Caring for a sick, aging or dying loved one is not easy, yet millions of Americans do it. CareSolver, a Web-based tool developed by the Harvard Innovation Lab, is attempting to relieve some of the stress and burnout experienced by caregivers by organizing, coordinating and managing care plans.
Caregivers fill out an online questionnaire about their loved one's condition and needs. The Web tool then produces a care plan with recommendations from a team of clinical professionals.
Many of the recommendations are nonclinical. For example, caregivers can minimize the risk of falls by removing throw rugs from the house and installing wall-to-wall carpeting, says Shana Hoffman, one of CareSolver's creators and an MBA student at Harvard Business School. Each recommendation comes with instructions and how-to videos.
The tool also can help locate service providers and keep tabs on appointments with a shareable calendar. Caregivers can remotely view readings from medical devices, such as blood sugar and blood pressure monitors; CareSolver will send caregivers an alert if it notes a problem. Multiple caregivers can access the tool to share information, create to-do lists and assign tasks.
While CareSolver is currently available only through a Web interface, its creators say a mobile/smartphone/tablet application is under development.