Friday, November 12, 2021
Digital Health’s Newest Unicorn Provides Lonely People With A ‘Family On Demand’
More than a quarter of the U.S. population—and 28% of seniors—live alone. Social isolation can create serious health effects like raising the risk of heart disease or stroke, which is estimated to cost the federal government $6.7 billion a year.
Andrew Parker's grandfather needed help with groceries and rides to doctors appointments, but Parker was unavailable to help his grandfather with these tasks. Parker decided to turn to Facebook, on which he posted, "Who wants to be a pal to my PaPa?"
Since that post several years ago, Parker has been helping seniors and low-income families "get access to companionship and help around the house as the cofounder and CEO of PaPa—and it's being reimbursed by insurers."
In describing what the company's purpose is Parker stated, "We drive you to the doctor. We help you around the house. We teach you these computers. We engage you with your health. We take you on walks."
Papa is contracted with more than 65 health plans to send what the company calls "PaPa Pals" into people's homes. However, PaPa is not limited to seniors, as the company also works with Medicaid Plans for low-income families and with employers as a benefit for family caregivers.
See Katie Jennings, Digital Health’s Newest Unicorn Provides Lonely People With A ‘Family On Demand’, Forbes, November 4, 2021.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.