'Uber of home care' app bags top prize in $100k Challenge

Dubbed the "Uber of home care", a mobile app that aims to connect nurses and patients has won the $100,000 top prize in an entrepreneurial competition.

Jaga-Me beat five other finalists in the second Income's Future Starter $100k Challenge. Income is NTUC's insurance cooperative.

The three-month-long competition saw more than 170 participants competing to turn their business ideas into reality. They were judged on the uniqueness and feasibility of their proposals.

The panel of seven judges from the business sector were impressed by the three-member Jaga-Me team's efforts to address healthcare concerns in Singapore, including the increasing bed crunch in hospitals and a need to match home-based patients and nurses.

"The app solves a real-world issue," said one of the judges, Mr Marcus Chew.

The winning team, made up of freelance nurse Kuah Ling Ling, 29; civil servant Julian Koo, 28; and healthcare business manager Har Jia Yi, 34, first met during a healthcare hackathon, a problem-solving event for the healthcare sector, in July this year.

It started working on the app even before joining the competition. "I was trying to solve this gap in home care that I saw," said Ms Kuah.

Mr Chew said that Income was looking forward to working with the Jaga-Me team to further develop its ideas.

The team worked with hospital and community partners on how their app could facilitate a seamless transition from hospital to home care for patients. "With hospitals being so crowded, we looked at how we can solve this, rather than just gripe," said Mr Koo.

The team is still working on the app and hopes to have it ready by the middle of next year.

Mr Koo hopes their win will inspire others to take advantage of competitions like the $100K Challenge to make a positive change in society. He added: "Platforms like this make resources available - not just capital, but also people, to put their minds together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline ''Uber of home care' app bags top prize in $100k Challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe