Finding a suitable caregiver for an elderly relative can be difficult, and leaving a vulnerable loved one with a stranger can be tough, especially if they have very specific medical or care needs. An innovative platform, developed by Hometeam, a company working in New York City and New Jersey, aims to match caregivers with seniors based on their medical needs, and their interests. Once care has started, the platform can track seniors’ daily routines and medication schedules and allows caregivers to communicate directly with seniors’ families using a tablet computer in each home. The system aims to help seniors to maintain their independence and health with optimized care and give families peace of mind.
Medgadget asked Hometeam CEO and Founder Josh Bruno, and Hometeam advisor and Sachs Policy Group CEO Jeff Sachs, some questions about the system.
Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please tell us how you got into this area.
Josh Bruno, Hometeam: I was on a very different path working for Bain & Co. and trying to decide if I wanted to go back to business school, when my family was experiencing some challenges in identifying the right care for my grandfather. At the time, our preference was to keep him at home where he was most comfortable and we believed that sending him to a nursing facility wasn’t in his best interest and may cause him to deteriorate faster.
This issue resulted in me digging into the aging process and all the options in the space. I even went to the extreme of volunteering at about 15 different agencies to learn the ins and outs of the business. I did everything from driving a bus to becoming a home health aide myself. I realized that the system was severely broken and desperately needed a change. This is why I decided to start Hometeam.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Sachs, Sachs Policy Group: The biggest driver in healthcare right now is the digital revolution – even more than legislative or policy changes from Washington. Technology is changing how every job is done. As an advisor to health-tech startups, I see new, smart companies pop up every year.
I became an advisor to Hometeam because I saw the magnitude of the problem with home care that they sought to address. We know that families want peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands, and we also know that home health care is among the hardest, least appreciated and least supported jobs in healthcare. Hometeam is attempting to fix these issues, and with the U.S. population of baby boomers aging rapidly, Josh could not have jumped into this endeavor at a better time.
Medgadget: How important is appropriate care for older people’s health and wellbeing? What problems can arise with suboptimal care?
Josh Bruno: It is simply critical to the health and wellbeing of the older adult. With the appropriate…