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Home Care

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Home Care

Six observations from Tech-Enabled Home Care 2017 Research

Tech-enabled home care -- what does the interview research reveal? The report will be posted later this month, but specific insights emerged after speaking with 21 leaders in the home care business and technology segments.  The interviews are completed and the report is drafted. Here are six predictions that are drawn directly from that process:

Six technology-enabled innovations for older adults from 2016

Tech announcements spew forth, fast and furiously – but most do not help older adults.  Stay tuned and hopeful if you can, to the hundreds of announcements that will pour forth in the coming weeks from CES 2017 – hopefully a number of them focused on or at least interested in the care and/or services related to an aging population – and yes, according to the CDC, if one lives to age 65, life expectancy is unchanged. In the meantime, let’s reflect on 2016, which saw the rise in awareness of future caregiver shortages, shortages in family time, but not shortages in investor money:

Care boundaries blur as providers morph to match payment types

Nursing home avoidance continues for both investors and care recipients. You might have read about investors cutting back on nursing home investment within ‘healthcare’ REITS.  CMS and Medicare are reimbursing less for ever-shorter nursing home stays, ending their multi-year ‘billion dollar pie eating’ wave of investment.  Note that the biggest chains of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) like Signature Health Care (which has a web URL signaling LTC -- LongTerm Care) Revolution) – what might that revolution be?  Consider the consumer’s first encounter with the industries for health care, long-term care (LTC), skilled nursing facility (SNF), nursing home, or post-acute facility. This terminology morass mirrors the reimbursement patterns of government agencies, which, in turn, drive investment language, behavior and labeling.

Watching the home care industry slowly (or quickly) morph

Some industries remain the same for 30 years – and then POW!  Think back to travel agencies, bank branches, bookstores, hardware stores.  Each of these ultimately were traumatized into consolidation and transformation by new entrants. Smaller players in every segment went out of business.  The consumer was willing and eager to change. Online promotion of new capabilities helped them see what the existing players could not. Consider that in 2011, there were a very few indicators of the utility of tech-enabled home care. Naysayers about home care’s future in those days included some of the most entrenched.

Could Amazon's Echo and Alexa be useful for in-home care?

Tech-enabled home care isn’t really there – yet.  Okay, there are smart phone apps that reveal a caregiver has arrived. There are back-office offerings like CareTree or ClearCare – in a way, these are the ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems for home care agencies.  And then there are the new entrants, scooping up more money, presumably planning to take over the home care universe with…apps. So what is the device of choice for these folks?  A portal or app that can be accessed through a smartphone or perhaps an iPad.   These are big leaps forward from the no-transparency, telephone-only days of yore, true. But what if there was a multi-purpose device in the home that could enhance the quality of life of the care recipient – and also assist with information flow between the participants, including professional caregiver, agency management, family members?  

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ClearCare Announces $60 Million Investment

08/24/2016

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – August 24th, 2016 – ClearCare, a leading software platform for home care agencies, today announced a $60 million growth-equity investment led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. The company also announced that noted technologist Bala Krishna (Balki) Nakshatrala, former vice president of engineering at Mastercard, has joined ClearCare as VP of engineering.


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Tech-enabled home care -- what is it, what should it be?

Who expects that most seniors will move to assisted living? Not that many. Our clues: # 1) one of the long-time thought leader consultants in senior housing, Ryan Frederick, is now involved in multi-generational housing development.  Or Clue # 2) Occupancy is unchanged in senior housing – still at 89% for the past three years. And don’t you just love the phrase 'inventory has outpaced absorption'? Or the next big challenge for senior housing – serving the middle class? And the profile of the resident in assisted living?  Clue # 3) The typical resident is an 87-year-old woman who remains for an average of 22 months.   Clue # 4) The net worth for folks aged 75+, presumably the feeder group for assisted living, inclusive of home equity, is $155,714.

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