Meet the 7 remote-monitoring startups that are raising millions to provide a new way of caring for aging Americans at home
- The US population is aging rapidly. There were 48 million people in the US aged 65 and older in 2015 and that number is projected to almost double by 2060, according to the US Census Bureau.
- The home-care market is expected to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $225 billion by 2024, according to Business Insider Intelligence.
- To help seniors remain in their homes, rather than move to nursing homes or other facilities, companies are creating tech solutions to monitor, assist, and prevent adverse health events.
- While there are a lot of startups tackling different elements of senior care, there are some companies in particular that have the most funding for remote monitoring, CB Insight analysts told Business Insider.
- The companies are creating remote medical diagnosis devices, smarter wearable devices, more effective home monitoring systems that track behavioral habits, and easier methods to have in-person home care when needed.
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The US population is aging rapidly and startups are looking to create new ways of helping to care for the elderly.
There were 48 million people in the US aged 65 and older in 2015 and that number is projected to almost double by 2060, according to the US Census Bureau.
With almost a third of the US population set to be 65 and older in a few decades, investment in senior care is becoming more of a focus in the healthcare industry.
“There is a lack of capacity in our current senior housing situation. Between assisted living and skilled living there just aren’t enough resources,” said Joshua Mark, a healthcare intelligence analyst at CB Insights. “So we’re seeing a shift in preference, where aging in the home and receiving care in the home will be the main focus for growth.”
With an aging population, the total cost of caring for seniors is projected to increase. The home care market alone is expected to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $225 billion by 2024, according to Business Insider Intelligence.
“We’re seeing a growing number of family caregivers providing care,” Mark said. “There is also a greater need for social engagement for seniors. There are higher rates of mental health issues that need to be addressed and more constant care or monitoring is needed for treatment.”
Advancement of tech in the home care setting
Technology can help monitor and assist patients in their homes and prevent adverse health events.
Because of this, remote care is becoming an area of keen interest for companies and investors. In 2018, Best Buy acquired GreatCall for $800 million. The company offers senior friendly devices and mobile medical alerts and is a key piece of Best Buy’s new senior-focused healthcare strategy.
Optum, a division of the insurer UnitedHealth Group, bought the patient-monitoring startup Vivify Health, CNBC reported. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Technology plays a central role in providing care remotely, said Satish Movva, the CEO of CarePredict, a monitoring-device company for seniors.
“To address the lack of caregivers you need to bring technology front and center,” Movva told Business Insider. “If you look at the state of technology now in senior care it’s still pretty bad. It’s the life alert method, which is ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up’. The technology is still to detect and treat, not predict and prevent.”
Mark, the CB Insights analyst, said there are several companies in remote monitoring that he thinks are promising. They’re creating remote medical diagnosis devices, smarter wearable devices, more effective home monitoring systems that track behavioral habits, and easier methods to have in-person at home care when needed.
VRI – $9 million
VRI offers a medical alert system where the patient just needs to press a button and a caregiver is on call 24 hours a day to come and assist the patient.
The company also offers mobile medical alert systems so that when a senior is out of the home, they can stay connected to the VRI caregiver team. There is also a medication monitoring system and provider access to monitor the patient’s vitals for a wide range of chronic illnesses.
The company has raised a total of $9 million in funding according to PitchBook.
CareGuide – $11.6 million
The Toronto-based startup provides a platform to connect seniors with people who can care for them in their homes.
CareGuide has caregivers across the US and Canada to provide seniors with support services at home.
To get matched with a caregiver, the patient fills out a questionnaire. Based on their answers the company figures out what specific kind of care is needed. It connects the patient with various provider matches and the patient narrows down the list and then hire the provider they’re most interested in.
According to the company’s website, over three million people use the platform in North America.
The company has raised a total of $11.6 million in funding, according to PitchBook.
CarePredict – $16.5 million
The company has created a wearable device called Tempo, which tracks a person’s daily activities and location while providing a touch-button call system. The device tracks eating, bathing, grooming, exercise, sleeping and general hygiene.
“I created the company from my own experiences of looking after my parents,” CEO Satish Movva told Business Insider. “I had to call everyday and ask my parents uncomfortable questions about their health. It became a huge part of my life and I knew there had to be a better solution.”
Right now the wearable device is used mostly by seniors in assisted living facilities, but the company launched the product into the home care space four months ago.
Movva said the device right now is used by thousands but he thinks it’ll reach tens of thousands of people with the launch of home care, which he said has been growing rapidly.
Movva said the company has raised a total of $16.5 million in funding.
K4Connect – $22.6 million
The company has created a platform that brings together technologies like apps and wearable devices, in-home safety measures and better electronic workflows for care teams.
The entrepreneur behind Apple’s fingerprint-scanning Touch ID, Scott Moody, created the company. The goal was to bring innovative tech solutions to senior communities that are easy to operate, according to CNBC.
K4Connect is used by at least 13,000 residents in senior living communities from Florida to California, CNBC reported in 2018.
The company has raised a total of $22.6 million in funding, according to PitchBook.
HealthSense – $33.5 million
The company provides technology services for senior care. Using remote monitoring to track activities of daily living (ADL) the data is then delivered to caregivers for emergency response and wellness management of the patient.
The company also evaluates patients to determine their best course of action for care, such as physician referrals, home care options, rehabilitation, living options, palliative care and end of life care needs. HealthSense also provides recommendations for home safety and improvements for seniors who want to age in their home, instead of a hospital or other facility.
The company has raised a total of $33.5 million in funding, according to PitchBook.
Tyto Care – $56 million
The healthtech company has created a device that allows patients to do some health tests themselves, and share the results with a doctor or other care provider.
The Tyto Care device can monitor your heart and your breathing, and also do ear and throat exams. The device is handheld, and connects to your smartphone or tablet to capture and transfer clinical data and images to a doctor.
The patient can capture and share the exams with a provider or conduct a live guided exam. The patient then gets a diagnosis, treatment plan and prescription if needed.
“Our device is a critical component that allows people to age in place,” CEO Amnon Gavish told Business Insider. ‘They can get the medical support they need and live their own lives in the comfort of their homes.”
Amnon said that tens of thousands of patients use the device in the US. He told Business Insider the company has raised a total of $56 million.
ClearCare – $77.7 million
ClearCare is a personal-care technology platform that serves over 4,000 personal care agencies that represent over 600,000 caregivers and 500,000 seniors.
The company’s platform helps to manage the personal care agency’s business functions like scheduling, billing, payroll, senior-to-caregiver matching, customer tracking, and reporting to providers and families. By doing this, the company essentially manages and streamlines the administrative workflow of these agencies.
“We wanted to create greater transparency between the agency and the family,” CEO of ClearCare, Geoff Nudd, told Business Insider. “There’s a real time sharing of information which in some cases can be lifesaving.”
“In the personal care industry we have to connect with the healthcare ecosystem,” Nudd said. “WellSky is the leader in multiple sectors of care outside of the hospital, like home health, hospice and rehabilitation.”
ClearSky raised $77.7 million before it was acquired, and Nudd declined to discuss the financial details of the acquisition.