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Updates – JAN 2022
Vitalxchange launches novel platform for parents of children with disabilities
Vitalxchange launches a comprehensive platform to support parents caring for disability and special needs.
Cleveland-based health tech company, Vitalxchange, has launched its novel virtual services platform to empower families caring for neurodiversity, special needs, and disability. Founded by repeat MedTech entrepreneurs Charu Ramanathan and Ketal Patel, Vitalxchange’s mission is to enable caregivers to find direct access to guidance, rather than solely relying on public schools, non-profits, or government programs.
A static landscape of disability caregiving
Today, each American family coordinates a fragmented care landscape of 5+ resources, some provided by the public schools and some from the healthcare system. Even 46 years after passing the IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act) and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) laws, the landscape remains nearly unchanged.
A Company catalyzed by personal experiences
The duo had separate but very similar negative experiences while addressing their respective children’s learning and behavioral issues at their local public schools. Without proper guidance, both ended up fighting with the schools and moving their children to costly private schools to get the much-needed nurturing and support for their children.
They realized that they failed to advocate for their children and were denied the opportunity to engage early on and help their children thrive in the public school system. While supporting each other through these tough times, they realized the opportunity at hand to create a solution where parents would have access to personalized and reliable guidance necessary to make informed decisions. In interviewing hundreds of families, it was clear that the advice would be much more impactful if parents had the opportunity to connect with other peers with lived experiences as well as experienced professionals.
Evolution of a thoughtful platform
The team spent most of 2021 curating and qualifying a team of ‘VitalGuides’ – experienced parent mentors and special needs providers to serve as care navigators and coaches. In parallel, they built out the Vitalxchange platform as a two-sided marketplace with VitalGuides on the supply side and parents needing support on the demand side. The platform includes VXMAX, a web application serving as ‘practice in a box’ for VitalGuides to deliver their services. It includes virtual service delivery via HIPPA compliant video calls, in-app private messaging, groups, courses, appointment management, and payments integration. Parents can access VitalGuides services anytime via a web application or a mobile application. It is important to note that the services are entirely geared towards addressing parent coaching vs. therapy for the child.
The platform’s matching expert system is quite impressive. It uses proprietary technology to match each parent’s situation with a specific VitalGuide solution based on their need and phase in the parenting journey. The platform has 150+ VitalGuide solutions covering each aspect of special needs parenting with standardized and affordable pricing. Here are some examples of services that provide an idea of the granularity as well as the variety of parenting solutions:
The ‘Uber’ of special needs
Vitalxchange has been described by its users as an ‘Uber for special needs’ in that it connects each qualified provider (Uber driver) to a parent in need (Uber passenger). Every VitalGuide session incorporates practical do-it-yourself strategies and is designed to save the parent time and engage better in their child’s development, resulting in positive outcomes for both the child and their parent.
“I have been very fortunate to have had opportunities to build life-saving solutions for healthcare from cancer to cardiology. This platform is close to my heart. It uses an intelligent system built on machine learning principles to foster vital connections that empower parents with information, guidance, and support. Our vision is to replicate this playbook for other health conditions where self-empowerment makes all the difference”. – Ketal Patel, CTO and Co-founder of Vitalxchange.
The beginning of a scalable transformation
The platform has been in a ‘soft launch’ mode since June 2021 to allow time to recruit VitalGuides and iterate based on user feedback from 2500+ parent users. With this official launch, the Company hopes to accelerate its outreach directly to parents and partner with schools, early intervention centers, support organizations, and employers to provide much-needed support for families.
“Launching this platform has been a life’s mission for both of us. We want to empower parents to do their best to help their children thrive. We want to improve the quality of life of caregivers who are already three times more likely to have chronic illnesses. We believe we commenced an impactful transformation in this space where a caregiver can take charge rather than solely be at the mercy of government or philanthropic support” – Charu Ramanathan, Ph.D. CEO and Co-founder of Vitalxchange.
As Dr. Ramanathan remarks, this is just the beginning for Vitalxchange. It continues to leverage the tailwinds created by the pandemic to create a new solution landscape to serve 22 million US families caring for children with developmental delays or disabilities.
NEW PARTNERSHIP – APR 2021
Songs of Love Partnership
Vitalxchange is very excited to announce our partnership with the Songs of Love Foundation.
The Songs of Love Foundation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates free, personalized, original songs to uplift children and teens currently facing tough medical, physical or emotional challenges. The mission of the Songs of Love foundation is strongly aligned with the mission of Vitalxchange to enable families facing disability and health issues to find opportunities that create positive and uplifting experiences on their life journeys.
Each “song of love” is professionally produced with lyrics containing the child’s name and references to all of his or her favorite activities, things, people, and pets. Songs are written and performed in any language in the musical style that the child likes best (kids, pop, R&B, rap, rock, alternative, etc.), by many talented singer/songwriters. Each “song of love” is delivered pre-loaded on our Song Of Love USB 8GB drive. As each child is unique, so is every “song of love” composition. Since 1996 the Songs of Love Foundation has reached out to over 36,000 children in over 500 hospitals and health care facilities in all 50 states and the world.
Updates – Feb 2021
Vitalxchange launches new health access model for parents and caregivers
Vitalxchange launched its new community-based marketplace platform for caregivers of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The platform connects caregivers with experts who offer reliable guidance and care. Experts can be both professionals, or experienced peers – also known as VitalGuides.
The launch is a key milestone for the Company to accomplish its mission to transform health care by first solving health information gaps and care access issues. The Company is actively onboarding caregiving families onto the Vitalxchange community via its mobile app. The product suite also includes a comprehensive web portal, called VXMAX, for Experts to create service offerings and interact with the members on the mobile app.
news – dec 2020
Vitalxchange secures funding led by Ovofund San Francisco
Thought Leadership – dec 2020
Healthcare Transformation for Patients, by Patients
Charu shares her personal and professional experiences with the healthcare system. Further, she shares her mission to empower one’s own health by helping individuals in similar situations exchange insights and emotional support. It’s all delivered through a technology-enabled social platform.
Can you find someone who’s going through what you’re going through? Can quality of life go hand in hand with extension of life? Can entrepreneurship intermingle with medicine?
new Partnership – OCT 2020
KidsLink announces Vitalxchange as its Community app after a six month pilot evaluation
After starting with a pilot launch at the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, Kidslink has announced that the Vitalxchange platform will be used as its community and connectivity app for the whole practice. KidsLink is a full service neurobehavioral center and school and has several experts on the Vitalxchange platform from behavior therapists to executive function coaches.
Thought Leadership – SEP 2020
Building person-centric support communities
- What is Vitalxchange and its mission of empowering healthcare consumers
- How Charu and her team are supporting and empowering families caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- How Vitalxchange is adapting during the pandemic
- Bringing consumerism to healthcare
new Partnership – JUL 2020
Koinonia partners with Vitalxchange to provide Community and Connectivity
Koinonia, a leading provider of disability employment, transition, and integration services has partnered with Vitalxchange. The partnership will provide Koinonia’s families with a private and supportive environment to connect with each other as well as their trusted providers from the organization.
“We are always seeking new ways to connect and understand the needs of families and guardians of the people we support,” said Diane Beastrom, president and CEO of Koinonia. “The Vitalxchange app is a great way to enhance the support of people caring for someone with IDD. It’s a private, judgement-free space for families to seek help and to help others.”