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Another Digital Disruptor Bites the Dust

By Stephen Tweed  

For the past several years, we’ve been keeping you informed of new developments at the “Digital Disruptors” who are attempting to bring about the “Uberization” of home care.  These companies are using technology go connect clients and caregivers using the technology that has made Uber so successful in competing with taxi’s and limousines.  we’ve previously written about Honor, Home Team, Home Hero, and Kindly Care.

In February I told you about the death of Digital Disruptor, Home Hero.  After several years in business and burning through some portion of the $20 million that they reportedly raised, they decided to exit the home care business.  The had preserved some of their cash, and announced in June that they were re-launching in another sector of health care.

RESPECT Calls it Quits.

This past week, a recent digital start up in Chicago, Respect, announced they were closing.  Co-founder and CEO Bruce Masterson announced that the company “is coming to an end much sooner that we had imagined.”  The company opened early in 2017 and has been in business less than six months.

“It seems that the in-home care market is not open to anything other than a high-touch referral model,” Masterson explained. “We thought there would be a market with adult children using the app for finding caregivers. They use it for tracking caregivers, but not for the upfront part of becoming a client.”

One of my long term clients wrote me a not just yesterday asking for an update on the Digital Disruptors. Here it is Roger. Thanks for asking.

High Touch Home Care … what a concept.

As we reported on the early development of these digital home care companies, there is a real difference between doing a one-time transaction in a high tech system like Uber, and developing a continuing relationship between a client and a caregiver.  I like Uber.  I use it regularly when I travel for business and for pleasure and I’ve had 98% positive experiences.  However, I’ve never had the same driver twice.  They have all been really nice people giving wonderful service, but we don’t have a relationship once I get out of the car.

As you know, home care doesn’t work that way. The best clients develop a close personal relationship with you, your company, and their caregiver.  The closer the connection between the client and the caregiver, the longer they both stay.

How Can Technology Be Used the Leverage the Human Caregiver?

So an important question looms out there.  How can we use technology to leverage the human caregiver?  The answer:  I don’t know.

I get one or two calls a month from tech entrepreneurs who are looking for a way to use technology to help provide in-home care.  As you know from all of our writing about the Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis, there simply are not enough human caregivers to meet the growing needs of our industry.

How can we use technology?  We are actively looking and we’ll let you know when we find solutions that may be of value to you. We have a couple of companies we are talking with right now that are rolling out new products that are exciting and have the potential to help you.

In the mean time, focus on Conquering the Crisis. Create the type of home care company where caregivers really want to work. For more, order a copy of my new book that is coming out shortly. (More on that story later.)

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