Homage’s CEO & Co-Founder, Gillian Tee
Gillian’s fruitful but laborious journey to build Homage from the ground up is certainly inspiring, for every action of hers was determined with her heart of gold. Her personal experiences shaped her into a compassionate individual who strives to contribute back to society with smart on-demand technology, allowing seniors to age at home with grace, control and dignity. This one-stop senior home care solution that combines trained and curated caregivers has touched the lives of many and has proved promising for the future of caregiving.
The Beginnings of Homage
Homage has demonstrated tremendous growth since 2017, its founding year. Like every startup, the journey of building Homage isn’t a story of overnight success, but one filled with pivotal moments with invaluable learning points that moulded the company into what it is today. The company was inspired by various individuals who showed empathy and devotion at different stages of Gillian’s life. One of her biggest inspirations is her childhood caregiver, who took care of her wholeheartedly and selflessly, leaving a huge impact on her. In memory of her caregiver, Gillian shared that Homage is, in some ways, a tribute back to her.
During Gillian’s years in the USA, she graduated with a degree in Computer Science and explored various job scopes including Business Development roles in Accenture and Amazon. With her vast experiences in software engineering, product management coupled with handling sales and partnerships, she founded a B2B SaaS company and had great partnerships, namely one with Google Ventures.
After many years in America, shifting back to Singapore was inevitable for the family-oriented individual. Being exposed to the entrepreneurial community in Singapore, Gillian discovered the nascency of the HealthTech industry and aspired to make a difference in it. As people In her closed circle suffered from chronic illnesses, the obscurity of long term home care in Singapore led Gillian on her new journey: Homage.
Providing an effective care solution became a top priority for Gillian. Always driven by purpose, she sought for a business model that creates a social impact and provides second-income possibilities for caregivers. Just recently launched, the Homage Health solution adds to the former Homage Care solution which consists of their core nursing, caregiving and rehabilitation services, giving a full spectrum of personalised care, telemedicine and remote monitoring.
Launching Homage Health
The launch of Homage Health clearly indicates how innovation holds high priority for Gillian. As an avid reader, she recommends Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims. By taking small experimental steps to advance a big idea, Gillian learnt to navigate uncertain situations using untapped creative powers of hers. She learnt the beauty of having a series of little bets, which could potentially lead to significant wins.
Homage Health’s unique selling point is their elevated teleconsultation services which comprise mobile medicine and medicine deliveries, allowing patients to receive care in the comfort of their homes. This holistic healthcare experience is made possible by Homage’s doctors delivering in-person house calls for seniors, families and care recipients.
Homage Against COVID-19
The relevance of Homage Health, particularly during COVID-19, skyrocketed. To prevent the risk of transmission, trained caregivers will travel to the homes of homebound elderlies and facilitate teleconsultations. With the majority of elderlies having mobility issues and limited access to digital health solutions, this solution enables quality healthcare for all.
As the pandemic hindered physical consultations with physiotherapists and speech therapists., opening a new medium where online and offline services are integrated have proven successful. A customized care plan coupled with digital consultations and long-term caregivers has enhanced therapy sessions. The integration of online and offline services was truly a game-changer for both speech and physiotherapy.
Homage has played a vital role in the fight against the silent killer. The swift deployment of Homage’s dedicated nurses who are COVID-19 swab test trained enabled the implementation of active testing for vulnerable groups susceptible to the virus.
This led to the unsung heroes stepping forward to aid more than half the nursing homes in Singapore to conduct tests on staffs and residences. From being in over a hundred dorms to deploying a COVID-19 responder taskforce of 200 caregivers, Homage’s staffs showed their indomitable spirit which is truly admirable. In recognition of their unmatched efforts, they received Direct Engagement awards from the Ministry of Health.
The nature of the crisis undoubtedly overwhelms Gillian’s tight schedule, which is why she practices mindfulness to reset her thoughts by exercising and ensuring the daily consumption of supplements and vitamins. Being one with excellent leadership capabilities, she empathizes with her teammates and is mindful of their well-being as well. She values open communication and transparency as she shares about challenges faced by Homage to her team. Given the stressful sentiments her team is facing, it is important to keep their spirits high, hence the hosting of virtual hangouts while playing Skribbl.io to unwind and relax.
The Future of HealthTech
Being a keen observer of the HealthTech industry, Gillian saw the democratization and decentralisation of healthcare becoming slowly more consumer-directed. Where there are opportunities to innovate and integrate, lies meaningful connections to be made within the ecosystem. With conversations disintermediating, one can shift to B2C or B2B2C business models, a promising change for the future of HealthTech.
As a Galen Growth Cohort member, she commented, “Though the timing may not be the best to partner, it is vital to understanding the offerings and how certain HealthTech startups of different verticals are developing over time. To be part of the Galen Growth Cohort with growing startups who face challenges will allow one to benefit from cross learnings.”
As technology is increasingly integrated into healthcare, it is understood that not all aspects can be fully digitised. Gillian emphasised that partnerships with traditional healthcare players would be the true catalyst for digitization and is looking forward to what the future has to offer towards holistic care.
The interview concluded with Gillian sharing that having patient needs met holistically and remotely through digital means has been a long term goal for her. Through merging technology and the human touch, she accomplished it with a community filled with incredibly compassionate trained caregivers, nurses and therapists. Homage is truly powered by a team of caregivers driven by purpose and a CEO who leads with her heart. Gillian never fails to be inspired by the devotion and selflessness of her team and strives on greatness with an ultimate purpose: giving back to society.
About the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort
Homage is part of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort, the only acceleration programme built to scale digital health startups to be the next generation powering healthcare innovation in the New Normal in Asia. In 2020, Galen Growth is working with 25 HealthTech startups which will benefit from Galen Growth’s long-established and unmatched curated community of investors, corporate leaders and innovation teams and other essential stakeholders through our proven multi-channel tools. For more information, visit Galen Growth’s HealthTech Cohort webpage or read this article on the launch of the Galen Growth HealthTech Cohort.
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