Member Spotlight: LinkedSenior’s Charles De Vilmorin Empowers Senior Residents’ Lives
The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey once said, “There should be more rocking in older people’s lives than sitting in their rocking chair.”
Similarly, LinkedSenior knows its target. The company’s approach is simple yet effective: From the needs of the residents to nursing home staffs, the service helps retirement communities deliver quality programs and engaging wellness experiences to all residents, no matter who they are.
We caught up with Parisian Charles De Vilmorin, CEO of LinkedSenior, to talk about his love affair with the startup scene in America.
What is LinkedSenior?
We are a healthcare company that specializes in interactive software for nursing homes. We provide a custom and personal experiences in nursing homes through touchscreen interfaces—think of a simplified iPad. The basic idea is to keep the senior residents engaged (by giving them) access to education, entertainment, information and therapy.
What led you to start LinkedSenior?
My grandmother had Alzheimers, and she spent some time at a nursing home. She was very religious—born and raised with a Bible, which was part of her daily life. At her nursing home, nobody really paid attention to my grandmother’s needs because none of the staff members were religious in any sense. Luckily, my mother lived close by and stopped by three times a week to read the Bible to her but that was not enough, and she declined fast because of lack of engagement. After seeing this lack of ability to engage people over basic needs, I decided to create a platform that satisfies the needs of the residents.
What led you to start business in the US? How is working and living in D.C.?
Although I didn’t plan to start business in the States, it is just the way it happened. But if I had to choose, I would do it exactly the same way for couple of reasons. The entrepreneurial spirit is much more vibrant in the U.S.; people here are open to new ideas and is a lot more encouraging than in France. Also, the market is a lot bigger.
I love working and living in D.C.—I’m originally from Paris, so I thought D.C. would be too small for me, but within weeks I fell in love with the city.
How are retirement homes benefitting from your platform?
If you are a nursing home nurse, you are in charge of about a 100 people—you need to respond to their needs such as giving them newspapers, provide music or games and answer their needs on a daily and individual basis. It is like being a teacher in a classroom where you are in charge of 30 students, but three times more people.
With our platform, you save time. You no longer have to spend two-thirds of your time at a desk researching what your residents want. We deliver results of the latest research for you.
How do you plan to build on LinkedSenior’s success and continue to gain traction?
We are now integrating with electronic health records to be able to pull patient data. For example, if the data points show that one of your residents likes tennis, is in to fashion, and was born in the 50s, the staff member can start recommending wellness activities based on the resident’s cognitive ability and preferences. With the data, one can also track the progress and insert that information back to EHR. I believe that this new feature will help us tremendously in gaining more traction. By becoming more clinical, we’re also tapping into a budget (that is) 30 times bigger.
What piece of advice do you have for other startups in the beginning stage?
Have fun! You should always do it for the fun and be passionate about what you do. Starting my own company was one of the best experiences for me.