Entrepreneur Scotte Hudsmith is launching Parental Health LLC and is about a month away from approaching investors for capital.
Hudsmith, most recently executive vice president at Passport Health Communications, told VNC in a recent interview that Parental employs technology to help seniors “age in place,” by surrounding themselves with the company’s touchscreen-centered services in their own homes.
Hudsmith explained the rough economy has meant many seniors have a tough time buying their way into retirement communities and assisted living, because market conditions make it difficult or impossible to get sufficient cash from the sale of their primary residences.
Hudsmith, age 45, said Parental’s computer-based services and records portal is branded, “Misty.” The name, he said, is not only an acronym for “Medical Information Systems to You,” but also serves as a way to personalize or humanize the presence of the “companion” service in the customer’s home, Hudsmith noted.
Hudsmith indicated he was reluctant to discuss capital needs until he gives a final test to his software in about two weeks and “nails down” his business plan. However, he said one scenario calls for raising an initial $2 million as part of a longer-term $5 million commitment based on achieving milestones.
Hudsmith said he, personally, has been bootstrapping the costs of Misty software development, which has been intensely underway for about four months, and in-the-works longer than that. Development is being handled by eMids Technologies, the Nashville-based technology company with an offshore headquarters in Bangalore, India.
Discussing his business model, Hudsmith said he believes healthcare sponsors, insurance payers and others in key markets will represent substantial sources of revenue for Parental, on top of subscriptions.
Subscriptions will range “between $199 and $299 per month,” he said, “depending on the hardware device” Parental ultimately decides to offer (talks are underway with Hewlett Packard, Dell and others); and, whether the customer buys their Internet connection through Parental, or already has one installed in the home.
Hudsmith said he has begun scouting for talent to fill several C-suite posts in the startup organization, but has not made any commitments, thus far. Depending on the pace of Parental’s development, Hudsmith said he could retain CEO responsibility or could move after launch to position himself as founder-chairman.
Hudsmith has been working on Parental since it surfaced as his top candidate venture, after exploring several others after leaving Passport, last July. Prior to Passport, Hudsmith was president of LBMC Technologies and has held CEO, COO, CFO, accountant and other posts with companies as diverse as Deloitte and Syngistics, an IT services provider.
Citing his “passion” for improving healthcare, Hudsmith told VNC he believes Misty will help reduce healthcare delivery costs, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction and preserve seniors’ assets.
The 9-button Misty portal connects elderly users and caregivers with one touch to a Parental call center, as well as to a network of friends and family, to SMS/texting capabilities, a Parental webpage, e-mail and a seeming myriad of other immediate and longer-term services.
In addition, touchscreen features and tools include a health monitor than enables checking blood pressure, pulse and other biometrics, via devices linked with simple USB connections.
Other features include emergency alerts; a pill box feature to help ensure compliance with medication prescriptions; access to personal health records; ordering and inventorying specific supplies; recording daily activities; and, connections with social services ranging from exercise instruction, and faith-based services, to social groups and partitioned family connections.
Features include a Family Legacy section of the system, through which seniors and their families may record oral histories and preserve videos of stories told and lessons learned over a lifetime.
Parental’s call center staff, Hudsmith said, can respond to customers’ calls by asking triage questions, dispatching nurses or ambulances, and setting medical appointments and other tasks. The touchscreen user interface has design features tailored to older users, including reminders or alarms that are both auditory and visual.
Hudsmith said Parental’s business plan currently calls for Parental to install and support the technology in homes, although the broadband will be provided by local service providers.
The Parental touchscreen devices and all services, he said, have been designed with full consideration of security, privacy, control and other concerns very much in mind.