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DUOS bags $15M for reinventing elderly care

DUOS elderly care
Image credits: DUOS

DUOS, the digital health company promising to increase the longevity and independence of older adults has just closed its Series A round that sought to raise $15M. The funding was led by Imaginary Ventures, along with participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Declaration Partners, and new investor Optum Ventures.

“Imaginary is incredibly excited to partner with the DUOS team to empower ageing adults,” explained Kelly Dill, Partner, Imaginary Ventures. “We have always been hyper-focused on solving consumer problems, and DUOS is working to solve one of the biggest of our generation.”

A shortage of caregivers

A caregiver crisis has been steadily affecting the elderly in recent years. Firstly, approximately 10,000 American adults are turning 65+ each day. In fact, it is expected that the entire Baby Boomer generation will be over age 65 by 2030, implying that 1 in 5 Americans will be of retirement age. Statistically, 51% of older adults have at least one unmet fundamental social need around areas such as transportation, housing, or food. These problems will only increase as the older adult demographic grows

The number of unpaid family caregivers in the US increased by nearly 10M people between 2015 and 2020 to 54M. DUOS is helping solve the heavy lifting, taking a significant portion of the burden of these caregivers, who often are part of the “Sandwich Generation,” taking care of both young children and ageing parents.

The DUOS “System of Aging”

DUOS is addressing these problems with its unique “System of Aging.” The System of Aging employs a mix of tech and the human touch to link older adults and their caretakers to a network of service providers that helps members with their social needs, care navigation needs, and physical ageing needs. As a result, the System of Ageing can enable older adults to receive transportation, food delivery, healthcare appointments and a multitude of additional services.

Through interpersonal communication and technology, DUOS can identify and addresses the individual needs of older adults by leveraging Medicare benefits, trusted partners, and local service providers. Every member is also assigned a “Duo,” who is a dedicated person responsible for providing companionship, facilitating the System and making sure tasks are complete.

Older adults have been increasingly using technology, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, DUOS is in the process of building an easy-to-use app that can anticipate member needs and connect to the members’ caregiving circle. The app will streamline communication and task management, tapping into a curated marketplace of partners for everyday needs. Members will as well have the option of communicating with their Duo in person, over the phone, or via the app.

Empowering older adults

DUOS was founded in 2020 by Anne Marie Aponte, Jacques Anderson, Karl Ulfers and Kristen Lynch, with the aim of supporting fulfilling lives for elderly adults by providing personal assistants to help older adults age more independently.

DUOS  has already partnered with health insurance plans including Magellan Healthcare, Geisinger Health Plan, and other national and regional payors and providers in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Georgia.  To make DUOS more accessible to people, the company plans to announce additional partnerships in 2022.

The New-York based company intends to use its Series A funding to drive technology advancements and hire in a bid to support the company’s aggressive growth plans.

“This investment milestone is significant for DUOS as it allows us to power new technology that will enhance everyday experiences for older adults and their caregivers,” remarked Karl Ulfers, CEO and Co-Founder of DUOS. “The world is short on people, and this technology will help scale our services to millions of individuals across the country.”

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