Sandy Jen: "Rethinking Home Care" | Talks at Google

Sandy Jen:

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Hi. Everyone welcome to talks, at Google and it's. Great to have sandy, Jen co-founder. And CTO. Of honor here with us today. Sandy. Founded. Honor. In, 2014. And prior, to that she was co-founder. And CTO of Meebo which is a, customer. Internet company that focused, on connecting. Publishers. And consumers. Socially. And she. Led their engineering, team and then, joined Google, actually in. The. Social team when. Meebo, was acquired in 2012. And before. That she also, got her BS from Stanford, University in computer, science so, it's great to have you with us today sandy, here I. Like. To get started by having you tell us about what honor is in your own words sure. So honor our. Mission basically is to change the way that our parents, age I. Think aging. Is a topic, that a lot of us don't talk about with people especially our own parents there's, a bit of sort of child, fear, when. Talking about issues. Like that and so honors goal really is to remake, the. Way that folks, can age, at home specifically. So. We really focus on non-medical, home care which means that we help folks with what. We call a DL so activities, of daily living things that you and I take for granted you. Know brushing, your teeth getting out of bed went to the bathroom and. We have a whole host of, really. Awesome, care, professionals, that go and do that work and what, inspired you, and your team to start, on er a good. Question so. Three. Of the four founders, are multi, time entrepreneurs, and so we've we. All kind of cut our teeth on social media I've, seen been at Google for a little bit and. We. Once. We sort of you. Know sold, those companies and sort of took a little time off and we morally wanted to do another venture we really wanted to think about okay well what would. Make us really want to work hard like, really really hard because startups, are a lot of work and. We. Ended up sort of thinking about what's important to us and we were a little bit older or a little bit more churn of us kids, and. We really wanted to have impact that, was like the biggest thing and. So, when. We were kind of getting together we, kind of thought about okay well what like what are big problems that we could solve and. We thought about unemployment. Poverty. You, know labor. Child. Care health care elder. Care and. Then. My co-founder. From. Bebo went home one day to Connecticut. To visits mother and, she. He. Likes to tell the story that she gets speeding, tickets in Montana, which. You. Just don't get because they because there's nobody monitoring. Sent the freeways in Montana and she was driving really slowly and so, he started to get a little freaked out about like wait a minute like why are you driving so slowly and she was like well it's just getting a little harder and so, he's like well I live in California you live in East Coast you know when you're older what am I gonna do I know. I don't want to pluck you away from your house and so, that sort of spurred, the idea we kind of really, started to do some research in.

Caring. For seniors and it's a really really big space and then, we really honed in on the, non-medical home. Aspect, of it because it was very broken. And. When you find some that's really broken as an entrepreneur you kind of get really excited because you're like oh what, can I do to fix this and. So we kind of search for that idea how. Do you feel like your experience working on meebo in the social space has influenced, your work here with honor, so. I, would, say doing a previous, a prior, startup to doing honor was. Definitely, a prereq. To do this, type of venture, honor. Is, complicated, like home care you're touching people. Directly. It's. A very very, hands-on. Experience. And. So. In, order to solve such a big mission you. Need to sort of know how, to execute how to you. Know gather resources hire, like, a lot of the sort of nuts and bolts that I learned in my first startup and so, my, experience that me but really sort, of taught me generally. How to form. Organizations how, to run a team had hire there. Are a lot of mistakes we made in Meebo which as. An entrepreneur, selfishly, for a second venture I want to be, able to not, make the same mistakes twice so. Was a good opportunity just kind of learning's that we had. Sort. Of gathered. In our previous experiences. And then you, know really consolidate. All that learning into a new venture. And. So, so far it's worked out really well and how. Long have you guys been available to consumers, actually so. We started we're, about three years old what we've been giving care for about two and. So the. First, year obviously a lot of us didn't know much about home care like. I you. Know I had its personal experiences, with with, my grandparents, but really. Dig into the industry it's been around for a really long time has it changed much in the 30 years but there, are a lot of. Nuances. And. Complications. And, considerations. In home care that, without. Really doing it you don't really get exposed to it and so the, first year for us was a ton of learning and then we started to take those learnings and execute on them prior. To the interview I was just reading on this. Market, and it's actually like a huge business opportunity in terms of how much money people, spend on home care and yeah. But. It's something that I don't think Tech, has addressed up to this point why do you think that is yeah, so it's, it's interesting because people think technology, they think old people they're like they still mix and. The way we've thought about it is you. Know if you think about your grandparents, or your loved, ones who are older like they use microwaves, and twisters and TVs. And cars, and. That's all technology, but it's not in, their face as like technology and so you. Have to sort of rethink, about how you, use. Tech to. Address needs for that kind of audience and so for us I think there's. Just been that stigma, I think in Silicon Valley and just generally in technology, and as. A whole that, seniors. Don't do, well with technology, and. I think there's, always been these I think. It's a mistake to kind of over, cater to a senior audience by having like giant buttons and like giant font and you know basically treating them as children. Without. Really understanding what, the problem root problem you're trying to solve and so we definitely. Don't think of ourselves as, a technology, company like honor specifically, positions itself as a services company because, at the end of the day our product is a person. I say. This very often that we are a human, services, company like the person, that we send to your home to help you, know you do your activities. Of daily living that's, our product and so all the technology that we build is. In service, of that so a lot. Of stuff that we build the end consumer never sees but, it's completely built.

To Deliver, the best care possible well, it's the hardest part of the process as you were starting out with this company. I. Think. As, technologists. You have this sort of. Want. To automate everything and make, everything really efficient and. So you come with a bunch of assumptions and. So as engineers we're like okay we're just gonna build this thing we're gonna build that thing this is the way it works you just go to visit you do this you do that and then when you actually start to do it we all ended, up volunteering in, senior homes to help out and you're like wow that's not that's not how it is, and. So. We. Had to basically learn, to, strip, away all, of our assumptions and. In. The very beginning you know we had folks who were. Running care and like delivering care and working with our care care professionals, they. Were kind of doing one thing and the engineers, and product team we're kind of doing another thing we're trying to build things for each other but, we weren't really in, sync, as much as we should have been I think, that's a common problem because you, make assumptions as you work one way you make some read you work one way but. At, the end of the day you really have to work together like, really really together to understand, what's going on and so. Once we kind of figured out that we were not building the right thing. That. Sort, of changed the course of how we did product development which I think is different than what you'd find in a more, traditional. Software. Technology, company we, really had to sort of rethink, how we did that you. Mentioned that you went to visit some senior. Homes what else did you do in terms of user research or, validating. The product, and getting feedback on the product yeah so we knew we didn't, know anything really so, and. If. You think about home care it's basically, two-sided you have why should its multi-sided. You have the person, receiving the care so that the recipient the care recipient who could be you, know older or have different medical conditions you, have usually, a family member sometimes. Not who, might, be the one responsible for, helping care for the the. Senior and. Then you the person who is actually doing the care so they care professional, they're, traditionally called caregivers, but we really, wanted to raise their. Profile and, so we their and their the work they do is really difficult so we, actually called macare professionals, and, then care pros for short to, give them sort, of more of the respect that they actually deserve. And. So we had to basically talk to everybody, so we we, plucked ourselves out of the bay area cuz barriers kind of weird as. You won't know it's a little bubble, so, we went to like different areas talk to different care pros you know asking them sort of you know what, is it you do you know what's hard in your life. Why. Do you do this work you know they could a lot of folks who at this wage level could literally, make more you. Know flipping burgers at McDonald's where, they choose to do this work because it really care so it's like well why you make an incision, like. What are the hardships in your life, why.

Do. You work for this agency and not that agency and, so just really. Being. Open to understanding. How. They're thinking. And, then when, you start to get the same answers over and over again then you start to think okay now I'm seeing a pattern and a trend and that, can then inform the product that you build and how you want to create that interaction. Your. Comment about the wages that the caregivers, are earning reminded, me that I saw the CNN, article that. Mentioned, that in 2016, you transition, from a, contractor. Model to an employee model is that something that continues to today. And yeah I used, to do that I think in the beginning we're like alright we're just gonna cut try the contractor, model because you know that sort of it. Seems easiest, and. So we started recruiting people and then, it turns, out that there, are certain restrictions in, a contractor, model that you, for. Example can't train your folks very well, there. Are certain limitations, on. The. Amount of. Sort. Of personal interaction you can have with them and so. The. One of our core tenants has always been if you could treat the care Pro better and put, them in a better place in their lives they'll be able to do their jobs better right because if you're fewer. Like not happy at home and you're trying to make ends meet you're not going to be able to care for people. Very well and so. One. Of the things that we heard over and over again from care pros was that they, you, know they might get a, 25. Cents increase, in their hourly, wage after, staying with an agency for like three. Years, there's, no performance. Like based. Reward. There's no way to know that who was a good care who's a bad care pro and so, one, of the things that we thought would be really cool and that they they sort of were, asking for was some, way to develop. Your career as a care professional as a caregiver and. So the only way you can really do that though is to give them signals as to what they're doing really well what they're doing not so well what, they can improve on and then you can train and so, one of the key reasons we decided to make the switch to an employee model was that with employees you can actually train and develop, and like really, invest in them as people and like well. As workers and, so that was one of the primary reasons we decided to make that change and they're still employees today so. So. Then you mentioned the, value, to caregivers, if we look at this in comparison, to traditional. Senior. Care centers or senior, care models what, value do you add to the other, key. Players so that in this case the. Maybe, the, seniors themselves or also maybe. The family members who are buying. The care for their senior family members yeah so, the. Current, industry is very fragmented so. If. You think about anything like over the nation. Why there's something like forty or fifty thousand agencies it's. Not because like no one's ever tried to make up a larger agency it's it's really hard you have a, bunch. Of people on the demand, side so all of your seniors, needing care and like you know let's say your grandmother might have a bad hip and you know this chronic, medical addition and she's allergic to dogs and she requires someone who can lift someone out of bed every morning or my, mother, or grandmother might, need to you know speak, Mandarin and she's, allergic to cats and, she you know has. Three sets of stairs so you need somebody bill to lift her downstairs like so the requirements. For people are super, heterogeneous and then.

On The demands. On the supply side like, care pros are also very, heterogeneous like this person might be able to lift 200 pounds but this person may not this, first speaks this language this, person can only drive 5 miles outside. Of her home because she has two kids that she needs to pick after work and. So there are these sort of stipulations on both sides and, so, doing a match is actually really difficult and so. If. You are a small. Mom-and-pop agency, which a lot of these these these places are you. Don't have the logistical, operational, sort of like technology. Brain. To do that because you're trying to Don your head so, you might have a staff of a few people trying to like match all these things and. So. A. Lot. Of it is also very analog so, care. Pros will literally have to take a telephone in the morning and say okay where am I gonna go. They'll literally. Take their notes per, visit, on like a spiral. Bound notebook with, the pencil and they'll leave it on the desk, and. So we. Also talked to folks who you know who run agencies do they literally drive, around. To all your clients pick up those notebooks you know transcribe, some of those notes into, their own system and then return all the notebooks back, so. It's it's just very manual. And so one of the things that we hope, to bring and have been bringing is a more, technology bent on this where those that wrote work and so, one of the key learnings for us was that like you, know you could try to automate everything but, we're not gonna send robots to do care like that's not gonna work and. So what we can do is those have computers do as much as the sort of like. The the. Rote tasks, the. Matching. Algorithms, the GPS. Tracking, stuff, and then, let the humans do the really really, human stuff and so we can get there about you know call eighty percent and then let the humans do the rest and so, one of the things that we've been trying to do is actually just get more transparency into the process right so if like I live in. California but my parents are in the East Coast and I have someone care giver going everyday I can't. Go and find that spiral bound notebook and so and read that to me every day so, we'd you know have given an app to the care pro if given app to the family they can see notes right away they, can call in anytime, scheduling. Is a lot easier. The. Technology. We use to then be able to track and give you progress notes on sort of how the visit is going is way but you know sort of amazing.

In This industry for a lot of folks and. So just. Trying to up the quality and transparency. Of care itself has. Been a huge goal for us. And definitely the ability, to use technology to scale so because. We have all, this technology, we might have we might require one human to do this instead of ten and so when you have that you can save a lot of those that. Time to, go do other interesting innovative. Features to help with, care delivery, so definitely. Technology's. Definitely, just to scale to make. Better better care better quality with the same time we have to recognize that it can't replace humans, and so at, the end of the day the human, human experience, is still the end product you mentioned. That you provide training, for your, care Pro so what does that training, encompass, it. Can vary, to. Sort. Of like basic skill sets like how do you lift and transfer. Someone. Who has a, who's. Bedridden out of bed bed into a chair how. Do you take someone from, their bed to a toilet. There. Are things like okay. What. Is the best way to. Assist. Someone in this particular task, and. So we can also do things like oh if you if this person has Parkinson's, these. Are specific, tools, and techniques that you can use to. Help maneuver them physically, if. Someone has dementia here, are things here techniques and sort of. Generally. Accepted ways to communicate or to. Elicit. Feedback. From from, those folks and so a lot of it is sort of skill. Wise but also, how. Do you basically, interact with different types of people because. A lot of our clients. Their. Conditions vary greatly so. It's. Not like one one bucket fits all and. In terms of the composition, of your audience are, you looking at mainly people who are soliciting. Care for their family members or actually, seniors themselves who are asking for services, for themselves, yeah it's both we. Thought in the very beginning that we'd have more what we call adult children so it's. Sort of someone, a child or a nephew or a family member then responsible. For someone who's older but. We also have folks who just want care for themselves they recognize that they would, want, to stay at home they don't want to go into nursing home work facility, and so, having, a little bit additional help is actually really useful so. Yeah it really it just really varies but we definitely have more, folks, who are getting care for themselves than we originally thought, so, that again, goes to debunk, that myth that seniors, don't really engage with Jamal are you right because they need to have some understanding in, order to reach you in some ways yeah, they do have to sort of find us but at the same time we don't require any, technology, to use honor that, was a very conscious, point so like if you don't want to touch a computer you don't want to use. An app you don't have to oh you, can like you can most of our customers call us ok yeah. So. Then you're. Also seeing how maybe you can leverage old technology, using. New. Technology, for the platform but for the interface relying, on the old yeah and so like those trends will change as well so like our current demographic, a lot of folks just want a call and, also you think about if you're you. Know an adult child and let's say your mom Falls which is very common, entryway. Into home care, you. Cove you go from knowing nothing about home care to someone. Saying your mom needs like eight hours of care at day you're like oh my god like what the hell is home care and. So you need to figure out like what's going on in your in, a very emotional state and so, when, you're in a very emotional state you're not gonna like pick up your iPhone and be like okay I want care click click click like you're gonna want to call somebody and. So we have a dedicated team of people who answer those calls to make sure that people can walk people through that process, at, the same time though if you you know have gotten care for a while you kind of know what home care is and all you want to do is sort of press some buttons you can do that as well so, there are different options and, that'll probably change like, you know I think when are one of our goals is to make honor take care of Bosman world so, obviously.

When We're older the. Times baby that no one wants to call and every wants to use an iPhone or an Android phone or whatever so. We can kind of see the trends, coming. Into the industry, which. Is a nice, side. Effect of not, working in some sort. Of more a younger social media stuff because I don't know what the next seventeen year old wants on her phone but I do kind of know what the next 50 year old wants so, that's. Been kind of an interesting change and. In terms of scaling, so I see this in-home elderly. Care as being something that requires, a lot of trust built, over time and something that people really have to open themselves up, to and be comfortable with so, how as you're scaling, do. You maintain that sense, of trust and, comfort, yeah. I think the biggest, thing you can do is also always frame your frame your product and your team in the right way so when I said we, don't think of ourselves as a tech company but we think of ourselves as a services company like that's that's core, like that's the mission, and, so Trust. Is huge because. Unlike. I think a lot people like oh why don't you just do childcare - unlike, childcare where there's usually a handoff where you're. Physically present you give your child to a babysitter, or nanny and then at the other day the nanny returns the child to you that, doesn't always happen with senior care because you generally don't live with your parents at this age or your cross country or your not. Not in the same area and. So the trust part. You. Have - it's. Kind of both human and tech so, on the human side you have to have a great care Pro like if the person coming to your home is terrible like obviously. The trust is goes down the toilet so. Being. Really good hiring really. Good care pros you know having. The right kind of vetting process the right kind of training process, interview process the. Other part is just sort of supplementing, that with technology so we have, a GPS turned on for our heroes when they use the apps we can tell with our there right, that's, also to protect the care Pro because we do have a lot of some instances. Where the clients like oh no they kept we're never showed up because. They didn't want to expose. Something to a family member but they were, like well no they were there and. So it's a it's a dual, sided thing where you. Can't if you just come with tech it's too robotic it's too cold, baby. Just come with humans there. Are a lot of you, know sort of, non.

Verifiable. Anecdotal. Things, that are inefficient, yeah efficient seizure or he-said she-said things, and so you can kind of couple those together and then have a better package, to. Then improve on that do that trust measure also. Related to scaling, so I saw that you guys are available in California New. Mexico, and Texas right now how, did you pick which cities to go into first and then how, do you think about a new, city that you want to go in yes so. A. Fear. Of ours is actually just going too fast like. You hear all these stories, about other companies who have like, really expanded and they had to retract and, we don't want to do that just, because if you retract your service this is this is thing that's like life for to go for a lot of people and. So every new market that we did. Currently, was, an experiment so, la. Was you, know I can our flight away so can we do can we do that. Dallas. I mean Texas was ok it's a couple hour flight away like can we do that different. Time zone and. I'm sure all the engineers are like Oh time zones that sucks, so. We, had to kind of like figure out how to how to do that and. Then Albuquerque, was a smaller, area, like a less sort of dense urban made urban, region, so we're like okay can we handle that and, so we. Definitely wanted. To learn and, we could be the best. Way to learn is by doing and so we really. Carefully, figured out what markets would give, us the best learnings, to then be able to take, our model and scale out so yes, eventually we'd love to be nationwide. In. Terms of like the next market we'll go to again a probably combination of you, know are there good partnerships what's the demographic look, like services, level what, can we learn from that particular market, you. Know things like that so you. Were. At Google for about a year in 2012, maybe. You could tell us and there's, anything that you learned, while at Google that has, helped you with, on. And. I didn't want to be Google but. I did, it, was really interesting because I, think from the outside Google, is this like big amazing. Monolith like like technology company, and, so it, was very interesting for me personally to learn how that worked, like when you come in it's like okay well how. Do they form their organizations how do they make product, how, to make decisions. You. Know what, are the roles that they hire for how do they hire and so for me that was really enlightening. Because it gave me a different, perspective on like how I did my I did, my team building and. So just. Being here like learning okay well this team operates this way and they set goals this way or they. Hire this way or they structure this team this way in order to create, these. These. Incentives, to you, know get this goal done that. Was really useful so that then I could incorporate that into honor, and think about okay well when I'm building a team now how. Do I wanted to how do I want to do it right okay I've learn extra Meebo I learn from Google how, okay how can I combine that is the right way and. Throughout. These first few years what do you see as something.

That Your. Team has done really well at honor. We. Execute. A lot in cranking a lot, of stuff I think, one of the things that we did really well was. Not. Rush. The. Build. And. Also, having. The realization, that we needed to be completely, open-minded because none of us are from healthcare, and, so because. The team stayed small and nimble and, we were very sort of focused. I think focus, for startups is key like most, startups die from suicide, not homicide and. So for us we just had to say laser focused okay what are we building, and. Because the team some, of us have worked together before and we were I could pick you about hiring, having. Really high bandwidth, communication really. Excels, your timeline to be able to build something so you, know most home. Care agencies, tap. Out at a certain, scale which is why the industry, is very fragmented, and, so within. Call, it three years of our inception we are, probably, one of the largest home, care entities in the Bay Area may be the largest and took, us three years to get there when it usually takes 15 so, kind. Of speaks to combination, of like good teamwork like, the right technology, you. Know sort of cutting-edge, stuff and. Then really understanding, how to learn from things I think one of the downsides. Of, the industry is that there are so many well-intentioned people, but they, don't have the means and the technology, to learn and iterate and. So, getting, data is really hard for them everything's. You know inspired by new books and things like that and. For us we can get a lot of data like we have so much data about how care. Works how do you do matching you know what are the trends like what are we seeing in terms of shift. Lengths and days, and areas, and markets and pricing and waging wet wages and so all of that you can kind of use to learn, and improve the service I think the current, industry has. A hard time accessing that so and, as you were deciding whether to jump back into doing a startup or not or were some factors that you were considering, um. That. Is always very personal. So. Obviously. I was at the age where I wanted have kids and. So, I was like wow I've been really nice just to stay Google cuz they, have like really good maternity. It's, like really comfortable. And. You. Know like I can have like a very routine schedule. At. The same time though I think I had it had that that. Need to do, more I think, Mevo you but maybe it was great I mean I had a great time but, it didn't have the impact that, I, think, when.

We Got older we really wanted. And. Startups. The average lifespan I say this law is about seven years to some sort of event or sort. Of pivot and. So I was like wow I do I really want to dedicate another seven years and. Have kids while I do that and you. Know all that stuff and, so. The. Allure. Of working, with my co-founders, again it, was just really good timing in terms of like the, senior space. No. One had really made a big play in it before and we're like we can really solve this I use. This analogy a lot and my co-founder does as well but a lot of problems that entrepreneurs, run into that are big if, you think about it like an onion, is. That you peel back one layer you're like oh I could solve that you. People I can layer like I can solve that and then at some point you keep peeling we hit this hard core and you're like, like. I can't solve that there's like a regulation. Or it would take like ten years to build or I didn't get like I ever been approval and that would take like six years or whatever. But. In in sort of the home care space we kept peeling we couldn't find anything that was super hard because, like oh we could solve that because I thought we could solve that and I was just really exciting, and. So jumping back in we're like all right let's. Just let's just do this cuz you basically have to come in a hundred percent or zero like you can't have have to do it and. So, we. All kind of said alright let's just buckle up and do it, have. Kids all along the way, and. So. This. Decision, should you it was like actually quite easy one when we kind of talked about that way and. So far I've I've seen to have no regrets oh yeah, that was. I. Think. Now we have time to open it up for the audience questions, hi. Sadie I, have a question about, I. Think what you're doing is fantastic, I think you have a great product and, everything. You're doing for the senior community a couple. Years ago I went to the National Association for the Deaf conference. It was in Atlanta they, also had one in Phoenix as well and I, met a lot of members from the deaf community who, are aging. Specific. Groups of seniors helping, people find a place to, go do you have any involvement, with the deaf community with. Your product or your services, something. That would be accessible for. The deaf community, so. Specifically. We. Don't have anything specifically, targeted, towards the deaf but, like I said before our audience, and the client, demographic, it's very heterogeneous so we have people with all sorts of conditions, and, so, we, don't say okay just because you have this, condition or that condition we can't serve you it's, really dependent on the kind of care the person needs and so let's say someone is deaf they, have a bad hip they. Require. More. Lifting and transferring out of bed then, we would just try to find the right caregiver to then service, that person so, we. Do have partnerships with more. Disease. Specific. Organizations. So the park at night national, Parkinson's Foundation and. The. Cancer. Organizations. But in. The future obviously we'd hope to partner with more people but, again like we don't there's no like specifically. Targeted. Service for deaf but but difficut your deficit doesn't mean you can't have home care so, okay. And here's a question from the dory. Besides. Honor what are our key technological, improvements, that you believe have improved elderly, care what, other technological. Improvements, would you like to see in the space to, improve the, experience, for both the caretaker and the elderly. Yeah. I think the biggest thing is probably just access. There. Are a lot of devices. In market a lot of technologies, that are like, I said really like specifically, targeted for seniors but, they're taking, a very. Non. Granular, stance so like I said the bigger button is the big fonts, and. Senior like you've talked a lot of older. Adults they don't like things dumbed down for them like they're like I'm I'm, perfectly capable of using a regular device. So. I think there needs to be a, change, in the attitude I, think more than the actual, devices, because. If you sort of rethink. The way you frame. Technology you can like I know plenty of seniors who use iPhones, Android phones and a very, expert. Manner and, therefore some folks who don't and. So they're, I think the, if you change, the way that you target seniors. I think that would be a big difference things, that I think have been really helpful for folks are.

You. Know more. More. Educational. Tools, for. Folks. Who help seniors it's probably a good, step so, the fact that we have an app for care pros is actually like a huge, novel, thing for the industry but, it makes them better enable, to help people who require, help I, would say the. One. Thing there's a lot of the. The. Physical, access, things that, you, and I take for granted like walking. Up stairs going, through the door remembering, a lock code those kind of things could probably be improved as the senior population increase, it gets, larger, so. Basically. I think that. My biggest thing is not specifics, but more the attitude, change I think is probably more important, than the actual like, physical, things are being billed and. Related to that have you thought about maybe, expanding. Your sphere. Of care into sort of providing. Support services for. The. Family members who are maybe like learning about working, or. Supporting. Their family members who are becoming, elderly, and maybe, developing. Additional needs that they didn't have before yeah so home care generally, speaking, people. Don't think, about. It until they, really need it so home. Care is usually triggered by an acute event usually a fall or like, a surgery. Or something medical, if. We had the conversation lot earlier we, could actually then introduce, care. In a more lightweight manner so, then that way the transition into home, care is less jarring. In. Terms of family members we do have a lot of family members who get home care for their spouses. Or, their parents as, respite, care so they are the primary caretaker they, live with the with with the person, receiving. Care but, they might need day off or they might need three days off every week because. It's kind of a full-time job and so. They supplement. With with, we're homecare to help with that and. I think the other. Part. Of it is that a lot of people who are in this situation feel very alone there. Aren't like. Social, networks for people who are giving who, are receiving home care for their family members and, no one talks about this like on Facebook or whatever right it's not like you're saying oh my mom got care today like no one talks about it so. Opening. Of the conversation, having more community around that is one of our goals as well and, also.

Just The transparency, it's like having the peace of mind to get home care because, it's scary it's like you're letting a stranger into your home and take care of your your mom or dad doing very intimate things like going to the bathroom or getting, out of bed and. So the. Support. Network I think needs to be there because. Almost. Everyone we talked to has. A personal story but, they don't never share it because it's justit's come up it's a very temper subject so hoping. It opening, hoping. To open up that that. Dialog is one. Of the things that we're trying to do which is why I think we frankly frame honor in a very positive light a lot. Of, agencies. Were senior. Related. Products. On TV you see or like the help I've fallen I can't get up or it's like very like fear-based, we. Chose amber as a very bright color very, positive, color, we. Talk about in a very positive manner we have positive images, not. Images that sort of instill, fear, or. You. Know sort of the the more scary side of that how. Do you reach new clients, and convey values of trust and safety in non tech cities where people have not heard of honor and may, rely on word of mouth or local searches yeah. So health care tradition is very local so word of mouth is extremely, powerful um and, you can't just win home care market. Share by like advertising, on Google, or Facebook because, that's not how you reach people and. Like I said a lot of times home care is, triggered. By an acute event and so, you're not paying attention anything, at home care or in the elderly space or the health care space until something happens and then you know our job. Is to be there when that happens, so. Addressing. The part where someone, who's not very tech savvy or, they don't really know much about honor, the. One thing that we. To portrays that we are human and, so prior. To any home care. Set. Of visits we send a physic a person I care one of our care advisors to your home to do a consultation, like they talk to you through the plan they talk you through what your needs are they listen to what. You need because a lot of times people just don't don't know it's like okay my mom fell what do I do okay, you need someone to actually like walk you through that process and, so, basically. Instilling, trust via, a person, is, still. A great way to do it and, so that something that we do definitely employ, and, then also just being a knowledge, expert so again. When you're like emotional, and you're scared and you don't know what you're doing you want something to tell you it's okay I've, done this before, I've seen this before like let me listen to you I can help you through this process and. So that's a very very. Serious. Thing that we take very seriously to make sure that when people come in to honor when people think about home care they. Think about honored as a very calming. Expert. Voice it. Something we charge we strive to sort, of propagate. You. Mentioned that a lot of the seniors that solicit, care for themselves reach, out to you via phone so. How do they find you do, you also advertise in in, traditional. Media as well yellow pages all those yeah, so it's been a bit, of a challenge to find out where those where, those things are a, lot, of times I guess. I'd work math is most powerful so reaching the influencers, Bennett community so like a local pastor about, local.

Senior. Organization. The. You. Know discharging nurse at a facility happens. To know all the community members you. Know the mayor whoever like it's sort of a community, influencer, so. That's one way to do it, the other way is just basically, to provide, care and then, have referrals. So, if someone has a great experience with us they you know will tell their friends because, generally speaking if you were getting care you probably know the people who are getting care, and. Then, you know obviously you try to sort of, advertise. And sort of the normal channels but those are a little less effective just because it. Can be generally not in your frame of mind when you need to and. Then the other part is to partner. With other. People who deal with seniors so we. When a partner network to, work with existing home care agencies, we. Work with systems. Of hospitals, and facilities. Nursing. Facilities, discharge facilities. To help spread the word so that they know that honor is an option and. That you, know we're differentiated. From the rest of the, other agencies around because we have all, these different benefits. So. That even these traditional, organizations, are willing to work with you they're not scared that in somehow you're going to take. Over or encompass, some of what they're doing and take business away yeah so it's. Been interesting with, that particular. Partnership. Network, like, I said a lot of current, home care agencies have a hard time growing, because, they're like I have, two people it's all in my head I don't have technology it's, like really hard for me to -, like wrangle care pros and, hired care pros and match care pros I get. Calls it - I am on a care promo can't make it I have to go and like do the care of myself and. So they have, to deal with all that and they don't tend to grow a lot so, one. Of our benefits. Is that we're really good at the care Pro part I feel really good for recruiting apart we have technology. To help us do all that stuff and so if, we can take that burn away from them they can actually grow and so it's actually a really good partnership where we both sort of benefit from that and, we're, both people, of that same mission like we're trying to help people but. You know they're good at one part we're good on other part so if you put it together it's actually really good yes so I think this is actually really. Cool to see because I think so much of like. The newer, like service based economy like, you look at maybe like uber, or these other startups. People, see them as supplanting, an existing, industry and there's a lot of pushback and conflict, between the traditional industry, and the, new tech company. Whereas. Here I think it's sort of you're, trying to work together and make. It more of a mutual, relationship -, yeah definitely, it's it there, initially people are a little bit skeptical that it'll be like wait what like you're from Silicon Valley what are you guys doing. But. When you kind of explain sort of like you, know how we work why are we're doing this like why we're mission focus things like that then they start to be like oh wow like if I really partner with you we can really make it better a difference a bigger difference and, help more people because. A lot of these people who come into the and engine into, the industry are genuinely, they're just help people like, they could make more, money doing others, but they really like the work because they get to interact with clients and talk to people and help them through these things and.

So When they find a willing, partner like honor who has, all these skills and tech, and like, teams that they don't have actually. Pretty exciting so. It's. A new way to innovate on an existing model I think that, were like both sides are pretty excited, about it so another. Question from the dory what are some key technology, or product decisions it, had to be made to ensure that honor is friendly, both. To the, elderly users and also to the, family members who are on, different, panes of. Technology. Familiarity. Yeah so like. I said before we don't require anybody to know anything about apps or phones or websites to use honor so, they could completely, do everything, by phone if they want to do because. We know that's a huge part of our audience at. The same time though we do want to push the envelope a little bit and not sort of give, folks the options using technology, to see the benefits of it so, all. The technology is optional for the. The, care team. Of a particular. Care. Recipient so, if the family member chooses it to use the family app they can if, they don't want to they don't have to they. Want to log into the website and like see all their bills and, see, the care notes and to get emails they can but if they don't want to they don't have to so, we are trying, to be very respectful of the way the current industry works and how some, people just don't want to touch it's too complicated to touch tech at, the same time though if there are folks who really want to like, stake take that leap were. There with them as well the. One thing we do require, our care pros to do is care, pros have, is the app and. They actually love it so we do push the technology on the work force but. Definitely makes them more. Effective more. Aware. Of what's going on, better. Enable, them to find more jobs find more work earn, more money so that's. Sort of our balance, but, yeah if you don't know anything about tech you can just use. A rotary phone and call us every day if you wanted to elderly. Care by non family members is common, in the US but in some other countries, like, the Ukraine it is not culturally, accepted, but there is a huge market for it I wonder, your thoughts on how to make a service like honor be, acceptable, in such a culture, yeah. We. We've, actually been people. Reached out to us from different sort. Of care, organizations. From different countries I'm wondering, we're gonna expand to their country obviously, we'd love to do that one day but I'll see not right now um. Culturally. You have to respect, the, way that care. Works but. I think the. Trend, of more, and more people moving to more urban areas, more. More people moving out of the city that they're born in. 10. Is to sort of, consolidate. A lot of the same types, of concerns, around, senior care so you know, if, you, don't live in the same place as your parents moving, your parents to where you are it can be rather expensive right if you live in a more urban area it's just real.

Estate Is tighter houses. Are smaller. Transportation. Harder especially, in, accessibility. So if someone has you. Know a 90 year old mother, who, can't do stairs very well but you live on the 6th floor of an apartment that's a really difficult thing to have to deal, with and so, a, lot of the even though culturally, people may have different, expectations, I think a lot of the trends are moving towards. The same direction and, so, I think in the future we. Have to just find that balance, of obviously. Respecting, the current the current tradition, but also pushing, folks to understand. The reality of what's happening. And. Then you know kind of just to see, you. Know, maybe. All the caregivers in the particular country are very different from the ones in the u.s. maybe they're different they're maybe they're not if. We can introduce introduce, a, way of doing things maybe that you. Know Spurs a new kind of trying, to movement, but any, of the day I think generally. Speaking a lot of countries, are kind of migrating. Towards the same problems. Words. Matter in the, space. That you're working in right now how does your messaging, change between the patient versus the family member or, caregiver to, communicate, your value proposition what. Has resonated, the most and the least, who's. Usually making. The purchase decision, so. Generally speaking it's usually the adult child that's making the purchase decision. And. So, it's. An interesting conversation. So. The most effective communicator, is usually the family member to, the, senior. But. Sometimes it's not so we do have care. Recipients who are resistant to care so, they're late they don't want someone in their home they don't want care even though they need it and. Sometimes they would rather talk to us than, their family member because they don't want to expose some. Of their needs. To, the family member because what happens is it when you expose that you, are exposing, a lack, of control, and that's really scary and so, a lot of times we'll have this like interesting. Dynamic. Where, they. Don't want it like a person, person getting care doesn't want to tell, the family all that happened but they're willing to tell the care probe because you cared was helping so, again. It's all dependent, on the, sort of situation, for the, most part we. Do do a lot of communication, through the family. Member who's the one responsible for the care or the billing, relationship, but, a lot of times when the care subpoena is the actual account owner then we directly, communicate with them can, you tell. Us about how, you trained your care pros is it in-person training, or mostly, online so.

Most Of it right now is in-person it's. Usually most effective a lot of it's sort of like physical stuff, that we're teaching, we. Loved we are hoping to expand to more online things but, for, now a lot, of it is physical. In the office on the job and. Also through, through. The app or like. Sort of phone or text communication we do we talk to our caregivers a lot so, that they're in constant communication, with us home like what they need to do and, then how many families, are you currently helping so. That's not a number we generally expose but, we just we are our, sort of canned answer to that is that we serve. The entire Bay Area, LA. Dallas. Fort Worth and Albuquerque. Let me start at New Mexico Albuquerque New Mexico so, it kind of gives a general idea of sort of the market sizes but we, don't actually so is the actual number and. Then related to the. Idea of expanding, potentially, to areas where it's not culturally. Common. For non, family members to take care of the. Elderly how. Do you think about, not. Just expanding. Into those areas but, maybe like. Creating. Materials, to help people in those areas, who maybe don't. Necessarily, interface, with your business directly, but maybe you just provide resources, yeah. So that was that goes back to the point where just being a knowledge expert is actually really helpful and so I'm. Not just having an online presence but you know going, and getting, into the communities is actually a really really positive thing so when. You go to a Senior Center or you go to, like. A local event you. Can just be there and then be a trusted, like like to be a familiar face so, then when people have questions do I go you should talk to this person they kind of have it I have, a better idea of how like how you, know the elderly space works then you start to sort of like embed, yourself better and so. Part. Of, the. Way. To. Get. Better word of mouth is just sort of taking advantage of the fact that healthcare and home, care is very local and so you have to respect that you can't just be like I'm this giant national entity I'm just gonna go and spread. Ads everywhere like that doesn't work like you have to really go in and, participate. And talk to people and actually like be in the community to. Really, make a dent so that's generally the tack that will probably take so. What's the pricing structure, look like in this industry and where do you find and where does honor place, itself yeah. So pricing, generally is by ships. Life so it's like an hourly because the care pros get paid hourly, we're. Kind, of like right. Smack. In the middle with most of the, industry in terms of our pricing, certain. Areas are a little harder to serve so for example if you, are a care pro making, you, know minimum wage are a little bit above you, know a $6 bridge toll from, the East Bay to the peninsula is a lot of money for you and so it's much harder for you to get from East. Bay - let's. Say Palo Alto and, so insert. And harder to reach areas so Palo Alto you. Know as parts of San Francisco prices, can be a little higher because it's we have to be able to pay the care Pro more that's. Generally, more of a common. Trend with with home, care but, generally speaking we're kind of like very, much market, prices and. Our hope is that because we can take a lot, of the. Manual. Work out of the process we. Can you know maybe at some point charge a little less pay a little more and, it'll take that those gains because we have a little more efficiency within our system. And. Since you're using the employee model does that mean that care, pros have to work a certain number of hours or certain shifts no within. With w2's, you, don't have to like enforce, a certain hour we have some folks who use us who, work, with us on more of a part-time basis or they, just pick up shifts in the evening or on the weekends because they have another job we, have other folks who use the sister primary gig and so we are their primary employer and they take most of the work from us it's. Very fun like it's more flexible I think then people kind, of think, about one thing about employee model but, what. We do realize that, care. Pros have a lot, of restrictions, in terms of what they can and can't do you, know folks. At Google you know generally don't have I mean when you have trouble with your car it's, like oh it's really annoying but when your car is the only, thing that is really. Providing your work. Conduit. It's. It's a lot harder and so we just make sure that we're respectful.

Of That and we have provide enough sort of options, of types, of work for our care pros and wrapping. Up I have one question about any. Specific technology. Or product that you're excited about in the, near future I would, say the. Disappear. More than one yeah I guess I just related to honor there's. Much more attention now to seniors. I think that's awesome, before. Honor there was like no. Funding, in the senior space and. Now we have you, know the, companies like really really focusing, on how, to cater to seniors and not just like building devices or technology, but sure really thinking about it from a offerings. Perspective, because just because the baby, boomers and the senior population is just gonna explode in the next 10 years or 10 to 10 to 20 years so, I would say like maybe nothing specific, but anything really like anybody. Really investing, in a. Not. Just seniors but demographics. Of audiences, that are not traditionally invested, in I think is awesome and, that's what I'm excited about great, thank, you so much and thank you for coming today thanks, for having me thank you everyone for coming, here. You. You.

2018-02-07 03:47

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Sounds great... for those that can afford it.

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