TWO Inkberrow brothers have been helping hundreds of shielding households with AI technology during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Yokeru, set-up by Monty and Hector Alexander, is a start-up that specialises in the development of assistive technology to support individuals who are digitally excluded.

The brothers founded Yokeru after their grandmother fell over and was left for eight hours unaided. Following this, Monty and Hector decided to start the AI call centre business that proactively calls households, assesses vulnerability, and monitors the wellbeing to ensure vulnerable households are adequately supported.

The automated platform works by calling the home or mobile phone line. This use of existing communication infrastructure is a reliable, and less invasive, way of contacting the digitally excluded and at a fraction of the cost of a call centre.

To date, Yokeru has made regular contact with 9,000 shielding residents in the West London borough. Of the 9,000 residents contacted, the platform identified 927 households with 'unmet needs' such as mental health, struggles to get food or medication, loneliness, and safeguarding concerns.

While the work has begun in London, the brothers are planning to roll out the work across the West Midlands region.

Hector & Monty grew up in Inkberrow, in Worcestershire, and now spend their time between Inkberrow and Shepherds Bush in London.

Yokeru has now joined Serendip Incubator, which operates in partnership with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN).

Serendip Incubator supports digital start-ups similar to Yokeru, providing access to technology markets and the vital knowledge and expertise that small businesses need to launch. Expanded while supported by Serendip,

Hector said: "We are very excited to begin working as part of the Serendip incubator. The WMAHSN's approach to supporting digital innovations with the potential to save lives and improve health outcomes resonated with us at Yokeru, so we applied to the Serendip programme.

"We are from near Worcester, so the opportunity could not have been timelier – especially as our technology could have a tremendous, positive impact in the region. We developed the platform in response to a specific, widespread and unreported problem of digital exclusion, an issue that is particularly severe in the West Midlands."