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Wolf Shlagman | CEO & Founder | Care Angel

Fundamentally, healthcare is broken. The phrase “we have a sick-care system, not a healthcare system” is heard quite often. And it’s true. Traditionally, healthcare has operated on a reactive health model instead of a proactive, preventative one. Most insurers and providers only proactively care for about 5 percent of the population, with a labor-intensive model, that is defined as high-risk, which is costly. In addition, traditional fee-for-service payment models have not provided any incentives to pay to manage the next 30-60 percent of the rising-risk populations. The clinical staff necessary to manage this population is at an all-time high, which is not scalable and just costs too much. This is where an AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant comes to the rescue. According to Accenture, virtual nurse assistant applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026 and growth in the AI health market is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021.

Healthcare is at an inflection point. 85 percent of healthcare costs are spent on managing chronic conditions, mostly from seniors aging at home. Our society lives in a time when two-thirds of all people who have ever lived past the age of 65 are alive today. People are living longer than ever; with more conditions, costing much more and the results are having devastating ripple effects on families, employers, providers, payers, and society, as a whole. It has been called a Silver Tsunami and it can be society’s Achilles heel, unless we proactively do something about it. Care Angel is redefining how we care.

Aging at home with multiple chronic conditions, taking multiple medications requires daily commitment, health literacy, and highly keeping the patient engaged and disciplined about their own care. Research shows that up-to 75 percent of people just aren’t able to adhere to care plans and medication schedules without some kind of reminders and support. A home has traditionally been the black box for patient care, disconnected from providers and extended family members. Many of healthcare’s problems are exasperated by a lack of complete, accurate, and timely information. Continuous, proactive engagement at scale, to gather actionable data and keep patients adhering, is now an absolute necessity. With value-based care and shared savings becoming the way most providers will get paid, payers, providers, and their care teams must be able to continuously engage with patients and provide care from the office or hospital into the home with high touch, low tech, and low-cost solutions.

With Care Angel, this is realized. Care Angel revolutionizes patient engagement and how one cares for the priciest, sickest, and most vulnerable populations by using an unlimited workforce of AI and Voice powered Virtual Nurse Assistants, meet Angel.

Care Angel seamlessly boosts the capacity and capability of existing human care teams by five-to-ten fold. Angel, augments the effectiveness of her human clinician counterparts, thereby building a more intelligent and capable healthcare workforce of tomorrow.

Journey of Care Angel

Care Angel, established in 2015, is a pioneering company that has designed the world’s first AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant to meet the complex needs of people with chronic conditions. After two years in stealth development, the company launched its platform in late 2016 and hasn’t looked back since. Its main motive is addressing the desire and necessity for improved health engagement and well-being management at the enterprise level to serve the evolving needs of payer and provider clients that manage the clinical and administrative needs of millions of lives in the US alone.

The company believes, technology can be used to exponentially scale the engagement, monitoring, and day-to-day care; to coordinate with the most vulnerable and at-risk populations (Medicaid, Medicare, and Dual Eligible). By personalizing intelligent engagement, making technology invisible, cost negligible, and complexity irrelevant, while meeting patients’ requirements, technologically, intellectually, culturally, and emotionally. “An engaged consumer is a healthier consumer. Engagement is the block-buster drug of the century.” says the CEO.

According to VentureBeat, Care Angel is one of the three most Valuable Applications of AI in Healthcare, AI- powered Virtual Nurse Assistants; estimating the value of virtual nurse assistants to a whopping $20 billion.

Transforming Healthcare Engagement

The company believes access to quality healthcare is a right all should have. Care Angel’s mission is to empower millions to take better care. The company was established after putting together a decade worth of experience in applying telehealth technologies; to make care more accessible, affordable, and available for basic episodic and chronic care. “Post-acute episodic care accounts for only about 15 percent of healthcare costs, the remaining 85 percent of costs are attributed to chronic care.” asserts the CEO of Care Angel. Here lies Care Angel’s ultimate challenge −to apply the momentum and principles of remote care to ten times the populations that have traditionally never been proactively cared for due to lack of human labor resources, complexity, and costs.

The company believes that in the not-too distant future, when one leaves a physician’s office or a hospital setting and goes home, an intelligent AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant, like Angel, will do all the automated follow up as an extension of the existing care teams to help one to be healthy and informed, and connected to care, while family members and clinical care managers are alerted when there is an issue or a need, catching small issues before they become hospitalizations. The exponential capacity is enormous.

The Enthusiastic Promoter of Care Angel

Wolf Shlagman is the CEO, Founder, and Chief Angel of Care Angel. He is a creative technologist, tinkerer, and visionary behind the success of the company. He has a long history of using technology to create solutions that make several aspects of life more accessible, convenient, cost effective, efficient, and consumer friendly. As a serial entrepreneur, Wolf previously founded ‘Consult a Doctor’ in 2007, one of the earliest pioneers of B2B2C telemedicine platforms, which was acquired by Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC), a Kleiner, Perkins portfolio company, in 2013 and the combined companies were taken public shortly thereafter.

As an innovator, Wolf has been shaping and transforming the telehealth space since the earliest days of digital health, nearly 20 years ago. He is a technological and business leader with executive level strategic, technical, and partnership development experience. He is recognized as being a hands-on leader who is driven by passion in the pursuit of building impactful enterprise platforms and consumer solutions targeted to help alleviate the most pressing challenges affecting the entire healthcare ecosystem. Care Angel is especially meaningful, as it will help to care for millions who lack access, most notably our parents and grandparents.

A large amount of healthcare costs go towards managing chronic conditions, mostly in seniors. Along with this the high-risk, rising-risk, high cost, and vulnerable populations around the world, is affecting billions of lives. Understanding this major demographic shift, Wolf set out to transform how his mom and people across the globe are taken care of. Foreseeing the major void in the market, Wolf was determined to help the industry and the people it serves, by applying technology to take better care of their conditions, from the comfort of their homes. But it goes much deeper than that, because the caregivers, providers and clinicians are also experiencing severe burnout due to the shortage of millions of physicians, care managers, and nurses around the world. We have an aging society and a serious dilemma of not enough family or clinical caregivers.

Having a noble vision at heart, Wolf felt a responsibility to bring this vision to life. Wolf developed the SmartCare platform to be the most comprehensive end-to-end, enterprise solution for population health, risk stratification, quality care, and performance measure improvement. The platform features omni-channel engagement, continuous health monitoring and care coordination. The turn-key solution is flexible, configurable, and scalable to millions. “An innovative solution that is redefining how we care.” SmartCare comes to life through Angel, its AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant, who can unify disparate communication services to proactively engage, monitor, and manage entire populations. From care plan adherence, medication adherence, patient education, appointment scheduling, reminders, post-discharge, satisfaction surveys, and risk assessments to the continuous support of complex clinical care management programs, deploying Angel ultimately leads to better outcomes and lower costs.

Angel & SmartCare: The Flagship Service Platform

There is an unprecedented amount of value and demand for a comprehensive voice-first, omni-channel solution that can not only identify and address potential problems as they are happening, but to pass the collected information along to the clinical care manager and designated family members for rapid and appropriate intervention from prescription refills to transportation to medical supplies or a follow up appointment with their post-surgery specialist or primary care physician.

Angel is powered by Care Angel’s SmartCare platform, an award winning, patent-pending population risk stratification, omni-channel engagement, monitoring, and care management platform. Its revolutionary platform empowers its partners, such as payers, providers, health systems, MCOs, MSOs, ACOs, and other large partnerships to stratify, engage, monitor, and manage high risk populations, such as Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid patients at scale, at the lowest cost and highest ROI.

Angel can proactively engage 100 percent of the high risk population, which augments the care team’s capacity while freeing up 50 percent of clinician’s time from the repetitive, robot-like tasks of outbound telephonic engagement. It serves as an extension of the existing care team that was never possible before at such scale and personalization. It enables the existing care teams to be able to manage five to ten times of the patient populations and focus on the right patients at the right time.

In a rapidly changing value-based care environment, where payments are tied to the quality of care and health outcomes for broad populations, Angel radically improves quality, patient engagement and adherence in the home, between visits, efficiently and effectively without adding clinical resources. It helps physicians address poor patient engagement, poor adherence, and data silos and helps patients overcome technology barriers with its ubiquitous voice-first, omni-channel engagement Care as a Service (CaaS) technology platform. As a result, Angel enables the most effective, efficient, and scalable way to close gaps in care, reduce risk, admissions, readmissions, and significantly improve clinical, HEDIS, HCAHPS, STAR, and financial ROI outcomes by more than ten-fold.

Delivering Outstanding ROI

Leading organizations that provide Care Angel to their members and patients include the largest provider and payers in the nation, academic hospitals, and health systems, MSOs, ACOs, and APG organizations such as UM Health, Jackson Health, UnitedHealthcare, EliteHealth, and Orange Healthcare, ACO.

Speaking of its happy and content clients, Wolf asserts, “Partners love Angel and her ability to scale care exponentially from the 5 percent of their patients to 50 percent plus, freeing up so much clinician time and exponentially impacting clinical and financial outcomes.”

Confronting Challenges with Resilience

There is extreme pressure on the status-quo of hospitals, health systems, and carriers due to market disruption by external players like Amazon, Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Walmart, and Google. Telemedicine, remote monitoring, and virtual care delivery is a reality. Wolf says, “To a certain extent, initial iterations of telemedicine were very complex and costly, only utilized by military, academic and teaching institutions in a hub and spoke model, utilizing video in order to meet payment guidelines. Utilization was non-existent. In the last 5-7 years, it only successfully penetrated the treatment of low acuity ‘cough and cold’ conditions, which account for about 15 percent of healthcare.”

The real gigantic challenge that Care Angel is solving for is how we engage, monitor, and manage vast high-risk and rising-risk populations, otherwise known as population health management (PHM), remote care, disease management, post-acute care, all of which add up to a large percent of healthcare costs, representing trillions of dollars. Chronic condition management, which occurs mostly in seniors who are aging independently at home, low income, and other vulnerable populations dealing with social determinants of healthcare, is the massive burden that the company is targeting to relieve, for its provider and payer clients from around the globe. “We are carefully prioritizing our business approach to execute on payers, providers, and partnerships in the United States first, while preparing an aggressive strategy to address the demand and extend our footprint globally.” said Shlagman.

Exceptionality of Care Angel

Care Angel is revolutionizing how we engage and care for millions with a truly unique approach by building an innovative SmartCare platform to engage the costliest, sickest, and most vulnerable populations- regardless of technology. It’s set out to make technology invisible, by having Angel, its AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant, available starting with a simple phone call.

The results are transformative. The SmartCare platform is able to handle every aspect of population management, from risk stratification, omni-channel engagement, and monitoring & care management to care coordination at scale. The company has set out to create the most comprehensive, most engaging, lowest cost, easiest to use, highest ROI platform in the market for managing populations at scale.

“It could be said that one of the most compelling highlights of our solution is the results we are seeing from our clients. Value-based Care is about improving quality and controlling costs, at Care Angel, we guarantee both” says Wolf.

The company estimates that the clinical cost savings, avoidable readmission reduction, and a minimum of 5:1 ROI is translated into savings of $3-4M per 10,000 patients.

Walking into the Future

Care Angel continues to magnify its capabilities; the company is excited about being able to expand into the home further. With solutions for Alexa and Google Assistant in addition to enhanced device and wearables integration, it will be more efficient to be able to gather data from anywhere. It is also engaging into numerous partnerships that will expand access to data for better predictive analytics of high-risk populations and provide additional services such as on-demand transportation and care coordination to vulnerable populations, so they receive the right care at the right time.

“AI-powered Virtual Nurse Assistants is the new nervous system of healthcare and engagement at scale is the ultimate blockbuster drug of the century” says Wolf