Hacker with Former Slashdot Ties and Tech Entrepreneur Tackle Home Health Hurdles With Web-Based Eldersync

6/7/10

David Bernick saw his mom’s struggles in coordinating care for his elderly grandmother. His mom relied on spreadsheets and Post-It notes to organize his grandmother’s visits with doctors, home health workers, and physical therapists. “This is a lot of stuff to keep track of,” Bernick says. “This is a real problem and it’s only going to get worse.”

Bernick, a 33-year-old hacker and veteran software engineer, says he has been working in earnest since January to develop Web-based software that supports those in the trenches of home health care: home nursing agencies and doctors, as well as patients and their family members. He and his business partner, Neil Aresty, have formed Eldersync.com in Boston to commercialize the technology. Aresty, a lawyer by training, previously co-founded and served as chief executive at the Boston legal software firm Lextranet, which was sold to the St. Paul, MN-based business services outfit Merrill in 2007 for an undisclosed sum. Bernick says that he was one of Aresty’s first technical employees at Lextranet.

Two home health firms began to test a beta version of Eldersync last month, Bernick says, and he’s looking for more agencies to try it out. Health workers can use the Web-based system to schedule visits with patients in their homes, can verify via text message or phone call to the system that they’ve seen a patient, and can file notes on a patient’s status to the system using any Internet-connected device. The plan is to also sync the online system with a patient’s home health monitoring devices. So caregivers or family members who have a patient’s permission can, say, tap that patient’s online Eldersync dashboard to check his blood sugar levels or heart rate.

Beyond seeing a need for their technology in their own families, Aresty and Bernick discovered that home health agencies present a large initial market for Eldersync. The agencies are growing rapidly in part because of efforts around the nation to provide care for people in their homes to reduce expensive hospital stays, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, which projects that the number of home health workers will grow from the 1.74 million counted in 2008 to … Next Page »

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