.

“I am the classic accidental entrepreneur,” Deepak explained. “I only ever wanted to help people access their families or care providers where face-to-face interaction was impossible or impractical. I was a health service manager, had no formal background in development of technology, but it seemed obvious to me that there had to be an easier way to allow an ageing population to stay in touch in a simple way. The support I have received from the council has been so valuable to me personally and to my business. I would urge anyone with that entrepreneurial spark to contact the council to see how they can assist.”

Speaking about the recent success of the business, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Uel Mackin, said: “Deepak is an inspirational innovator and a fantastic example of how working with the council can enrich your business. He is fully engaged with the council and has participated in the council’s Business Start-up and Graduate Programme, as well as taking part in the highly successful Lisburn Castlereagh at Westminster investment event. His vision for the business is commendable and we are delighted to continue to work with Deepak through ongoing mentoring support to help grow his export base.”

The Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE, commented: “The news that Deepak is working with various NHS trusts, local authorities, hospices, domiciliary care agencies and housing associations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is very exciting. The product created by Deepak will clearly lead to significant efficiency savings for trusts and provide a much better patient experience, so it is beneficial to many. The demand for the product is growing and with requests from all around the world Connected Care Solutions is set to be one of Lisburn Castlereagh’s fastest growing tech businesses.”

Deepak is being supported in his efforts to grow his suite of innovative products and enhance his export capability through the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Business Support and Investment Programmes and also through Invest NI.

To find out more about Ethel log on to www.myethel.co.uk or follow @ETHELsmarthub

For information about the council’s business support services contact the Business Solutions Team on 028 9250 9484 or log on to www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/business_solutions