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Two Apps Make a Right

StayClose is an app, available on Android and iOS, which can be used to get updates about another person's activities such as whether an elderly parent went for a daily walk, whether a child reached school, and so on

A partnership just announced between the ride hailing service Uber and smart care app StayClose allows users to take keeping in touch with and helping loved ones a step further.

StayClose is an app, available on Android and iOS, which can be used to get updates about another person's activities such as whether an elderly parent went for a daily walk, whether a child reached school, and so on.

Developed by the company TouchKin, the app is unable even by those who are tech challenged as it draws on a smartphone's native features such as the GPS and accelerometer. The idea is to care for others with whom one cannot be all the time, either in the same city or elsewhere, even across the world. Just a touch, just a tap, can tell the other person that a family member or friend cares. the information from updates that don't have to be typed out each time help keep track of a person's well being and safety. The opt-in is from both people, of course, and there is no intrusiveness that occurs as part of the tracking.

And now StayClose has announced a tie-up with Uber wherein you can just say “I am sending someone to pick you up” . This will work in 400 cities across the world, sending and paying for hassle-free rides to friends and family across the world, with just two taps. The recipient doesn't need to pay. With ‘send a ride’, the StayClose app allows users to arrange a pickup for anyone in their contacts list. It uses Uber’s APIs to send them a ride, even if they don’t have the app installed. They need to simply click on the link when ready and an Uber will go to their location at no cost to them.

Says Jo Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of StayClose, “The first element of care is to know how someone is, which is the core of the Touchkin platform. The second is to be able to do something to help those you care for. This often involves getting someone picked up and taken to the doctor, or brought to you. We were looking for a global partner who can make it easier for families everywhere to care for each other, and Uber was the perfect choice. You can actually go the last mile and do something about an unwell sibling or parent. Sitting in London, you can book an Uber in India to take your parents to the doctor.”

Commenting on this partnership, Saad Ahmed, India BD Lead at Uber said, “The Touchkin partnership came out of the Hackathon we hosted in Bangalore which was a first in Asia, following the launch of Uber Trip Experiences. We are pleased to collaborate and join hands with StayClose, in their efforts towards creating a unique family care platform. This is a great example of how Uber’s APIs are helping our developer partners develop innovative user experiences. India has been a significant source of ideas that are relevant globally, and we hope that StayClose will become an important part of our innovation and partner ecosystem.”

The StayCLose app has been in a pilot stage and the app’s user base been doubling every month through word of mouth. Currently there are over a 1,000 families using the app each with 3-5 members. With over 2 million hours of user behaviour analysed, Touchkin’s predictive engine has been using patterns of data from multiple phone sensors (Accelerometer, Gyro, GPS, Light, Proximity etc.) to consistently detect patterns of activity that were correlated with episodes of ill health.

The company is now working on refining these healthcare algorithms with medical practitioners, to enable a phone to automatically detect if someone may be depressed and connect them to help.

Recently receiving a small amount seed funding the company plans to build the team, grow the user base and develop the predictive engine through pilot studies with healthcare providers in India and internationally for specific use cases such as depression and diabetes.


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