A Raleigh company is using its technology to meet the demand for more social interaction during the coronavirus pandemic
By: Seth Gulledge
April 23, 2020
For the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, high-risk senior populations will be facing increased isolation – a problem that a Triangle tech company is looking to solve.
And now, its business is exploding like never before.
Raleigh-based K4Connect has been developing a suite of senior-living solutions for years, including its K4Community Platform – which integrates the latest smart home and health technologies into a user interface designed for senior living residents and staff.
It started 2020 with big expectations, believing it could double the users on its platform for the second consecutive year due to demand growing for at-home technology solutions for seniors.
And that was before Covid-19 forced the world into home isolation and lockdown – especially for older populations that are most at risk to the virus.
According to CEO Scott Moody – formerly credited for the TouchID technology bought out by Apple – the company has gone from serving about 125 communities two months ago to more than 800 now. It has also increased its staff by about 10 percent to accommodate for the new growth.
Moody says that while the company was steadily growing and its value-proposition was always clear to those in the Industry, the sudden change in reality has made their value much more apparent and urgent.
“It’s all the sudden much more of a necessity,” Moody says. “We went from a ‘nice to have’ … to now understanding ‘wait a minute we have to have this.'”
Looking to cater to the demand for service to combat isolation and loneliness caused by the pandemic – which Moody notes has been shown to be as negative of a factor for health as smoking – the company has now also rolled out a new application “taking the best experiences of today’s popular social media platforms and integrating them into a sophisticated application.”
“It came from this whole thesis around engagement and combating isolation and loneliness, which is a big issue,” he says.
He says their platform differs from many popular social media models in so much that instead of driving engagement on the app – in order to sell advertising – the platform is designed to encourage personal engagement with other users, such as communicating and signing up for activities with each other.
The new software was already being developed by the company, but was expedited to serve customers during the pandemic.
“Isolation is one of the more significant challenges they’re facing today,” Moody says. “Which is why our expediting and releasing K4Community Plus now to better support them was incredibly important to us.”
He says they are in conversations about how to incorporate some telemedicine applications into their technology, seeing the company’s platform as an existing video and health integration opportunity that other telemedicine companies could plug into.