|[July 16, 2014]
HelpAround Launches 'Mobile Safety Net' for People with Diabetes - First Sharing Economy Service for Consumer Health
TEL AVIV, Israel --(Business Wire)--
HelpAround launched today the first mobile platform for people with
diabetes (PWD) - and their friends, family and caregivers - that reveals
fellow 'diabetes helpers' from the crowd, helping people resolve sudden
health crises, like getting caught without essential over-the-counter
blood glucose test strips. Its patent-pending Mobile Safety Net
technology is the first sharing economy service for consumer health.
While HelpAround shouldn't replace emergency room or doctor's office
visits, the Mobile Safety Net shows a nearby mix of other users,
relevant people from users' social graphs and public social media
streams - then facilitates connections according to shared patient
interests and needs.
Personalized to users' health needs and location, HelpAround is also an
indispensable resource outside of crisis situations. Users find each
other the best local healthcare services, insurance plans, doctors,
pharmacies and retail opportunities. HelpAround's peer-to-peer support
is a vital upgrade to the static content from outdated online forums -
nearly impossible to read on mobile devices, and in-person support
groups, which lack the comforting anonymity of a virtual medium. Yet,
its mobile-first approach allows HelpAround to feel as universal and
immediate as diabetes often does.
HelpAround also announced today it raised $550,000 in funding co-led by
Windham Venture Partners and angel investors Walter Winshall, Robert
Oringer and former Harmonix COO Michael Dornbrook.
"Diabetes management is exhausting for both patients and caregivers, yet
there hasn't been a healthcare industry after-care solution that helps
patients by connecting them to each other," said HelpAround CEO and
co-founder Yishai Knobel. "HelpAround's premise is: the best resource
for a patient is another patient. We harness the superior trust, empathy
and camaraderie within the diabetes patient community, allowing members
to discover peers who truly 'get it.'"
Two launch features underscore HelpAround's status as a multi-format
platform offering a new layer of support for the diabetes patient
community, despite its overall mobile-first foundation:
EsTuDiabetes.org web widget -
HelpAround developed a web-based Safety Net widget for one of the
largest Spanish-speaking diabetes patient community's websites. Using
IP addresses to track location instead of GPS, it's a way for PWDs
without smartphones & tablets to discover each other in the real world.
"Nurse on Call" - HelpAround is
partnering with TeamHealth toprovide the first free, 24/7, live phone
support with Registered Nurses from a mobile app. Users in most major
U.S. cities tap the "Nurse on Call" button to ask an R.N. their
diabetes-related question for free up to three times a month.
Sonny Vu, founder of the award-winning wearable computer manufacturer
Misfit Wearables, recently joined HelpAround's advisory board. "An
informed patient community provides its members insights and actionable
steps they can take - similar to the goal of wearable computers via data
collection," said Vu. "HelpAround's potential to crowdsource diabetes
experience - and deliver it locally and immediately - for quality of
life improvement really excites me."
HelpAround is also a patient engagement platform designed to let
healthcare providers, brands and retailers join patients' conversations
in identity-based groups - like Type 2 Diabetes, Moms of Children
with Diabetes and Teens with Diabetes, interacting with them
at critical moments when they're seeking advice. With Medicare
reimbursement now tied directly to patient satisfaction, healthcare
providers benefit from a new way to engage local patients. They can also
launch their own branded groups within HelpAround, further boosting
patient recruitment and brand visibility. Examples of branded HelpAround
groups include EsTuDiabetes for the Spanish-speaking diabetes
community and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund of Israel for
Israelis with Type 1 diabetes.
HelpAround welcomes existing local and regional patient communities
looking to expand their mobile presence, including diabetes camps and
university groups, as well as nonprofit organizations and online
communities like EsTuDiabetes, to create groups inside its platform.
The HelpAround user interface is available in English, Spanish, French,
and Hebrew, though users may type in any language. HelpAround plans to
support additional patient communities as it expands; several food
allergy groups are already in Beta within its mobile platform. The app
is available now as a free download in Google
Play and the iTunes
HelpAround is the first 'mobile safety net' for people with diabetes
(PWD), and their friends, family and caregivers, revealing local,
empathetic members of the diabetes patient community to provide a new
layer of support. Patent pending technology continuously updates a
personalized set of nearby, potential diabetes helpers from users'
social graphs, other HelpAround members and public social media streams
to help resolve sudden health crises, such as when people are caught
without essential over-the-counter supplies like blood glucose test
strips. HelpAround's community also crowdsources the best nearby
healthcare services, insurance plans, doctors, pharmacies and retail
opportunities. HelpAround shouldn't replace emergency room or doctor's
office visits, but as the first 'sharing economy' service for consumer
health, it helps alleviate the feelings of extreme loneliness many
members of the PWD community feel by giving them the tools to care for
one another. Healthcare providers, brands and retailers wishing to join
users' conversations within HelpAround, interacting with patients at the
moment they're seeking advice and gaining a new engagement tool, should
they'll also be able to launch branded HelpAround communities, boosting
local patient recruitment and brand visibility. HelpAround is available
from both iTunes
Play. For more information, visit www.helparound.co.
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