Central Indiana nonprofit CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions is launching a tech startup designed to match people who need in-home care with providers who offer the services. The nonprofit says Duett empowers older adults and people of any age with intellectual, developmental or medical disabilities to remain comfortably and safely in their homes and out of institutional care.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, CICOA President Tauhric Brown says the concept for Duett was first created more than two years ago after a challenge was identified in matching consumers with providers in a timely fashion.
Duett is jointly owned by CICOA, Collective Works, an Indianapolis-based venture firm, and two co-founders, Chad Bales and Jonathan Haag, who are also leaders at CICOA.
“I thought there’s got to be a more efficient way to do this,” said Bales. Bales sought the help of Haag, who was CICOA’s digital communications manager. The pair decided what they needed was technology that would function somewhat like a dating app and somewhat like a marketplace app.
Bales, who is a social worker and assistant director of CICOA Flourish Care Management, was looking for a better way to connect clients with home healthcare aides and nurses. With more than 700 home care providers in central Indiana, the nonprofit says care managers often had to resort to “smiling and dialing” to find out which company had the expertise and staff availability to meet the need.
The nonprofit says the former process was time consuming and caused delays in getting clients the help they needed at home. Duett can provide a match for services within 72 hours.
The team received funding for market research and to test applications. The nonprofit partnered with Collective Works, who helped build the business case and product vision for an affiliated, for-profit company that could benefit homecare providers and organizations similar to CICOA throughout the country.
CICOA is Duett’s first client.
“We want to bring solutions to market that will help us further our mission and vision of helping seniors and people with disabilities live as independently as possible,” Brown said. “That doesn’t change for CICOA. What changes is that we’re proactively asking those in the trenches to help us be innovators, so we can improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Brown says Duett is a “game-changer” for CICOA. Since Bales and Haag first began working on the technology solution, CICOA has created an Innovation Studio, with Haag as director, to encourage employees to bring forward their best ideas.
CICOA President Tauhric Brown explains how Duett is helping home care providers in central Indiana.