New Faces New Places: Home care made easier with online platform

“When we founded Alto, we were on a mission to provide all the safety and security of a traditional home health care company without the expense.”

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Businesses and nonprofits regularly open and relocate in Saskatoon. Today, the StarPhoenix talks to Hadi Taherian, one of the founders of Alto, a recently launched online marketplace designed to help seniors and their families connect directly with home health care workers. Taherian and his business partner Dr. Rob Basi founded Alto after seeing the benefits for seniors living in their familiar homes and the high costs associated with home care.

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Hadi Taherian co-owns Alto, the online platform that connects home health care providers with families in a more affordable way.
Hadi Taherian co-owns Alto, the online platform that connects home health care providers with families in a more affordable way. Photo by Michelle BergSaskatoon Star Phoenix

Q: What made you decide to start this online platform?

A: I used to be an executive director of one of the largest private home management companies in Canada and the US. And I and my business partner, Dr. Rob Basi, saw how difficult it was to actually find good home care for our own family members. Trying to find someone and the process of interviewing, verifying who they are and checking their references and criminal records, and managing the schedule was so time consuming.

Those are some of the reasons we decided to create Alto. It’s a true platform that helps family members find better, safer home care, so families can focus more on finding the caregiver that fits their needs, which is less stressful and much easier to manage.

Q: How does the platform help people seeking care?

A: When we founded Alto, we were on a mission to provide all the safety and security of a traditional home health care company without the expense. And that’s what we did. When they start reviewing the caregivers on our platform, each person is vetted. The customers and our care recipients can see who they are, what they have done before, what certification they have and how much money they want to charge per hour. On average, this is 40 percent less than at private home care institutions.

The great thing about our platform is that they can try out some of the individuals and then, if there’s a synergy, they can keep booking them through our platform. They can also pay through our platform. We’ve made it as safe as possible.

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Q: What benefits does Alto offer to the healthcare providers using the platform?

A: Healthcare providers can come to our platform, create a profile, show what they are good at and set their own rate. They have complete control over their own work, how much money they want to make and which clients they want to take on, something they’ve never had in other places before. We found that once the personality matches on both sides – the caregiver and the care recipient – the rest is extremely easy to manage.

Q: How did your other company, Home Care by Doctors, help set up this platform?

A: At Home Care by Doctors, we saw some of the challenges that came with providing services through a traditional home care agency to our clients. We saw what the issues were, we got feedback from the customers we had over the past five years and Alto was created by combining both.

Q: How do you hope to improve healthcare options through Alto?

A: There is certainly a need for retirement homes and nursing homes. It is something we cannot avoid. There is a place for it in our healthcare system. But at the same time they are overcrowded(and) the staff is overworked and unhappy.

COVID-19 exposed many shortcomings in our current system to support our seniors. And one of the main problems is the fact that there are not enough options for people to make an informed decision. The options are either going to a nursing home or healthcare facility or dealing with traditional home care companies.

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So we sat down and said, “How can we provide the same quality of individuals, but at the same time make it more accessible and easier for people to do what they need to do to stay at home?” And that’s how Alto was born.

Q: What does making home care more accessible mean?

A: There is no place like home. Home care is where a person feels safe, where they feel comfortable, so it provides peace of mind for them. We have found that people who receive home care are much happier, stay healthier because they feel so comfortable.

There are ways to stay safe at home and keep our seniors safe. All we are trying to do is make sure we can provide everyone with a safe option to make an informed decision about the best way to provide care for their loved ones.

This interview has been edited and abridged.


Owners: Hadi Taherian and Dr Rob Basi
Hours: 24-hour access online
Phone: 306-612-4224
Address: 420-210 Ave. P S. (Headquarters), 229-116 Research Drive (Co. Labs Office)
To check: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

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