Caregiving August 01, 2023
Caregiving August 01, 2023

Modernizing the Caregiving Experience

Talk to any of the estimated 53 million Americans who care for their loved ones today, and they will likely tell you it’s gratifying but challenging work. Caregivers invest 20 or more hours a week in their role, on average, adding up to an astonishing $600 billion worth of unpaid care each year. They are inundated with information and responsibilities they often don’t feel equipped to manage, making it difficult to find the resources and guidance they need to care for their loved ones. Much of this work happens behind the scenes, where it’s easily overlooked.

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The mental and physical toll of caregiving

To manage their loved one’s healthcare, caregivers must singlehandedly navigate a maze of insurance benefits, medical records, medications, and at-home care instructions. The demands of the role—from preparing meals and paying bills to managing their loved one’s activities of daily living—pull caregivers away from colleagues, family and friends. Many caregivers must scale back or quit their jobs, further exacerbating feelings of loneliness. 

This pressure and isolation can lead to burnout and negative health outcomes. About 70% of caregivers say they experience anxiety or depression. Caregivers often neglect their own health needs, increasing their risk for serious conditions. More than 40% of caregivers report having two or more chronic diseases, and among those 65 and older, that number rises to over 53%

Streamlining the caregiving process

Recognizing the need to provide support and relief to caregivers, Redesign Health and Helpful CEO Wes Donohoe began to evaluate the current technology landscape and ideate potential innovations. 

We found that while many health insurance companies and providers already offer information to caregivers, it comes from an array of service providers and communication channels — creating a disjointed, confusing experience. Moreover, most of these tools focus on the individual member or patient, failing to address the unique needs of caregivers.

We also asked caregivers to share their greatest challenges with us. Many of them said they struggled with understanding their loved one’s insurance benefits, following up on their provider’s instructions and quickly becoming experts on the latest diagnosis or nursing tasks that their loved one faced. In an absence of tools, they found themselves reading 300+ page PDFs explaining the various insurance benefits, calling and recalling their loved ones’ providers for helpful instructions and searching google for ‘How do I help my loved one with X’.  These insights revealed that caregiving is a complex ever evolving job that needs a tool to unify fragmented information that streamlines and automates tasks. By alleviating this administrative burden and organizing all aspects of their loved one’s daily care, we’ll empower caregivers to focus on providing quality care while saving valuable time, money and energy. 

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Introducing Helpful

We’re proud to introduce a groundbreaking platform designed to meet caregivers’ unique challenges. Helpful simplifies the overwhelming job of family caregiving by combining a loved one's insurance benefits, medical records and caregiving guides into one personalized, user-friendly platform. 

Helpful takes on the administrative burden by automating and eliminating unnecessary steps, ultimately making caregivers’ lives easier. Instead of caregivers relying on personal organization methods to manage the constant influx of information and tasks, Helpful offers quick access to information, tools and support they need all in one place so they can perform their valuable work and gain a sense of relief.

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A comprehensive offering sets Helpful apart from competitors, as the only platform in the market that integrates these key components:

  • Real-time medical records, including after-visit summaries and care plan tracking

  • An integrated, comprehensive medications list

  • Personalized and localized caregiver benefits, including a curated list of existing insurance benefits

  • Educational content written by clinicians in clear, easy-to-understand language, including training on medical conditions, tips and checklists

Signing up for Helpful takes less than a minute. Caregivers simply select their insurance plan, provide their name and birthday, and connect their medical records. A user-friendly interface means that caregivers don’t need technical expertise to navigate the app. The platform is HIPAA-compliant and encrypted, ensuring the confidentiality of patient data.

Helpful’s customers are payers and providers, which means the app is free for caregivers and their loved ones. Additionally, Helpful currently offers its services free to family members of Original Medicare (parts A & B), following applicable legal guidelines. By partnering with Medicare Advantage plans, Helpful incorporates primary and supplemental benefits into its app, giving caregivers comprehensive and up-to-date information. 

Because Helpful seamlessly integrates with payers and providers to collate and automate many aspects of patient care, it creates efficiency and eliminates redundancy in the healthcare ecosystem.

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Meet the Helpful team

Helpful is led by a team of healthcare and technology experts, fueled by passion and personal caregiving experience and grounded in the latest user experience research:

  • Wes Donohoe, CEO and Co-Founder, is an experienced product executive, who worked with Redesign Health’s team as a Founder in Residence to create and scale Helpful. He has led various teams at hyper-growth startups and large multinational companies across many industries. As the Vice President of Product and Design at One Medical, he achieved 10x growth for a wide-ranging team that included product management, product design, product operations and analytics, and product support. He also served as Chief Product Officer for Everside Health, creating solutions for one of the nation’s largest direct primary care providers.

  • Kelley R. Hill, MSN, RN, Chief Clinical Officer & Co-Founder, spent more than a decade in acute care before pursuing home health, where she saw firsthand the struggles that unpaid family caregivers experience. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Compliance and Clinical Services at FirstLight Home Care, overseeing 200 locations nationwide. She also previously worked as the National Director for Clinical Innovation and Design for Kindred at Home.

  • Oleg Rocklin, VP of Engineering & Co-Founder, is a clinical data expert who believes strongly in harnessing the power of technology to simplify complex challenges. He led the clinical data platform at One Medical, helping a talented team of engineers build software to make primary care better. He also worked as a solutions architect for Basho Technologies, Inc., where he architected an integrated data platform.

  • Trisha Smith, Director of Growth Marketing, is certified in startup brand strategy and motivated to make caregiving easier and more efficient. She previously was the VP of Marketing at Market Wagon, an e-commerce platform for local food. She also worked as the Executive Director of the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation and Director of Marketing for the University of Indianapolis. 

  • Michelle Helene, Lead Product Designer, has spent more than a decade helping companies build, brand and scale their digital products. She was previously Lead Product Designer at Redesign health, Fevo, a B2B social payments platform, and Zoey, a do-it-yourself e-commerce platform. 

  • Hannah Grossman, Senior Software Engineer, spent three years as a senior software engineer at One Medical, focused on applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to a primary care setting. She’s excited to use her skills to create better experiences for caregivers and families.

Revolutionizing the way caregivers work

While caregiving is an act of love, caregivers are a scarce and overburdened resource. By automating and removing unnecessary steps from the process, Helpful saves caregivers time, money and energy–so they can focus on caring for themselves and cherishing the moments they have with their loved ones.