Electronic Chat with Candice Smith, Founder and CEO, Caregiven
Laura Mazzuca Toops | May 17, 2021
Informal caregivers are unpaid individuals (usually a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor) who assist others with activities of daily living or medical tasks. According to a 2020 AARP report, more than 1 in 5 Americans (21.3%) are unpaid caregivers, providing care to an adult or child with special needs at some time in the past 12 months. This totals an estimated 53.0 million adults in the U.S., up from the estimated 43.5 million caregivers in 2015. Many of these caregivers are involved in end-of-life issues for the person they are caring for.
Caregiven is a Portland, Ore.-based service that provides accessible digital health solutions to family caregivers, guiding them to the support and services they need to spend less time overwhelmed and have more meaningful time with their loved one. Products are designed to decrease caregiver overwhelm, boost confidence in caregiving decisions, and facilitate families having the difficult conversations that, when undiscussed, result in unwanted or unnecessary medical interventions, trust & estate disputes, and long-term depression and complicated grief.
Caregiven’s product focuses on an area that has been considered taboo in the past: end-of-life issues. What was the impetus for you launching the company, and was it something personal?
I founded Caregiven after caring for my dad during his final years, before he died in 2016. Because of the taboo, the fear of talking about dying and death, I found myself isolated and alone, not wanting to burden others as I tried to learn how to be the best informal caregiver I could be for him. Not finding the support I needed -- it was all locked inside the books I didn't have the bandwidth to read or the groups I didn't have the time to participate in -- there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't feel like I was the first daughter to ever be losing her father. I attributed my feeling of being overwhelmed to the absence of a simple digital solution -a maternity/wedding planning/tax preparation experience -- for caregivers. It didn't exist, so I founded Caregiven.
My hope is that Caregiven decreases the stress and overwhelm of caregiving and offers perspective to normalize the care journey.
Your varied background includes involvement in several portfolio companies ranging from a bioscience incubator to a women’s startup lab. How did this experience influence your work with Caregiven?
The Women's Startup Lab and Oregon Bioscience Incubator are programs that Caregiven has been affiliated with on our path to market. Each entity we've affiliated with has been very purposeful. The Women's Startup Lab, where we were one of five companies in a cohort that included founders from Italy, India, and throughout the U.S., focused on empowering me as a female CEO of a tech startup that might wish to raise capital from Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley investors differ widely, and understanding what they look for in a successful startup has been incredibly helpful.
We've participated in niche, non-dilutive programs like CareFactor and Silver Moonshots. These have been focused on aspects of the longevity and aged care markets which Caregiven is a part of. As baby boomers age and more capital is deployed to address their specific needs, it's been beneficial for us to build a reputation and become thought leaders which these programs have facilitated.
The Oregon Bioscience Incubator invited Caregiven to reside in their Digital Health Annex -- which has provided us with both a physical space and access to other founders, mentors, and entrepreneurs-in-residence, and provides considerable perks and resources that we otherwise wouldn't have had access to.
Finally, our participation in the Global Insurance Accelerator was a game-changer for Caregiven. This was our first external capital and the validation that our solution was an innovation that the insurance sector desired.
Caregiven’s services center on a mobile app that connects care partners. Please explain how it works and the technology behind it.
Caring for an aging or ailing loved one can be a long, meandering, and emotional journey. The average caregiver experience in the U.S. is two years. This time is fraught with events that families react to (like a diagnosis or a fall), fears that individuals need to face (the loss of a loved one), and complicated and expensive systems to navigate (healthcare, insurance, financial, legal). Not one of these experiences is singular-- they are all interconnected and tied to one another. Caregiven detangles this to show the connections and to enable proactive, educated care.
I think of Caregiven as a step-by-step experience, like a wedding planning app or tax-preparation software, in which our platform solicits and obtains input from all member of the care circle (those informal caregivers, friends, family, professional caregivers and service providers and the care recipient) into a digital repository so that everyone is on the same "page" and has access to the same information and opportunities to participate.
The technology and magic behind Caregiven is that we leverage technology to help humans be more human. Our chatbot asks questions and uses responses to lead users to the information they seek, without overwhelm. Our platform serves as a hub for communication, sending reminders and storing important information in one vault.
How did you design the specifics of the app, and did you seek input from caregivers to develop it?
When I founded Caregiven I didn't have a solution in mind; I had a pain that needed to be resolved. The beautiful thing about our product is that every aspect of it, from the features in our MVP to the tone of the content, has been determined by caregivers -- those who've participated in our human-centered, user-design processes. This has been led by the amazing team at Particle Design.
Recently I was asked where I want to see my development team in five years. My answer was that every member of Caregiven solves real problems for real caregivers. We don't create features; we develop simple steps to make less complicated the most difficult time in anyone's lives.
Our product roadmap continues to be driven by what our users need and want. We pay close attention to how they are using the app: how they navigate through to get the answers they need. Before we write any code, we create wireframes and conduct feedback sessions. And then we listen, learn, and iterate. It's fascinating to see how a feature is used, beyond its original intention. That enables us to solve real needs.
Caregiven’s staff has deep experience in caregiving in their own personal lives. How is that leveraged to improve the product?
Every member of Caregiven's team has a personal experience with personal caregiving and loss. We talk about content, features, solutions from our lived experience and have developed a product that would have met our individual needs. And we are a very diverse group of individuals who share a common mission: to change the caregiver experience. We use our personal experiences so those who come after us don't have to struggle as we did over the simple things -- like care coordination or completing Medicare forms -- so they can focus on what matters most, the time with their loved one.
As a company, every member of our team has contributed their time and energy without compensation to get our product launched and funding secured. Caregiven has become their life's work.
In the end, we are also a team of humans who sit in shared silence when the overwhelm of our own personal loss surfaces in feedback on our product from a user, or the realization of how our work has manifested in truly helping one another. There have been many times, including the day we launched, that our team sat together and talked about how proud we are of the milestone we achieved, and how we wish we had our loved one with us instead.
How did COVID impact the company?
Prior to COVID, I had to make the case for the importance of supporting informal caregivers; I had to speak about caregivers in market size and dollars spent. I don't need to do that anymore. Loss, grief, and the fear of not being able to care for a loved one when they most need it are part of the national conversation.
What are your plans for the company for the next year? For the next five years?
When I founded Caregiven, I set out to prove a few things. One, that the best way to support informal caregivers is to guide them on a care journey that honors the emotional stage they are in and aligns activity and resources to meet them where they are at. Second, that Gen-X and millennials are more likely to accept and action guidance received via an app or non-human interaction than they are from being told what they should do. And third, that to truly help all humans, we need to deliver culturally safe guidance that goes beyond translating into another language but honors the specific cultures and dynamics present. We will be launching our product in Australia later this year as a next step in accomplishing this.
We are well on our way to proving these things and will continue to do so over the next year. We also intend to prove that the best way to reach informal caregivers is through their existing trusted relationships. By that I mean caregivers ask for help from their lawyer, doctor, accountant, insurance broker, faith leader. And while these individuals can help with a specific aspect, they have a unique opportunity to offer Caregiven, under their brand name, to support the entirety of their client's experience.
For the next five years, our goal is to get Caregiven into the hands of those who need it, when they need it, without friction. We plan to exit by acquisition to a partner who can help us achieve that on a global scale.
- Prince Charles, Lloyd's Launch Sustainability Insurance Task Force
- UFCIC Becomes First U.S. Insurer to Accept Cryptocurrency for Premium Payments
- Electronic Chat with Ty Harris, Co-Founder, Openly Insurance
- The Insurance Industry’s Reliance on Friction: A Good Strategy?
- Loss Control, Premium Audit Systems Critical to Customer Experience, Celent Finds
- What's AI-Right and AI-Wrong?
- The Drive for Digital
- Electronic Chat with Candice Smith, Founder and CEO, Caregiven
- Electronic Chat with Nestor Hugo Solari, Founder/CEO, Sigo
- The Giant Hole in Actuarial Models
- Electronic Chat with Trent Cooksley, COO and Co-Founder, Cowbell Cyber
- The ITA Pro March/April 2021 issue is here!
- Purchasing and Innovation: Friends or Enemies?
- COVID Drives More Reliance on Risk Management Systems, New Study Finds
- Electronic Chat with Robert Clark, CEO, Cloverleaf Analytics
- Solving Customer Communications Challenges with Hybrid Mail
- Six Trends Shaping Digital Insurance Tech Strategies in 2021
- Billing a Key Component of Customer Service, Celent Finds
- Why Data Science Fails
- Electronic Chat with Andrew Jernigan, CEO, and Allen Koski, President and Chief Innovation Officer, Insured Nomads
- Electronic Chat with Allison Martin, CEO and Founder, UDoTest
- Are Carriers Ready for the Coming Crash?
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Moore, Director for North American Sales Engineering and Solutions, Trifacta
- Next Insurance Partners with Amazon Business Prime to Provide Small Businesses with Affordable Digital Insurance Options
- An AI Walks Into an Electronics Store...
- InsurTech NY Announces Global Early-Stage Competition Winners
- World’s Worst County/Western Insurtech Song
- Electronic Chat with Anne-Laure Klein, COO, Akur8
- COVID-19 One Year Later: The Digital Transformation of Insurance
- Electronic Chat with Michael Kassing, CEO/CVO, insured.io
- BrokerTech Ventures Announces 2021 Cohort Class for Accelerator
- An Entirely Preventable Disaster
- Flipping the Fraud Triangle
- The January/February ITA Pro Magazine is here!
- Credit Risk, ESG, Cybersecurity Top Risk Concerns for Financial Institutions, Deloitte Finds
- Electronic Chat with Ellen Moser, Senior Client Executive, Origami Risk LLC
- The Answer to “So What?”
- Leaders Rise from a Year Like No Other!
- Electronic Chat with Jonathan Roomer, Co-Founder, YuLife
- Getting Creative to Hit COVID Curveballs Out of the Park
- Electronic Chat with Eugenio Gonzalez, Plug and Play
- New Report Projects Global Insurtech to Grow by $21 Billion During 2020-2024
- The 2020 Virtual Event Wasteland
- Insurtechs, Investors Optimistic About Post-COVID Future, New DIA/McKinsey Study Finds
- Finding Grandmas
- No Code / Low Code: The New “Shortest Route” In Insurance Delivery
- Are You Addicted to Copy-and-Paste?
- Electronic Chat with Nino Tarantino, CEO- Americas, Insurance and Mobility Solutions (IMS)
- Driving Life Insurance:Tech Alone Won’t Solve Business Problems
- Electronic Chat with Robin Roberson, Managing Director, North America, Claim Central Consolidated
- How Do You Make It Happen?
- Electronic Chat with Jason Liu, CEO, Zywave
- New Partnership Models Take Program Business to the Next Level
- New Study Finds Less than Half of Consumers Trust Insurers to Respond to Their Needs
- Electronic Chat with Andrew Mauritzen, CFO and Head of Insurance Industry, Exactuals
- You Want Us To Do WHAT For Free?
- Electronic Chat with Evgeny Aleksandrov, Co-founder and CEO, Pilotbird
- Electronic Chat with Chris Cheatham, CEO, RiskGenius
- New MIT Sloan Study Finds Few Companies Gain Big Benefits from AI
- The September/October ITA Pro magazine is here!
- “Being Right” is Just the Start of the Battle
- Electronic Chat with Amit Ranjan, Executive VP and CAO, Xceedance
- Planning for Your Business and Tech Future: Strategies, Plans and Budgets for Rapid Transformation
- Electronic Chat with Jimmy Padia, Founder and CEO, Floatbot
- Gelato with Dots and Sprinkles
- COVID-19 and the Insurtech “Junk Drawer”
- Even “Change” is Different Now. Your Strategic Planning Needs to Be Too.
- The Road Ahead for P&C Insurers: How to Understand Customers Better and Navigate the Post-COVID Insurance Market
- Electronic Chat with Jake Tamarkin, Co-founder and CEO, Everyday Life
- Strategic Planning in the “New Normal” Digital Era of Insurance – Your Next Move
- Insurer Tech Investment Priorities See Major Shift in a Post-COVID World
- Plug and Play Selects 25 Insurtech Startups for Winter Batches
- Digital Transformation – A Top Strategic Priority and New Reality
- Four Steps to Successful Migration of Insurance CCM Applications
- COVID-19 Accelerates Insurance Digitalization to Meet Customer Demand: World InsurTech Report 2020
- Electronic Chat with Greg Williams, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Acrisure
- Electronic Chat with Matt Perlman, Partner, IA Capital Group
- Insurer Digitalization: Are you a Competitor or a Laggard?
- Leaders are Leading and Creating the Future of Insurance Distribution
- 3 Things You Need to Know About No-Code
- Electronic Chat with Adam Kiefer, CEO, Talage
- Underwriting in 3D: Using Data to Adapt and Improve Life Insurance Sales
- Getting Past the "Gelato Syndrome"
- Insurers Know CX/UX is Important, but Don't Agree on Execution, Study Finds
- Electronic Chat with Steve Lekas, Branch Insurance
- How AI Can Attract Millennial Talent to the Insurance Industry
- Preventing Data Breaches
- A New Boom for Life Insurance: Shifting Away from the 250-Year-Old Policy Transaction
- Electronic Chat with Ty Harris, Founder and CEO, Openly
- A Digital Wildfire Creates a Burning Platform for Digital Insurance Business Transformation
- Digitalization, COVID-19 Spurring More IT Investment in Cybersecurity
- Electronic Chat with Michael DeGusta, CEO, ClarionDoor
- U.S. Consumers Significantly Underestimate Flood Risk, New Survey Finds
- The Future of Insurance: Opportunities in Ecosystems
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum, CEO, Input 1
- Majesco to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo
- The Evolving Role of Managing General Agencies
- Electronic Chat with Char Hu
- Electronic Chat with Allan L. Egbert, Jr.
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Tramontano and Zbigniew Gawienczuk
- Data Science is Gelato
- Insurance Innovation: Alive and Kicking
- Independent Agents Divided on Digital Experience, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Michael Jones
- Electronic Chat with Paul VanderMarck
- As Auto Insurance Premiums Shrink, Insurers Need Mobility Ecosystem, New Study Finds
- Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds
- Electronic Chat with Bobbie Shrivastav
- Meet the Board: Marissa Buckley
- Big Data and Insurtech: A Carrier Perspective
- Traditional Insurers Need Open Ecosystems, Partnerships to Remain Competitive, CapGemini Report Finds
- Electronic Chat with John C. Siegman
- 4 Ways AI is Empowering Insurers During COVID-19
- 6 Big Changes to Insurance from the COVID-19 Crisis
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Ewing
- Independent Agency Staff Morale High During COVID-19, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Brad Epker
- Tapping AI to Improve Policyholder Experience
- Electronic Chat with Manisha Bhargava
- ITA Pro Magazine, March/April 2020
- COVID-19 a Game Changer for Workers’ Comp
- Electronic Chat with Steve Comer
- COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of ITA LIVE 2020
- Leveraging Digital Resources in the Time of COVID-19
- Electronic Chat with Robert Hartwig on COVID-19 and Insurance
- Celent Study: Most Small Businesses Still Unclear on Importance of Cyber Insurance
- The January/February 2020 ITA Pro is here!
- Deloitte: New C-Suite Roles Mean More Opportunities for Women
- Electronic Chat with Pankaj Parashar
- Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
- Electronic Chat with Chuck Wilson
- ITA, InsNerds Collaborate to Enhance ITA LIVE 2020 Content and Coverage
- How SMBs Can Compete in Digital Ecosystems in the 2020s
- 4 Ways Insurance Can Prepare for New Data Privacy Laws
- Brewer Lane Ventures Launches and Hires Insurtech Vet Martha Notaras as Managing Partner
- 2020 GIA Cohort Launches on January 14
- The November/December 2019 ITA Pro is here!
- Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
- Electronic Chat with Wendy Aarons-Corman
- Simplifying the Move to a Third-party Print Provider
- Take a Business-Driven Approach to Continuous Improvement for Core Systems and Processes
- Electronic Chat with Ron Glozman
- Guidewire’s Data Guru Mike Byam on How Insurers are Using Internal and Third-Party Data
- Electronic Chat with Russ Bostick
- Electronic Chat with Rock Schindler
- Electronic Chat with John Siegman
- Electronic Chat with Martin Burlingame
- Insurtech Landscape 2019: Top 5 Takeaways
- Grinnell Mutual Tackles Massive Transformation -- in Stride
- A Candid Conversation with Paul Mang
- SageSure Insurance Managers Improved Competitiveness by Consolidating Payments to a Single Digital Platform
- Digital Does Matter in Insurance-- And Insurers are Missing the Mark
- The 22nd-Century Insurer: Taking a Cloud-First IT Approach
- The September/October 2019 issue of ITA PRO magazine is now available in digital format here:
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Synergy Between Insurers' IT and Analytics Teams Key to Operationalizing Insights, Says Novarica
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Digital Insurance Platform Honeycomb Launches with $3.3 Mil Raise
- Kin Insurance Bolsters Leadership Team
- Accenture Makes Strategic Investment in Digital Payments Company Imburse
- Integrity Adds Montalto United Insurance Agency to its Partners
- Analytics Provider Arturo Taps Strategic New Hires
- Claims Management Platform handdii Raises $3M
- Mark Cuban Joins dClimate as Investor and Strategic Advisor
- SafeAuto Improves Customer with Successful insured.io Implementation
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2020
ITA LIVE 2020 –SAVE THE DATE!
April 5th – 7th, 2020
The Diplomat Resort
Become a member today to receive updates – www.itapro.org/MR
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE