Electronic Chat with Char Hu
Laura Mazzuca Toops | July 16, 2020
Electronic Chat with Char Hu
CEO, The Helper Bees
The Helper Bees is the first and only company to use data analytics to help long-term care practitioners deliver intelligent interventions. The company utilizes innovative technology to help long-term care providers reduce costs and improve outcomes by providing real-time data from the home.
You have an impressive background in gerontology, including member of the board of directors of the Texas Alzheimer's Association and on various eldercare boards and associations. How did insurance and insurtech come into your life?
It’s a long, convoluted, made-for-TV story. I started my career as a research scientist (my doctorate is in molecular biophysics). While I was completing my thesis using supercomputers to study protein folding, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. So, I left the academic research world and transitioned into founding Alzheimer’s and dementia facilities and a Medicare home health agency in my late 20s. Through the experience of founding companies in long-term care services, I realized that the current home care model was incapable of meeting the demands of the millions of Americans who would need it. This included a poor customer experience in the way that care is delivered and the interaction with the payer source. That’s why we founded The Helper Bees.
The first payer market we wanted to focus on was long-term care insurance but realized that there were many others with similar challenges; including workers’ compensation and disability insurance. From high costs, poor models of care delivery for claimants, and inability to access on-demand data. Now, I’m a huge convert to the awesome possibilities of innovation in the insurance industry. I’ve even written about how I think the next generation models for aging-in-place will come out of the LTC claims insurance side.
How long ago was Helper Bees started, and what was the impetus for its launch?
We launched The Helper Bees in 2016, by going through a renowned tech accelerator program, Techstars. It was an opportunity for our unique founding team to apply all of our expertise toward an intractable problem that we were all passionate about solving. The founders and I are this strange amalgamation of engineering, data science and long-term care experts.
COVID-19 has hit hard in nursing homes and among the elderly. How are Helper Bees helping to mitigate the crisis?
I’ve written a little bit about how the current pandemic is providing the push for carriers, consumers, and innovators to think through how we can decentralize care. This includes medical and long-term care. The push away from the centralized hub of care, like institutions, back toward the home is an important goal; it’s ultimately what all claimants want. The infrastructure to do this effectively isn’t in place yet. We’re trying to help in a number of ways.
First, our model for home care puts the control back in the claimant’s hand to decide on who provides care. Also, it intrinsically provides a lower infection risk when compared to other modes of long-term care. From a statistical perspective, reducing the number of caregivers who provide care reduces the probability of transmission.
Second, we quickly accelerated the launch of our virtual nursing assessments product. Through a virtual assessment with a nurse, carriers can continue to offer their assessments for both underwriting and claims, while eliminating the risk of infection. It is also more convenient for the claimant. We pair this with our digital nursing assessment app, and now we are able to deliver unprecedented digital insights to our carrier partners. We are seeing interest among many other insurance products for this technology, including life.
Finally, building off the big push for on-demand services that our world is moving toward, we expanded the capabilities of our virtual nursing assessments and now provide virtual care management services with our care concierges. This is highlighted in our large partnership launch with CNA Insurance.
Helper Bees recently aligned with CNA on its “The View from Home” program to help its long-term care policyholders age in place. How did the deal come about, and how specifically will it work?
This was a really exciting program to build out. You would be hard pressed to find a more thoughtful, conscientious and innovative team than the LTC Claims team at CNA, led by John Palmer. We were collaborating on a few other projects (digital invoicing and caregiver matching), and John brought us in to have a brainstorming session. The goal was to find where they should deliver a transformative claimant experience while preserving benefits for their claimants. No idea was too small or big. The View from Home program is what came out of it.
It’s easy to think that because we had a hand in crafting the rough outline of the program, that we were a shoo-in to win the deal. We weren’t. The team still put us through a very rigorous due diligence process, so much so that I didn’t think we would get the deal. Once we did, the real work began. The collaboration with the CNA team on messaging, content, and approach has been invaluable. We have been working with their team for months to get this right.
I’ll write about this soon, but the ambitiousness and thoughtfulness of this program when it comes to the breadth of services and data analysis is going to change the world.
Are there other insurers you’re planning to partner with?
We work with 13 major insurance carriers in both long-term care and workers’ compensation products, yet we are still growing rapidly. We’ve recently increased the size of our company by fivefold in just about 5 weeks so our expectation is to continue to expand our services and technologies into many other major carriers.
America’s senior population is rapidly growing. What do you see as the future for eldercare in the U.S., and where does Helper Bees fit?
The current focus of the aging-in-place industry is on building a more connected, seamless, and technology-driven experience. While this is a critical goal, we need to ensure that the human component is heavily integrated into the design of products in order to create a better model of care.
We are already taking steps to be the central hub of everything it takes to remain at home. To this end, our goal is to be the human API for the home -- where all new devices route through The Helper Bees are selected to deliver service to the care recipient, because ultimately you will need a fantastic person in the home to realize the full potential of all this new aging-in-place technology.
Long-term care insurance is sometimes a difficult sell for insurers. What message should they be conveying to underline the importance of this coverage?
That carriers have a very unique opportunity to be the guide of an entire generation of us who are embarking on our own aging-in-place journey. Through the sheer numbers and dataset that carriers have at their fingertips, they know how to do this well. This places a societal necessity on carriers to innovate.
What aspect of your job are you most passionate about?
Connecting multiple and disparate disciplines into a product experience that is so seamless and effective, that the end user has no idea what is happening behind the scene. They are just grateful for the outcome.
- 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
- CannGen Insurance Services Automates Commercial Rate-Quote-Bind with insured.io
- Zywave Acquires Workers' Comp Software Firm Modgic,
- Guidewire Announces Cortina Release Introducing New Integration Framework
- LTCG, Assured Allies Team Up on Independent Aging Solutions
- Root Inc. Welcomes Christine Patrick as VP, Investor Relations
- BrokerTech Ventures Welcomes Three Industry-Leading Partners
- Global Insurance Symposium Announces Event Headliners
- Insurtech Ethos Secures $200 Million Investment Round; Valuation Exceeds $2 Billion
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
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