Below is our recent interview with Andrew Chesler, the Founder and CEO at iDeskMD:
Q: Can you describe what’s going on today in the USA with the growth in senior population and how this compares to other nations?
A: Sure, demography has improved over time to the point where we now know the birth rates and average length of life in nearly every nation on earth and can project population growth accurately. Lifespan keeps increasing morphing statistics to an older and older population. In 2018 there are approximately 50 million senior citizens living in the USA alone. Over the course of the next fifteen years, we will experience the fastest rise in our elderly population we have ever seen. Seniors who are over 80 will more than double in numbers while those over 90 will triple within the same time period, so we are heading for uncharted waters. Global authors call this the “Gray Tsunami.” The USA is a relatively young nation, with just 15% of our population seniors today, but that’s changing rapidly. Japan for example has 27% of its population as seniors and is projected to have 40% seniors by mid-century. Western European nations have over 20% seniors today and growing. China as a nation faces the single largest wave of elderly in the next 20 years, expecting more seniors in China than the entire U.S. population. In the USA today, we have over 6 million 85+ year olds. This figure will double in the next decade and triple by mid century. This is the fastest growing segment of our population by far.
Q: Can you describe VOID that exists today for senior living communities and why this is of critical importance for everyone?
A: Yes, 50 years ago, convalescent housing came into existence. Developers created senior housing communities to accommodate those who retired from the workforce. The focus was on the golden years of retirement and the creation of a social model community for retirement lifestyle. Fast forward 50 years to 2018. Much has changed in the world around us yet some things have not changed much. For example, look at a retirement community today and you will see the same social model on campus you saw in 1980 helping elders live a lifestyle where they don’t have to cook, mow the lawn, clean the pool, nor wash their laundry, perhaps help with pills and toileting too. The average resident in 1980 was in their 60’s and today is 87 years of age. Thats a huge gap in age. Independent Living, Assisted Living Facilities and Memory Care Communities are still today supporting the same social model but they lack clinical services, licensure and tech infrastructure capable of providing for the needs of people in their 80’s and older. These retirement communities are not required by law to, to employ Physicians or Licensed Clinicians. A typical 87-year-old resident today, has a few co-morbidities, meaning chronic illnesses or diseases and as 3 ADL’s (requires assistance with daily living – such as toileting or bathing) so the needs of the very same retirement community have changed drastically from a focus on Bridge and Golf to 2018 when the resident’s primary needs are how to live with and manage Chronic Pain, Degenerative Disease and cope with varying degrees of physical and behavioral Dependencies. The VOID in services is so large that it needs to be filled for us to have a sustainable society, one that does not mimic Logans Run.
Q: What does it cost the system for senior citizens health care, the ones who live inside these communities today?
A: Seniors over 85 in this environment cost the system more than $100,000 per year, not including room and board and meals which are extra. Co-morbidities add to the costs. For those not in the clinical world, a comorbidity is when two or more chronic diseases or conditions exist for one person. This is very common at this age. The vast majority of seniors are on a fixed income and by today’s standards lack the financial and other resources to sustain their care. Healthcare Premiums rise for younger populations who pay for a big portion of this cost. Tax payers, Healthcare Payers and society foot the remaining costs. These costs are growing too large for any economy to sustain including the USA. The cost of clinical based elder care is generally broken down into three basic parts: A, B and D. the cost of going to Doctors, the Cost of the Hospital and Pharmacy spend. The Hospital spend is the largest of these buckets by far. Sadly the older people get, the higher the cost per night for a hospital stay. The hospital cost in major cities is as much as $40,000 per night for elders in this age range. Sleep patterns and bodily activity are disrupted and these clinical settings are not comfortable. Over $200,000 is an easy ticket for this type of episode that could easily take place multiple times in one year for one resident alone. The elder patient and family of these seniors suffer yet another “transition of care” where new people are again asking, what meds are you on? What procedures and surgeries have you had? What is your blood type? The health care system in use today is the ultimate silo locked off from the modern world, costing the USA nearly 4 Trillion US dollars, a big percentage of which is institutionalized waste. Imagine doubling or tripling this in just one decade.
Q: What makes you passionate about this company?
A: I am driven by the ability to change the world for the better through disrupting broken paradigms that are from the past. To add to this, I am a business man and can envision this Company being global in nature with the potential to benefit all of its stakeholders meaningfully. This drives my passion. In sum , I’m particularly driven about the meaningful use of technology in areas that tech is blended with human touch points. As AI/Machine Learning finds its way into all of our lives, the very last bastion of human uniqueness is found in two discernable areas: Creativity and Empathy. These two amazing human qualities are extended and supported by iDeskMD’s technologies and services and serve to improve the human condition – this motivates me knowing that we will always need people as caregivers. Human interaction is critical to quality of life, we are social creatures. Yet we must support these special human beings with tools that make them able to move the needle on eldercare and empower a better future.
Q: How does your company’s technologies help solve problems for Senior Living Communities?
A: This is the exciting part! Our technology and business overlay is a game changer; We work directly with the communities and brands on a one on one basis. Our system risk stratifies the resident elder population, breaking down the highest risk residents. We apply a minimal amount of A.I. defined infrastructure to put the foundation in place for adding sensors that collect vital wellness and health data points in near real time, the actionable data is extrapolated by our modern world class platform AilaOS. This platform provides the nexus point for our scalable cloud-based products and services at each community. Through our innovative platform all communications are in real time providing an instant level of collaboration among the team. Our communities are empowered to support a wider array of seniors and residents who get to largely “live in place” because ”we bring something previously never done before, the Uberization of much needed third party services right to the resident seniors themselves and thus support the entire community.” These additions spike occupancy. iDeskMD’s Technology ecosystem in positioned to drastically improve life for many people, particularly as lifespans increase.
Q: What kind of security does the AilaOS Platform provide and how is this needed?
A: When we started to build this platform, we looked at security and identity management as the first step in creating something that has foundational strength. Security, Health Information compliance, fault tolerance, and providing a touch screen platform that’s easier to use than an iPhone was the initial development goal to support caregivers, doctors and residents. We also created a distributed architecture to prevent the kinds of hacks we read about all the time due to centralized databases and the lack of understanding that very large organizations have when they use older legacy style Operating Systems and their IT Departments cling onto decades old protocols. Our deep dive into the industry made it clear that Executives and the people doing the daily work supporting the elderly typically use various software programs to accomplish daily business tasks, each separate from one another, each with its own credentials and each functioning as a silo. Sadly, and shockingly, Fax machines are still the status quo today in healthcare and senior living yet not used in other industries for nearly 20 years since the invention and adaption of email.
Q: What was the first few innovations that iDeskMD put together for AilaOS?
A: The very first real innovation iDeskMD built was a cloud based Single Sign On Solution that is accessible from any hardware our system approves. Then we built our own multi factor authentication login using facial recognition and other biometrics to safeguard the system preventing password style hacks. Our system is passwordless. Then we created a Platform layer that shares information fluidly and securely among all applications on our platform. Communication and collaboration became the foundational basis for functionality of our solution stack. This has been missing from software systems in use especially in healthcare and senior living. With AilaOS you have real time video chat, text chat, telehealth, encrypted email, video conferencing, document sharing and editing, Flowcharting , EHR, caregiver scheduling and so much more with minimal training required; It can be used right away by nearly anyone. In fact we include our own Learning Management System so our clients can create instructional training and teach, by uploading videos and testing caregivers and/or employees on any subject remotely. The system automatically grades the exams and issues diploma certificates to those that pass. Over time, as the Baby Boomer generation ages, they will begin to use AILAOS themselves to video chat with family, view their own medical records and wellness trend, view entertainment content, and store critical information and documents that cannot be lost. The current Assisted Living Facility space is largely void of modern technology solutions today and is largely legacy based. One of the reasons is the past cost of infrastructure was very high and these same facilities do not receive any revenue for medical services, only for room and board, largely private pay. iDeskMD’s technology platform and business overlay are positioned to become game changers for this ecosystem, extending real clinical care support to the resident population on campus.
Q: What kinds of sensors does your Platform leverage and use?
A: By affixing non-obtrusive sensors, such as the wireless bandaid or even floor tiles and bed sensors iDeskMD, through its AilaOS Platform, connects real time resident Vital Signs to the onsite and off-site care teams! Interventions will soon become the norm and not the exception as we get ahead of the health care curve with the population segment that costs the most money to treat and happens to be the fastest growing segment in the developed world. When I suggest this is a game changing technology package , this is an understatement. The care our frail elderly will receive is going to be unprecedented.
Q: What is Careblok Occupancy Fulfillment?
A: Great Question….We call this service Careblok. Think of it as Hotwire for Senior Living Facilities on a B to B level. Since our client Senior Living Communities and Payors are empowered with our AilaOS Platform, this means IoT IntelliVitals Sensors are reporting back in near real time and Primary Care Services are accessible on location via Careblok. We are truly able for the first time to create an ecosystem where intervention is common, not an anomaly. This increases occupancy as the facility appeals to a much wider array of seniors needs and to discharge planners and manage care payors. For payers, this is fantastic, because they get the benefits of home along with our remote patient intelligence monitoring the vital signs of the insured and keeping them out of the costly infinite loop of ER and facilities. For hospitals, this is truly needed because they reduce their readmittance rates. For the Government, such as Medicare and Medicaid, this is a Godsend answer to the largest looming financial crisis we have seen.
Q: What does the future look like for baby boomers who are rounding the corner and future generations?
A: We are living in a new age of agile technology rapidly expanding each and every day. I love technology, am passionate about what it can do for the world to improve our plight. What I particularly like about technology use in this specific space, is that it must be intertwined with real live people to provide maximum results. Caregiving is an area that requires human beings. Our Vision is to help seniors to live in place at an integrated senior living community by by caregivers who have the full support of iDeskMD’s Platform.
Our seniors supported by AilaOS are likely to have better care than you or I have and better care than a very wealthy family with Concierge Medical has. This is part of what’s so remarkable when economies of scale and new technology come out.
In the next 5 to 10 years we don’t want to be asking why key health and wellness information isn’t accessible to the care teams or why have conditions declined for senior citizens. We need to use real time human vital signs combined with AI Machine Learning to make intelligent actionable interventions that the human mind and naked eye is incapable of identifying timely on patients, all to improve the process of aging in place and thus improving quality of living for all of us at a sustainable cost to society.
Q: How much did the USA spent on healthcare in 2017 and how is this changing?
A: Last year the USA spent $4 trillion US Dollars on healthcare. To put this in perspective, that’s more than the entire GDP of Germany as a Nation. We cannot sustain the current healthcare spend or anything close to it, knowing that the explosion in elder population is happening right now. Seniors on a global level will grow by triple by midcentury, when its projected we will have over 1.5 Billion Seniors.
Q: Is this an American only problem or is it Global in nature?
A: International prospects make the United States look small, however the USA is the leader in service-based delivery and other nations are looking to the United States as a model for improvement.
On a global level, iDeskMD is communicating with companies in several key nations who want to piggyback on our powerful Platform, building a multi lingual platform, partnering with internationally based companies that are positioned to distribute our IT and systems in their home country.
Q: Can regular investors buy your stock and if so where do they go to do this?
A: Investors can go to the Fundable Platform – iDeskMD Crowdfunding Page to sign up with no commitment. Then investors are able to request our Business Plan and PPM and literally can buy shares at $6 per share pursuant to our Private Placement Memorandum. We are a private , but due to the advent of The Jobs Act, designed to jumpstart startups just like ours, we are able to sell shares to accredited and non-accredited investors, even though we have not gone public. This is the kind of opportunity that in the past was made available only to high dollar institutions and the privileged money elite. The share offering is available for a limited time and then will close out.