TYZE

Tyze Users

The Problem

While 80% of care is given informally by loved ones in Canada, almost 100% of funding goes to the formal health care system. Despite this funding, formal health care dollars are severely stretched and cannot respond to the needs of an aging population and increasing numbers of people managing chronic and complex diseases. Supporting informal care in the community is a practical approach to reducing escalating health care costs and helping people to stay at home longer.

The Innovation

Tyze is a private and secure online community centred around a person requiring care. Like an online social network, individuals, families, friends, neighbours and care professionals use Tyze to connect to each other, track and strengthen the health and well-being of a loved one and/or patient and report back on progress. As a result of a Tyze network, health, happiness and work retention rates increase and formal health care costs are reduced as people are enabled to stay in their homes longer and out of the formal health care system.

“A cultural shift needs to happen, from independence to interdependence.” Vickie Cammack, Founder

Tyze was created in 2009 and was acquired by Saint Elizabeth Health Care in early 2014. With over 100 years of experience in providing home care services to communities across the country, Saint Elizabeth saw an opportunity to help more individuals with the Tyze online interface. Tyze refocuses control over health decisions and well-being with an individual and members of their care network.

In action, Tyze works a bit like this: if a parent visits the family doctor, the appointment is reflected in the Tyze Network and everyone is updated accordingly. If a loved one requires some groceries and you have to work, the Tyze Network moves to action, ensuring someone is asked to make the delivery. If a home healthcare provider visits a person at the centre of a Tyze Network, calendars are updated to keep track of care.

Tyze also offers a secure online space to share tasks, information and documents such as medical records. A colour-coded calendar enables the entire network to stay organized and up-to-date on appointments. Access to documents can be locked down to certain members of a network. All these tasks are managed through a password protected website that can be accessed anytime and anywhere there is Internet access.

Far beyond a calendaring and care management system, Tyze impacts several systems at multiple scales. By performing the actions articulated here, Tyze improves systems of health and social care delivery, recognizes informal systems of care, builds neighborhood and community resilience, enables greater funding sustainability for formal health care systems, reduces work-related stress and absenteeism and most importantly supports community engagement with those most vulnerable to social isolation.

The Tyze model is largely subscription based. Organizations like hospitals, long-term care facilities and home health care providers, buy a license to use Tyze. A license includes online training and mentoring on how to create networks for the people they serve. Pricing varies based on the size of an organization and the number of networks created.

Individuals at the centre of a network experience lower levels of isolation resulting in fewer doctor visits, hospital readmissions and incidents of illness. This results in lower costs for the formal health care system.

With a Tyze-enabled social network, there is a greater sense of ease with both daily and unexpected personal life challenges. As Founder, Vickie Cammack says, “Tyze enables people to feel that they belong; that despite age or ability, they can still contribute and create meaning for themselves and those around them. When we care for one another, this is how we feel.”

What Tyze Looks Like

Tyze Model

Impact

  • 80% of users feel more connected
  • 78% say Tyze makes it easier to ask for support
  • 90% say Tyze makes it easier to share information
  • 60% of people that use Tyze say they use it to stay safe in their own home

Challenges

Despite all the benefits, Tyze must overcome some significant barriers to have the greatest impact possible.

  • Access: Not everyone uses technology and their abilities vary dramatically
  • Uptake: Finding a business model that is inclusive, accessible and affordable has proved very difficult. Cultural Shift: Doctors and other healthcare professionals are used to recording and controlling information. How do people in institutions recognize their interdependence on informal systems?
  • Privacy: The move towards digital health recording has created alarm for the security of personal information. Formal health care providers express concern that Tyze makes digital information more prone to security breaches.
  • Funding: On average, a successful technology start-up in British Columbia requires between $8-10 million in investment. While the Tyze team has spent a lot of time fundraising, sustainability is not yet assured.

Scale

Tyze is a technology platform designed to scale. Tyze is aiming for scale through home health care provider networks and potentially through technology service providers who visit homes as part of standard service delivery.

Tyze is most active in Canada, the United Kingdom and across small sections of the United States. Where technology is accessible Tyze is feasible. In the long term, there is no limit to the number of networks that are possible, or the impact on community health and well-being.

Triple Aim Approach

  • economic efficiency
  • better outcomes
  • better experiences

Tyze enables efficiency improvements in the formal health system and economic improvements for an individual living alone or vulnerable in a community. Costs for living go down as individuals can rely on their personal care network to – for example – ride with a neighbour to an appointment rather than pay for a taxi; rely on a family member for grocery delivery and/or reduce the frequency of formal home health care services.

Download the Tyze profile

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