Looking to technology to solve future caregiver shortage

By Sara Washington

Marcus Rosenthal
Co-Founder, Revolve Robotics
Here we have the Kubi and my co-founder and CTO is logged into it, Ilyah. And he’s able to control the Kubi so he can look around and interact. And he chooses where he looks.

Kathy Kelly
Executive Director, Family Caregiver Alliance
There’s two trends that are intersecting at this point. One is that we have a rise in the aging of the population. And we also have a decline in the number of family caregivers. This is really devastating. Right now, we have seven caregivers for every older adult in California but, in just fifteen years, we’ll have only four caregivers. So we need to start to think about what these two intersecting trends are going to mean for our policies and expectations placed on the family for providing care in the home over the long term.
There’s all sorts of discussions about “Well, what are the alternative strategies?”

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Since 2012 more than 1,500 start-ups have formed in the “silver tech” industry: technology designed to assist the elderly and their caregivers.

Marcus Rosenthal
Co-Founder, Revolve Robotics
We’re seeing with the drastically rising population of the elderly that there’s a need for more caregivers or more efficiencies. Currently most caregiving organizations are only spending 7.5% of their budget toward technology, and they’re all realizing that they need to use technology so that they can have a workforce multiplier. So they don’t need to go find more staff to support the same number of clients. Instead they can use technology to be more efficient.

Jeff Goldsmith
Revolve Robotics
Without something like Kubi there’s no what that we’re going to be able to have the people we need to help all the elderly stay healthy. So we like to call Kubi a “workforce multiplier.” You distribute Kubi’s and instead of driving from location to location to provide care, you simply use Kubi to visit people and there you go, problem solved.

Ilyah Polyakov
Co-Founder, Revolve Robotics
Wherever I click on the screen is where the Kubi is going turn and look to. So I just clicked on Marcus, and it’s going to look at Marcus.

Marcus Rosenthal
Co-Founder, Revolve Robotics
If you’re talking to the doctor here and they want to see something on your arm and you’re try to hold the tablet like this, at first it’s going to be blurry. But me, as holding the tablet, doesn’t know where that doctor really wants to look.
And thanks to Kubi it makes to so now the elderly person, or whoever is on this end of the call-doesn’t need to worry about it. The doctor is able to remotely control and position it to look exactly where they want it to be.

Kai Stinchcombe
CEO of TrueLink Financial
As you’re aging the thing that somebody needs to understand is that that everyone’s job is to become part of the support structure and to preserve somebody’s independence and quality of life, and there isn’t another financial service institution that, I think, really gets that.
Here we are logged into an account. And you can see that there’s sort of just a bunch of settings for how the card will work. So, for example, the problem that my grandmother had that kind of inspired us to start the company was charitable donations. So, there you are, and you just block charitable donations on the card.
So the problem we solve cost seniors about $36 billion dollars a year nationally. It’s something like one in five have experienced something like this over any given five year period. So it’s surprisingly common and it varies a great deal.
So the ones that you’ll read about most in the newspaper are the sort of evil nephew stealing all the money. But there’s very subtle problems also, right? So, you might start entering sweepstakes or donating repeatedly to charities.
For one example, if you have Alzheimer’s and don’t translate working memory into long term memory, if you make a charitable donation at 10 AM, at 11 AM you don’t remember doing that. So if they call back and say the exact same thing words —-literally the exact same words—-you’ll donate again. And you end up donating, you know, you used to donate $100 a month to charity, you end up donating $20 an hour. $100 a day.
So we actually block that charge. So, you know, you think about an alert based system and, for somebody in this situation, if you get home from work and you have eight text messages that your mom donated to eight different charities, what are you going to do about that? You can call them all and probably get the money back, but, you know, you just can’t do that every single day.
Silicon valley is just way behind this trend. You look at these venture capitalists who will say their job is spotting these trends. Think about what is a bigger trend than aging, it’s really hard to think of anything.

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