Overwhelmed by long-distance caregiving? There’s an app for that

“How’s Mom doing today?”

Caring for aging parents can be challenging – especially if you’re caregiving from a long distance. Did Mom take her pills? Eat her lunch? How’s her blood pressure?

It was these kinds of worries about his aging father that inspired Midland’s Christopher Jue to create the CAREgivers Insight mobile app which allows caregivers and family members to share information about their loved ones at any time.
Christopher Jue, president and co-founder of CAREgivers Insight.
“My dad was diagnosed 10 years ago with Alzheimer’s and dementia. But he lived in California and I had moved 2,400 miles away to Midland,” says Jue, president and co-founder of CAREgivers Insight. “Even though he had caregivers coming to his house, it was still really difficult for my sisters and I to keep track of how he was doing from such a long distance.”

Often caregivers didn’t record his father’s fluid intake or failed to read the handwritten notes from previous shifts. Jue’s father was hospitalized four times in two years for dehydration and Jue knew something needed to change.

“I created CAREgivers Insight to track important data about his physical, mental, and care condition. When we put the program in place, we suddenly could see a trend that my dad was getting dehydrated before noon. Now we could take action to avoid another trip to the hospital,” he says.

The Jue family’s struggles are not unique. Among all adults with at least one parent 65 or older, 30% say their parents need some help caring for themselves. The same figure holds true for emotional support. And with an estimated 70% of Americans over the age of 65 needing long-term care services during their lifetime, the demand for and pressure on caregivers is rapidly expanding.

In comes CAREgivers Insight.

“The app not only allows families to stay informed regarding their loved one’s healthcare, it’s a better way for the patient’s caregiving team to see emerging issues and quickly adjust care as needed,” he says.

Thomas Moore, co-founder of CAREgivers Insight.Jue developed the CAREgivers Insight app with fellow co-founders Thomas Moore, Doug Houtman, and Thomas Perry and with input from an integrated team of caregivers, care facility owners, doctors, nurses, and gerontologists.

Evan Fonger, M.D., is working with Jue on the app, which he describes as “prescient and exciting.”

“This application has the potential to facilitate bidirectional communication between medical professionals and caregivers, as well as another way for caregivers to communicate with each other,” Fonger says. “Symptoms are often nebulous and hard to describe, and this application works to quantify them a bit more clearly, in my opinion.”

Trained and untrained caregivers no longer must use pen and paper, notebooks, pre-printed forms, binders, and calendars to summarize the highlights of the shift or of the day.

Within the mobile app, caregivers are guided through a series of questions pertaining to vitals, medical, health, and care with pre-selected answers based on the patient’s diagnosis. The responses are then transformed into shareable, easy-to-understand graphs and visuals displaying a loved one’s health and well-being over time.

CAREgivers Insight participates in Central Michigan University Research Corporation’s (CMURC) Accelerator program, which empowers entrepreneurs and companies with the right resources, tools, and connections needed to achieve their business goals.  

“It’s exciting that CAREgivers Insight has made the Great Lakes Bay Region its headquarters. We believe supporting innovation and entrepreneurship is crucial for the growth of any community,” says Erin Strang, CMURC president/CEO.

The commercialization of Caregivers Insight will be made possible through services provided by CMURC in partnership with the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) as part of the Michigan SmartZone network. CMURC and the MBA were awarded $14,000 in Business Accelerator Funds to provide additional legal and marketing services on behalf of CAREgivers Insight.

Doug Houtman, co-founder of CAREgivers Insight.“With MBA’s focus on healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship as targeted industries, CAREgivers Insight is a great example of the opportunities that exist when our entrepreneurial ecosystem provides collaborative, effective support,” says Nicole Wilson, MBA’s vice president of economic development.

Jue says he appreciates the many ways the Great Lakes Bay Region’s business community has supported his venture.

The CAREgivers Insight app is currently in beta for validation testing and will be available in early 2022 on Google Play and the Apple App store, he says.

“We want to get as much feedback as possible and make any needed improvements before releasing it to caregivers and families,” Jue says.

“I truly believe the insights we’re able to provide to professionals – whether it be nurses, caseworkers, social workers, RNs, LPNs, or doctors – is really going to help improve the quality of caregiving to loved ones like my father.”
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