CaringWire Helps Improve Healthcare Outcomes and Patient Experience
If you are one of the more than fifty million family caregivers in the United States, you understand all too well the challenges of meeting the healthcare needs of the people you care about. There are services, both private and public, but figuring out what they are and how to access them can be like putting together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the front of the box.
“Witnessing the struggles my own mother went through as a caregiver to her aging parents inspired me to find a solution,” said Michael Sentz, founder, and CEO of CaringWire, a startup that provides a digital platform that makes healthcare more accessible and manageable for individuals and families.
“As we validated our solution,” Sentz said, “the team at CaringWire realized that family caregiving is just one of many concerns patients and families struggle to navigate across their health and wellness journeys.”
CaringWire Helps Caregivers and Patients Access and Benefit from New and Existing Healthcare Services and Tools Using a Hub and Spoke Model
CaringWire collaborates with major stakeholders in the healthcare industry, from health plans and third-party administrators (TPAs) to employers and providers. Solutions include tools for behavioral health, telehealth tools, or legacy employee assistance programs (EAP).
“The average employer typically has four to nine digital point solutions that are independent,” said Sentz. “Consumers must remember where to go to get help,” said Sentz. “Then they have to go into each solution, setup up an account, and then learn how to navigate between tools based on their unique situation at the time.”
CaringWire unifies those often-disjointed point solutions, providing consolidated access to virtual care. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms assist in personalized navigation while learning and improving with each interaction. Clients may enhance their existing offerings by plugging in best-in-class, third-party solutions.
“We have such a broad reach,” Sentz said. “We partner with leaders in healthcare like Walmart, The Ohio State University, Cardinal Health, and more. We start by working backward, to understand the end-user experience, whether caregiver or patient.”
CaringWire solutions are available by subscription, as white-labeled functionality, or branded, depending on the client’s marketing and distribution plans.
Inspiration for CaringWire Begins at Home Aligns with Healthcare Industry Leaders
“My story begins way back,” Sentz said. “Both my parents are entrepreneurs. I was raised to go out and do things for myself, to make things happen.” After working in large company environments in process improvement for the first decade of his career, Sentz was ready for an entrepreneurial move.
“I received a full scholarship to the MBA program at Ohio State,” he said. “I spent two years trying out ideas and networking all over the place, but I kept coming back to what I was seeing at home with my mom. It is an incredibly dauting task to give loved ones the best options and quality of care without knowing a thing about how to do it.”
CaringWire has recruited technical experts with experience in building and integrating complex systems, with expertise in healthcare, technology, user experience and design.
“I believed that with the right team, we could build a technology to make care easier, more accessible, and more manageable,” he said, “and our customers tell us we have.”
Lessons Learned and Next Steps
“It is relatively easy to identify solutions in a market like healthcare that doesn’t always provide the kind of user experience that consumers expect in all other aspects of our lives,” said Sentz.
“When you get into it,” he said, “you realize why things are done in a certain way. Structural incentives. Attention to privacy and security. You are balancing between so many interconnected stakeholders. It’s not as simple as taking an innovative idea and applying it. You need to form relationships and partnerships and work within the existing structure to drive incremental improvement.”
Sentz points out that large insurance companies may have fifty different programs they are running to support their customers—programs that are already beneficial and help improve patient outcomes, he said.
“Our customers don’t need to change what they are doing,” said Sentz. “We just help them wrap all that great support into a better user experience that is simple, modern, secure, and importantly accessible. Our customers gain the benefit of improving outcomes for their members and subscribers. We help patients put all those puzzle pieces together logically so they can navigate the system and get the help they need. The impact of that is enormous.”