As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Honor Technology Inc. is attempting to use an app to improve the caregiving industry. Demand for caregivers in rising, yet many workers receive minimal wages and benefits. The app works by connecting demand with supply. Customers who need care can customize a care plan on the app or by phone for those without smartphones. Caregivers with the company are trained and matched with a customer. Caregivers also receive paid sick leave, workers’ compensation, and pay that is 10% higher than the regional average.
The app also provides additional communication with children who want to be involved in the care their parents receive. Children can communicate with caregivers through the app, see a wellness report on their parents and even see how they are sleeping. For children living far away from parents or who have busy schedules, this app allows them to remain involved in care.
Not only does the app improve access to care, it improves quality of care. Because caregivers are matched, one can have more confidence that they are qualified to provide adequate care. For example, if a customer has dementia, the caregiver must be dementia trained. This specialization results in a higher wage for the caregiver.
While this technology is only available in a few metropolitan areas in California and Texas, it shows that technology is capable of addressing many of the current problems in caring for the elderly at home. We can only hope that demand for quality care around the country will continue to create incentives for this new technology to develop.