Over the past 20 years, the healthcare ecosystem in the United States has transformed how we search, utilize, and pay for care. From texting with nurses during emergencies to speaking with physicians in your first language virtually, and even to robust at-home prescription medication delivery services. As healthcare has evolved, one function of the healthcare ecosystem continues to be the most underfunded, under-appreciated, and fragmented: services for individuals with disabilities. This population continues to be underserved as little has changed since the enactment of the American Disabilities Act in 1990.
At the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), whose sole job it is to develop and test innovative health care payment and care models, no effort has been made to innovate the models of care for individuals with disability needs. And, in 2021, less than 1% of the $500Bn+ spent by venture capital firms backed startups that focused on the improvement or, at minimum, maintenance of quality of life for those living with physical disabilities.
More than 61 million people in America live with a disability, and many individuals and families struggle to understand how to best support this population. This is issue is compounded by the growth of the U.S. aging population. The U.S. Census data projects that by 2035, a third of U.S. households will be headed by someone aged 65 or older, and 20% of U.S. citizens will be over the age of 65. Today, the fastest growing age group in the U.S. are those 85 years and older.
An addressable need of both populations is personalized, accessible housing. To us, appropriate housing is a form of preventative care. The average American spends 62% of their waking time at home. Today, the U.S. does not have the accessible housing stock to meet the needs of its population with disabilities nor those aging with physical disabilities. Specifically, there is a housing stock deficit of 9MM households that are “livable to people with moderate difficulties.” As the U.S. population ages over the next two decades and citizens choose to remain in their current housing situations, this will result in a supply-demand gap for accessible housing never seen in modern human history. This will result in an increased need for home retrofitting and improvement spending to meet the daily needs of an aging population and growing population with disability needs.
Who am I?
I’ve seen firsthand how the U.S. healthcare system has failed individuals with disabilities. After spending nearly, a decade in academia teaching and researching the topics of healthcare disparities and metabolic diseases, I spent time the last eight years leading product development at some of the most successful venture capital backed healthcare startups (e.g., Truven Health Analytic, Evolent Health, and Bright Health) to recently leading U.S. business development at the world’s largest dialysis provider, DaVita. My experiences have given me a front row seat into how healthcare works and doesn’t work, more specifically who it is not serving. One thing remains clear: we can no longer ignore or delay our investments in this growing and often overlooked population.
Rose is a platform for individuals with physical disabilities and seniors to connect with certified home modification providers (“providers”) to complete home remodeling projects. With Rose, individuals will be able to search providers, design in the platform, schedule and monitor projects, pay on the platform, build community, and purchase other accessibility goods/services. For providers, Rose will serve as a conduit for your digital business and will offer dynamic capabilities including online payments, cost estimators, video chat, invoice/billing support, multilingual customer support, and more.
I fully recognize the tall task in this effort. I understand the fragmented nature of the home improvement market, the trust needed to be built with various communities, and the difficulties of starting a business from scratch. However, when I think about the future, I cannot sit back and ignore a problem staring me straight in the face. When I think about the arch of life, at some point, whether it’s short-term, long-term, or permanently, we will experience a form of a disability. So, we’re building Rose not only for the many people who currently need this product, but also for you. This is for your family members, your neighbors, your coworkers, and anyone who may need help fully accessing all parts of life.
I hope you join me on this journey making the world accessible, always
CEO and Co-Founder