In a new feature, we are offering called Expert Interviews, we are reaching out to local individuals that we consider experts in the field of senior care and interviewing them.  Each month we will offer a new interview with a new expert.  We will provide their background and talk about issues that are important to them so that we can learn more about how to best provide and increase awareness of care for our seniors.

This month we are interviewing Ken Accardi, who is the CEO of ‎Ankota, a company that offers healthcare delivery management solutions, located in Boston, MA.

Let’s get into it!

Expert Interviews Presents: Ken Accardi

Tell us about your background and how you became part of the senior care industry?

As a child, I spent a good amount of time in hospitals (orthopedic issues) and was always interested in healthcare.  I grew up in my career at GE Healthcare but then left healthcare for a few years (I worked for a company that makes the maps for GPS navigation).  I came back to healthcare as an entrepreneur and saw elderly care as a great opportunity to make a big impact.

How does your company help the community and how does this connect with your passions about senior care?

My company, Ankota, is focused on simplifying care delivery so that care providers can focus on giving care and can let us deal with scheduling, tracking, and billing.  My broader passion is about avoiding preventable hospitalizations.  To that end, we provide software for reducing readmissions and a new product that uses interactive voice response to call patients and ask about the symptoms that might be leading towards a hospitalization (and alerts their home care providers if there’s an issue).

You offer software for different types of companies in the senior care field. Please explain more about what you offer.

Our main products are software for managing home care and software for managing transitions of care.  But our broader vision is to help anyone focused on preventing avoidable hospitalizations.  To that end, we’ve implemented other functions.  As an example, we have a customer who provides dental care in nursing homes (where good oral care is proven to avoid admissions).

Ken Accardi

What do you feel the most important steps are when families are looking for care for their aging loved ones?

I’ve worked with a lot of home care agencies and seen some very different approaches.  One of the most prestigious and expensive agencies I’ve worked with has tons of office staff and overhead and very complicated billing rules.  By contrast, one of the most affordable agencies I’ve worked with has an owner who hires and trains every caregiver and emphasizes training for avoiding falls.  The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t judge based on how fancy the office is.  The first questions I would ask are 1) how they train their caregivers, 2) how they can choose the best caregivers for my mom, and 3) How do you keep me in the loop on my mom’s care.

How do you see technology helping or hurting the senior care industry?  

 I spend a lot of time with young innovators and entrepreneurs from places like MIT where they have wonderful devices and ideas for monitoring our senior community members.  They don’t seem to understand that many of the seniors who need the most care don’t use apps and blue tooth and may not even access the Internet regularly.  In general, I’m a strong believer that technology can make life better, but most of the innovation seems to be targeted at our younger healthier iPhone using seniors who are generally pretty healthy.

Are there any other companies in the technology/health field you find interesting or suggest people check out?

Ankota has partnered with Triple AIM Technologies to provide a solution that reduces hospitalization, reduces care delivery costs and can generate referrals for home care businesses.  I expect that this will have a significant impact.
Are there any special events, programs, seminars, or online tools available you want people aware of?
I subscribe to Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology Report and Laurie Orlov’s Aging in Place Tech Report.  We’re also proud of what we share in the Ankota blog.

Wrapping It Up

Many thanks to Ken Accardi for taking the time to answer the questions we had for him.  If you have a moment, view his website and click on the links in the above paragraph.  You will be sure to find a lot of great information and tools that will be able to help you find great information to guide you through the process of caregiving for someone.