Demands on family caregivers increase as their loved one ages, and each week can be full of doctor’s visits, therapy and daily reminders. All of that care adds up: Data shows the amount of time spent on caregiving in the U.S. amounts to some $600 billion of unpaid care.
A new app called Helpful wants to be, well, more helpful to the more than 53 million Americans acting as caregivers by managing the administrative part of a family member’s care plan.
Today, Helpful joins other companies, including Wellthy, ianacare, Aidaly and SupportPay, in launching its app to bring insurance benefits, medical records and caregiving resources into one place. Helpful charges payors so that it can currently offer the app free to family members of Original Medicare (parts A & B), following applicable legal guidelines.
The company was started by Wes Donohoe after seeing the toll that caregiving was taking on family and friends. Prior to Helpful, Donohoe was chief product officer for primary care practice Everside Health, and before that was vice president of product at One Medical.
Helpful’s app launches with a payor partner and waitlist of around 4,000 people, which is growing at about 2,000 people per week, Donohoe told TechCrunch.
Helpful separates itself from other caregiving apps by focusing on the administrative burdens of caregiving and integrating a loved one’s medical records, including existing insurance benefits, medications, after-visit summaries and care-plans, personalized and localized caregiver benefits and training on medical conditions.
The company does this by “leveraging the most recent regulatory requirements for payors and providers,” Donohoe said.
“We are the only ones that showcase the loved one’s insurance benefits,” he added. “We had to programmatically scrape insurance websites to pull this info because no API exists to access this information.”
Meanwhile, Helpful secured $7.5 million in seed financing through Redesign Health, where Donohoe was a founder resident and built the idea for the company.
“We’re fortunate to be able to raise a considerable amount of capital, especially in this market, and the plan is going to be building products and integrating,” he said.