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Bethlehem Startup Provides Online Marketplace for In-Home Health Services

By Colin McEvoy on December 19, 2018

Carenade co-founders Jordan Kapper and Rebecca Bradford outside the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem.

Carenade co-founders Jordan Kapper and Rebecca Bradford outside the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem. (photo courtesy Carenade)

Three years ago, while working as an ER doctor, Jordan Kapper was admitting a man in his 90s for a serious upper respiratory infection. When asked the patient and his elderly wife who takes care of them at home, they responded that they take care of each other.

They each had their own infirmities, and they lacked a plan for who would care for them if the other got sick or died. When Kapper shared this story later with his wife, Rebecca Bradford, it prompted an idea which ultimately led them to create Carenade Health.

This startup company, an online marketplace for in-home health services, is one of the newest resident companies at Ben Franklin TechVentures, the Bethlehem business incubator operated by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP).

“I have seen many older patients return to the ER because they don’t have access to proper care at home,” said Kapper, who is CEO of Carenade Health and co-founder along with Bradford, he former marketing director of At Home Certified Senior Health.

“After being discharged from the hospital, seniors often lack the ability to get prescriptions filled, have proper meals prepared, and receive other assistance at home,” he said. “They and their loved ones look for help online, but get confused sorting through dozens of home health care companies that offer both medical and non-medical care. I founded Carenade to address these problems.”

Carenade is the latest resident company at the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem.

Carenade is the latest resident company at the Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator in Bethlehem.

Carenade is an online marketplace for in-home healthcare services. Families often find it difficult to find the best home health agency for their loved ones. Carenade is creating an easy-to-use and time-efficient online tool through which consumers can compare prices, read reviews, and purchase in-home healthcare services for themselves or their loved ones.

Carenade Health received a $100,000 investment from the BFTP/NEP in July. The company moved into Ben Franklin TechVentures in August. In addition to moving into TechVentures, the company recently launched its new website.

Providing health care to older people at home is far less costly than in a nursing home, and the vast majority of elderly individuals prefer to remain home as long as possible, Kapper said. Carenade seeks to make healthcare more transparent by providing a clear comparison matrix for home healthcare shoppers, similar to what Trivago does for travel, he said.

The platform also educates users on topics related to their loved one’s needs, for example the difference between medical and nonmedical help, and on navigating payments through Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurances.

Through direct phone interactions, Carenade staff can inform and champion on behalf of patients, Kapper said, and through its “Share the Care” feature, users can request and manage family members’ financial contributions to elderly home care more conveniently and comfortably through the platform.

BFTP/NEP helps early-stage technology companies and established manufacturers translate innovation into commercial success and economic prosperity. It recently announced the approval of $220,000 in support of regional economic development.

The organization creates and retains highly paid, sustainable jobs by investing in and linking companies with experts, universities, follow-on funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation.

TechVentures brings together entrepreneurs, a large network of experienced advisors and investors, and Lehigh faculty and students to accelerate the growth of the region’s technology economy.

The incubator’s staff provide resident companies with management guidance, business planning, strategic planning, and marketing counsel, and connections to follow-on funders and assistance with funding presentations.

More than 40 firms have called TechVentures home in 2018, employing as many as 170 people. In addition to Carenade, one of its most recent resident companies was HootBoard, which has developed a digital concierge platform, providing informative hardware and software in public places the way smartphones provide information in the palm of a user’s hand.

Ben Franklin TechVentures opened a new West Wing expansion last year, allowing BFTP/NEP to build on its history as a “job creation factory” by accommodating accelerating needs for incubator space that fuels economic growth.

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