Carefactor – Helping Families Care for Older Loved Ones

In the current circumstances, it is obvious to most that the welfare of older community members is of paramount importance, and that all steps must be taken to ensure that proper care strategies are in place to guarantee that. It is great to discover that an Australian company has already developed the perfect tool.

In 2015, Greg Shapland and his wife, Barbara, faced a challenge. Greg’s fiercely independent mother was still living at her home and managing chronic illness requiring significant medications and regular visits to her doctors. Together with Greg’s brother, they were trying to coordinate his mother’s care needs, and make sure everyone was on the same page. Having a software background, Greg put together a shared notebook using OneNote. As Greg says, “Whilst it was adequate, it certainly wasn’t something that was intuitive and helped us manage her care. So, we decided to develop a mobile app that served our needs and others who face similar challenges”.

The idea of Carefactor was born. After initially designing the look and flow of the application and engaging with Mitrais to discuss the best technology base to work with, Barbara was suddenly confronted with her own serious health issues. The project was parked as she and Greg concentrated on that as a priority, but the concept of Carefactor stayed alive in their minds and even gained further relevance for those looking after others like Barbara and even children with chronic conditions. When Barbara thankfully returned to full health some two years later, they were more determined than ever to bring it to fruition.

So it was that Greg and Mitrais reconvened in late 2018 to start Carefactor development in earnest, culminating in its launch on the Apple and Google App Stores in January 2020.

The goal of Carefactor has always been to help others care for those most important to them wherever they may be in the world. It is focused on providing a single place to manage and share the tasks and activities around a loved one, and provides the ability to bring many pieces of the care puzzle into a single place that is simple for everyone involved to use.

Even before Carefactor, Greg and Mitrais had had a long history. “I first began working with Mitrais some 15 years ago, in early 2005” he says. “I was the Project Manager of a project where Mitrais developed a custom web application for managing software licenses. I found Mitrais staff and processes to be very professional, from the reporting of status to the quality of work. I didn’t need to travel to Mitrais offices during the entire process, and only needed to speak with individuals directly 4 or 5 times”.

When it came to the Carefactor development though, Greg was pleased how software development techniques and methodologies had advanced, and how well Mitrais had adapted to those changes. “I regularly speak with Mitrais developers as part of Agile project management using cloud technologies like Atlassian and Zoom. I visited Mitrais’ offices in the early days of Carefactor development and many of the staff I interacted with 15 years ago were still there, albeit now in Senior Management positions” he says.

Carefactor continues to evolve though. “The world is a small place, and we are so interconnected as recent events have highlighted” he says. “The app was designed and built from a very early stage to support internationalisation. It made complete sense for Indonesian to be the first non-English language supported, and we are now finalising development to launch Carefactor in new markets”.

“The journey was far from straightforward and has taken 5 years from idea to launch” says Greg. “Mitrais provided the flexibility to size the team to the stage of development which I found beneficial pre and post launch whilst maintaining continuity of staff”.

Now, more than ever, Carefactor provides a great tool to help families provide the care and attention that older family members need to stay independent and healthy, and Mitrais is excited to be a part of developing such necessary and helpful solutions for families around the world. Congratulations to Greg and Barbara on a great product, and we at Mitrais look forward to working with them on the next steps on the journey.

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