When patients transition their care to another service provider, navigating the healthcare industry can be both time-consuming and burdensome. The modern transition-of-care industry is bogged by outdated and inefficient tools that not only cost hospitals money, but also can delay potentially life-saving treatment for patients. Now, the award-winning Cincinnati startup RE-Assist is changing the market with a digital health platform designed to streamline the transition-of-care process to provide more clarity for patients, hospitals and other service providers like nonprofits and insurance companies.
“We’re replacing the paper list directory with a digital health platform that serves as a knowledge tool for case managers to help patients transition through care,” said Ashley Barrow, founder and CEO of RE-Assist. “The current transition-of-care model is a $41.3 billion problem and our technology-based solution will address that by expediting the referral process, increasing utilization between providers and decreasing length of inpatient hospital stays, all of which reduces cost.”
Finding the wide variety of pertinent information while transitioning care can be overwhelming. That’s why RE-Assist also saves time by consolidating all of the necessary information for patients, case managers and service providers alike into one, single platform.
“When you’re transitioning care, you’re really just trying to find a solution that is both affordable and applicable to your insurance,” Barrow said. “With our platform, you’re able to get all those care options and their relevant information within seconds. It will be faster, easier to navigate, ADA-accessible and will empower patients to take control of their care, while reducing readmission and mortality rates in the long-term as well.”
From her professional career as a case manager, Barrow was already well-versed in navigating the complexities of the healthcare industry. But when her sister was diagnosed with an end-stage kidney disease and developed a blood infection that required her to transition care, time was critical in that her sister’s vital organs were going to shut down if she didn’t get to the right place. So when they chose a rehabilitation clinic from a paper list directory that instead turned out to be for end-of-life planning care, Barrow decided it was time to take the issue of modernizing the industry into her own hands.
“I knew I could figure out a way to do this better and so my son, who was 11 at the time, actually helped me develop the first Minimum Viable Product of the platform, which got us accepted into a few accelerator programs to support our fundraising efforts,” Barrow said. “Now we’ve made our first beta and are looking for a hospital or nonprofit to pilot the program, which will enable us to further develop the technology to uniquely fit the needs of that hospital or nonprofit.”
The potential of the platform is quickly gaining momentum as RE-Assist recently received recognition as the first business tech solution in Ohio to be honored as one of just eight MIT Solver teams across the world. RE-Assist was also selected as part of the inaugural class of Black and Brown Innovators in the US Program through the MIT Solve Initiative and finished as a semi-finalist for Black Ambition, a national competition sponsored by Pharrell Williams. For Barrow, these recognitions are a testament to the support she’s received from programs throughout the State of Ohio, which made her platform possible.
“Ohio has enabled a single mother and her 11-year-old son to build a sustainable tech solution that will save lives,” Barrow said. “That’s what you can do in Ohio and I don’t think RE-Assist would have gotten this far without having the support from programs like the Ohio Third Frontier, Queen City Angels, Main Street Ventures and so many others. We’re excited to be bringing this all back to Ohio.”