Cariloop CEO Michael Walsh originally set out to create an app to help people find suitable nursing homes or senior living facilities for their loved ones.
Cariloop launched in July 2012 in Richardson, touting itself as part Match.com and part Hotels.com.
Walsh quickly found out that families who are thrust into this situation when a loved one suddenly needs special care are ill prepared for it. They don’t know how to navigate the tangled web of insurance and the varying levels of care. They often don’t know the difference between a nursing home or assisted living facility.
“It’s not like you’re trained or educated on what all these words, phrases and terms all mean,” Walsh said. “Imagine how confusing it is for someone who just found out their father has Alzheimer’s? All the sudden they have to drop everything and decipher it.”
So, Walsh and his team went back to the drawing board, deciding they needed a more human touch. They started hiring health-care experts who could break through all the confusing terminology and help families put their loved ones in the right facility.
These coaches are health-care professionals, nurses, social workers, case managers, therapists, and counselors. Together, the five coaches have more than 60 years of experience in the health-care field.
They can be reached via telephone or video chat. They also know what questions to ask if you want them to scout out a certain facility, Walsh said.
“We’re basically the ‘easy’ button for this problem,” Walsh said. “There’s nobody doing what we’re doing.”
COMPANIES OFFER CARILOOP’S SERVICES AS A BENEFIT
Cariloop offers its product to individuals through its website, but the majority of its growth comes when companies buy the service as a benefit for their employees. So far, Cariloop has roughly a dozen companies signed up with about 30 or 40 more in the pipeline for 2016.
That puts Cariloop into growth mode as it prepares to hire more health-care experts and gets ready to launch Version 3 of its app.
“It will have a new user interface and more collaborative tools for the family to use,” Walsh said.
HOW CARILOOP’S COLLABORATION CONCEPT HELPS
The collaboration concept, which also is available on Version 2 of the app, allows multiple family members to access the documents, files and recommendations of the coaches so that everyone can be involved in decision-making for the loved one.
The company recently added Michael Gorton, CEO of Teladoc, the largest telemedicine provider, to its advisory board. In October, Cariloop partnered with InterActive-BB LLC in Florida. That company built a state-specific app to make the process even smoother for users.
Walsh and his co-founder were part of the inaugural class at Health Wildcatters in 2013 and raised $500,000 in seed money from angel investors.
Walsh moved to North Texas in 2012 after working several years as a health-care consultant. Before that, he attended Purdue University where he studied business and finance.
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