In search of innovative solutions for caregivers

Brown

By Rebecca Rice Brown

Caregivers are vital to our increasingly overburdened healthcare system: patients with identified caregivers have lower healthcare costs, close gaps in care at a higher rate, participate in clinical care programs more often, and feel more satisfied with their healthcare experience than those without identified caregivers. Even so, caregivers often report they struggle to find critical resources fragmented throughout the healthcare system and community.

To address this growing problem, the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council (LHCC) challenged innovators to submit their best technology solutions for caregivers, to be showcased at a Kentucky Derby week pitch event called CareTech. LHCC members include the CEOs from top healthcare companies headquartered in Louisville, including Anthem, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Baptist Health, BrightSpring Health Services, Galen College of Nursing, Hosparus Health, Humana, Kindred Healthcare, Norton Healthcare, Passport Health Plan, Signature HealthCARE and Trilogy Health Services.

“Unpaid caregivers provide an astounding $506 billion of care for their loved ones each year, and many report they operate in a near-constant crisis mode,” said Tammy York Day, president and CEO of LHCC. Since providing caregivers access to the resources they need to feel comfortable caring for their loved ones is an opportunity that touches all LHCC member companies, finding relevant solutions was a priority for LHCC.

CareTech’s placement at the beginning of a busy Derby weekend was by design. Through CareTech, LHCC created a unique opportunity for innovators in the caregiver space to get acquainted with the city of Louisville and connect with high-powered healthcare CEOs, investors and experts around a once-in-a-lifetime Derby experience.

“We know anecdotally that the Derby is an accelerant for business deals,” said York Day. “Why not channel this uniquely-Louisville experience to solve a healthcare problem while increasing economic vibrancy for our community?” The CareTech pitch event kicked-off a curated Derby weekend for these stakeholders, where finalists had the opportunity to connect with LHCC VIPs throughout the weekend, which included a cocktail reception, a steampunk-themed costume party sponsored by LHCC member Apellis Pharmaceuticals, the Unbridled Eve Gala, the Kentucky Derby Green Room and the Derby.  This curated experience approach makes CareTech unique among traditional pitch competitions, where startups pitch, network for an hour and go home.

Finalists for the CareTech event were chosen from a pool of over 200 international innovations by investors, subject matter experts in the caregiver space, other healthcare representatives, and members of LHCC. The technology represented in the applicant pool included everything from personal robotics, to big data solutions, to smart home connected technology, to big enterprise solutions. Also represented were community-focused solutions that use social determinants of health data to connect caregivers to the resources they need.

Ultimately, three early stage finalists and three growth stage finalists were invited to give a four-minute pitch to institutional and angel investors, LHCC CEOs, and other industry experts in early May. Winners in each category receive 15 minutes a quarter in front of LHCC’s powerful board.

Growth Stage Winner

The winner in the growth stage category was TCARE, presented by Ali Ahmadi, co-founder and CEO.

The St. Louis company is a CMS-approved, evidence-based and HHS-Accredited family caregiver support program used by Care Professionals to prevent the burnout of caregivers through behavioral intervention models. TCARE’s clinical model relies on measuring identity discrepancy for a caregiver as he/she transitions from a son/daughter/spouse role into full-time caregiving.

In a two-year pilot, TCARE was proven to save Washington State’s Medicaid budget over $20M by reducing 20 percent Medicaid LTC claims and delayed placement of elders in nursing homes by over 21 months. TCARE is now legislatively mandated in three states, serving 100,000 family caregivers.

Early Stage Winner

The winner in the early stage category was Family Directed-HomeHero, presented by Kiel Dowlin, president.

Family Directed, recently located to Louisville, Kentucky, makes it easy for families to manage home care needs for loved ones with efficient and transparent technology solutions. Its platform makes it simple to find, hire and manage caregivers, and it includes a mobile application, complete with scheduling tools and real-time activity notifications, to take the stress out of coordinating care. Families pay less, caregivers earn more and loved ones receive the care they deserve.

LHCC continues to measure the impact of CareTech as participants’ businesses grow. Many finalists identified mentors, potential customers and potential investors from the CareTech weekend.

“My experience with the CareTech pitch confirmed my assumptions about Louisville as a hub of aging innovation and affirmed my decision to relocate from New York to Louisville to build our company,” said Dowlin, of Family Directed-HomeHero. “Everyone in the community is focused on driving collaboration and innovation throughout the state of Kentucky. The connections I made through CareTech will help our business be more successful not only on a local level, but also on a national level.”

LHCC continues to measure the impact of CareTech as potential pilots of finalist technologies unfold, investments are made, and mentorship relationships continue. Plans are underway for the next iteration of CareTech, which will focus on another challenge in aging innovation: integrated care delivery. This event will be part of an invitation-only international conference that expands earlier into Derby Week 2020. More details about the conference will be announced this fall.

CareTech Finalists:

Early Stage

Family Directed-HomeHero (Louisville, Kentucky) Family Directed-HomeHero makes it easy for families to manage home care needs for loved ones with our efficient and transparent technology solutions. Our community makes it simple to find, hire and manage caregivers. Our mobile applications take the stress out of coordinating care with scheduling tools and real-time activity and location-based notifications. Families pay less, caregivers earn more and loved ones receive the care they deserve.

Folia Health; Cambridge (Massachusetts) At Folia, we are unlocking the potential of precision medicine by enabling family caregivers to collect their observations on a patient’s symptoms and response to treatment. To collect their observations, caregivers respond to a set of simple multiple-choice questions on the Folia app a few times each week. Then, their responses are analyzed and used to improve care at the clinic, and even to inform research. Folia is currently focused on cystic fibrosis and will be adding two new conditions in 2019. 

Outpatient, Inc. (San Francisco, California) Outpatient simplifies caregiving. Outpatient is an all-in-one mobile productivity and group communication platform used by Senior Living facilities, Home Care agents, and families to make caring for anyone more effective, collaborative and modern. The company was founded in 2017 by Brian Corey and Peter Yewell, ex-Facebook colleagues who underwent their own frustrating caregiving experiences and decided to put all their effort into filling an extreme need that impacts tens of millions of people. Outpatient is backed by Harrison Metal, Vy Capital, Correlation Ventures and Propel Ventures.

Growth Stage

CarePredict (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) CarePredict is a pioneering AI-driven digital health company with locations in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Menlo Park, CA. Led by a team of caregivers and healthcare technology veterans, CarePredict’s mission is to help family and professional caregivers detect the precursors to conditions like urinary tract infection (UTI), depression and increased fall risk well in advance, enabling them to take timely action. CarePredict has been successfully deployed and is delivering full insights to operators on workforce productivity including time to respond, and documentation of care services. For residents, CarePredict’s wearable, Tempo provides keyless door opens and the ability to use two-way voice to communicate directly with the staff. CarePredict provides location-based insights on both staff and residents facilitating faster response time and streamlined care service.

CuePath (Seattle, Washington) Improper medication intake accounts for 25 percent of seniors’ hospital admissions and significantly affects the emotional well-being of their family. CuePath solves this problem with remote medication monitoring and Smart Blister Packs. We have developed a unique sensor technology that can be applied by a pharmacist to already existing medication packaging to make it smart. The Smart Blister Packs remind patients to take medications on time and communicate the usage information to care professionals and families for improving patient medication adherence, reducing hospital re-admissions and increasing the efficiency of care staff.

TCARE (St. Louis, Missouri) TCARE is a CMS-approved, Evidence-based and HHS-Accredited family caregiver support program used by Care Professionals to prevent the burnout of caregivers through behavioral intervention models. TCARE’s clinical model resides on measuring identity discrepancy as to the role of caregiver transitions from a son/daughter/spouse role into full-time caregiving. In a two-year pilot, TCARE was proven to save Washington State’s Medicaid budget over $20M by reducing 20 percent Medicaid LTC claims and delayed placement of elders in nursing homes by over 21 months, thus, TCARE is now legislatively mandated in three states, serving 100,000 family caregivers.

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