‘Social Determinants of Aging’ Startup Exits Stealth with $6M in Funding, Magellan Health’s Assist

A new senior treatment startup has occur out of stealth, armed with thousands and thousands of pounds in seed funding and backing from a significant populace wellbeing supplier.

The startup is DUOS, a New York-based mostly firm that allows getting older in put by deploying professional care coordinators — “Duos” — into the properties of older grownups. It unveiled its model on Tuesday even though also saying $6 million in seed funding from buyers Redesign Wellbeing and Forerunner Ventures.

“At the best amount, Duos — our personal assistants — function with older grown ups to assist them keep at house though also offering their regular caregivers peace of mind,” co-founder and CEO Karl Ulfers advised Residence Well being Treatment News. “We’re using technological know-how moreover that particular assistant to set up relationships with older adults and caregivers, around all people demands they have to be equipped to age independently in their have home.”

Broadly, DUOS is setting up its business through two various tactics, Ulfers spelled out.

On a single hand, it operates directly with people who demand support coordinating anything required to age in area through its technological innovation platform. People providers are presently readily available across the U.S. in a 100% virtual capacity, with DUOS arranging to integrate its in-particular person offering down the road.

On the other, the startup groups up with the two payer and supplier businesses to support them maintain users and clients out of institutional configurations. Its business business is at this time up and jogging with one particular shopper throughout Ga, with unique density in the Savannah space and its encompassing rural communities.

In addition to the Georgia client, which Ulfers isn’t capable to reveal pretty yet, DUOS will before long launch its business business in Pennsylvania. That expansion into the Keystone State is relevant to an current partnership with Magellan Health and fitness Inc. (Nasdaq: MGLN), one particular of the nation’s biggest advanced care management businesses.

“At Magellan, we are fully commited to reworking the well being treatment expertise by substantial-tech and substantial-contact solutions that deal with the health and wellness requires of the complete human being – life, thoughts and body,” Alisa Bahl, the company’s main strategy and innovation officer, said in a assertion. “This collaboration with DUOS will enable us to augment our behavioral overall health offerings and broaden our multidisciplinary treatment groups by means of a personal assistant option for more mature grownups that addresses social determinants of growing older.”

The human factor

Comparable to other senior treatment startups that handle “social determinants of well being,” DUOS is targeted on “social determinants of growing old,” in accordance to co-founder and Chief of Employees Jacques Anderson.

That’s an significant mission contemplating America’s quickly ageing inhabitants.

Upwards of 10,000 Americans turn 65 each working day, with the extensive majority of them looking to stay out of prolonged-time period care services. By 2031, a person of each 5 U.S. citizens will be of retirement age.

As opposed to other senior treatment-startups that operate with a tech-1st state of mind, on the other hand, DUOS is relatively special with its hybrid tactic.

“The human factor is one of the factors that underpins our small business model,” Anderson instructed HHCN. “We’re in a environment wherever there are a expanding amount of older adults who are living by itself. Which is coupled with increasing engineering and social requirements. Frequently, these people do not have any added aid, this sort of as an adult little one or a caregiver who can likely support out. Our company design is on the lookout to fill that gap that is in essence remaining in the marketplace in our lifestyle.”

In addition to Anderson and Ulfers, the DUOS management team contains COO Anne Marie Aponte, formerly of Accolade and DispatchHealth, additionally Chief Item Officer Kristen Lynch, formerly of Onduo and Athenahealth.

For Anderson, co-founding DUOS has been a deeply own expertise, she stated.

Although her mothers and fathers are even now underneath the age of 65, they the two are living with long-term health ailments, which Anderson has tried to help deal with remotely. On top of that, Anderson’s father recently battled via “a incredibly negative bout of COVID.”

“They the two stay in St. Louis, while I live in New York,” she said. “They each have persistent problems, so I handle a multitude of things. And they are people who are not quite regarded as senior citizens, … but they’re presently going through a remarkable sum of problems.”

A three-pronged strategy

As much as reimbursement, DUOS has “three most important channels,” Ulfers pointed out.

Many thanks to the ongoing supplemental gain expansion in Medicare Advantage (MA), DUOS is capable to deal with payers supplying social-requires benefits and applications for chronically sick associates. DUOS also works with ideas coordinating care for dual eligibles.

“We can also promote straight to these hazard-bearing vendors that services those people MA and duals options,” Ulfers stated.

A next channel is lengthy-time period care insurance.

“We’ve bought a range of conversations going on appropriate now, wherever prolonged-phrase care insurers are fascinated in giving DUOS as a benefit to assistance people age independently in their house when they go on claim,” Ulfers extra.

The previous channel is companies with personnel-advantages offers that give respite for personnel caring for more mature loved kinds. Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), Ideal Get (NYSE: BBY) and TripAdvisor (Nasdaq: Journey) are just a several of the corporate giants now providing caregiver rewards.

“There is an amazing quantities of stress that functioning parents go by means of among using treatment of their young ones and taking treatment of their getting old moms and dads,” Ulfers stated.

As for the Duos, they are aspect-time workers — not independent contractors. There is not 1 solitary profile of a Duos, while DUOS has identified achievements in recruiting workers from the “9 a.m. to 3 p.m.” section.

“The ‘9 a.m. to 3 p.m.’ motion are moms and dads that are stay-at-house moms and dads, folks who possibly have time through the working day whilst their young ones are at faculty or at other routines,” Ulfers said. “They have a solid motivation to continue on to be included in a mission like ours and have do the job that is significant.”

DUOS on top of that attempts to recruit persons with prior caregiving practical experience.

“We’ve carried out a ton of investigate in this space on who more mature adults essentially want to function with,” Ulfers said. “What we’ve figured out is that they actually want to work with individuals who have existence experiences and have carried out caregiving themselves earlier.”

Going ahead, DUOS options on utilizing its $6 million in seed funding to additional create out its technological innovation system for both equally its direct-to-consumer and organization versions.

“From a tech standpoint, you will need to have several modalities to be able to service everyone,” Anderson reported. “We have to have to be in a position to have in-particular person [services], so you will need to have a cell app. You want to have a internet type that men and women can interact with. The business aspect of our small business requires us to have safety, privateness, HIPAA-compliance — all these unique compliance and regulatory overlays.”