How Monitoring Seniors’ Daily Activities Will Keep Them Living Independently
I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Sabloff, founder and CEO of VirtualHealth. Adam established VirtualHealth in 2012, based upon a concept he first envisioned more than 10 years ago to fix a broken healthcare system. He has led VirtualHealth down a path of incredible growth, including a 1,600 percent increase in monthly revenues, 1,000 percent growth in lives managed and 10-fold growth in staffing since January 2016. During this same period, VirtualHealth secured multiple rounds of funding, the latest being $7 million led by Edison Partners in 2017.
You started off in the hospitality industry and now you work in senior care. Tell me about that big career move?
I took a bit of a circuitous route to senior care. I started my career in real estate and, in conjunction with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, I conceptualized and delivered the first ever Ritz-Carlton Residences in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. That was a career turning point because it led me to conceptualize the proactive patient management model that would ultimately become VirtualHealth. When I later lost a loved one to a late-stage diagnosis, it confirmed for me just how little care coordination there was within healthcare.
In 2012, I made the leap and founded VirtualHealth to improve a healthcare system that was broken for the sickest patients, especially the elderly. I worked with some of the brightest minds in healthcare and technology to create a platform that combines all the information about a patient and identifies high-risk patients, so their health is proactively managed. This not only accelerates how fast patients get care and reduces costs, but also allows seniors to safely stay in their homes.
What’s the best way to keep seniors living independently at home?
The most promising technology is anything that helps seniors stay in their homes by continuously monitoring activities of daily living and connecting that data with their medical information to keep caregivers apprised of their status in real time. There are just 3 million long-term care beds available for an estimated 46.2 million potential residents. VirtualHealth is filling the gap by linking to connected devices for ongoing data feeds and even has an offline app allowing care managers to visit patients in rural areas without connectivity. In turn, these aspects of technology are truly allowing seniors to age in place while also helping to prevent costly hospitalizations and ER visits.
What does the life of a senior look like 10 years from now?
It makes sense that we are seeing seniors embrace today’s connected devices to stay safely independent. Everything from blood pressure and glucose monitors to motion sensors are making seniors’ homes safer and smarter. 10 years from now, I anticipate that most seniors who live independently will do so in smart homes equipped with passive devices that continuously monitor vital signs and activities of daily living. I also foresee the use of other monitoring devices, such as food trackers that monitor inventories and replenish when needed.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
The most important secret I learned about entrepreneurship is that there is actually a very simple formula for starting a business: 50 percent is action; 40 percent is talent; and 10 percent is pure luck. Have faith in yourself but know that you’ll need to catch a few breaks along the way.