Home care is often singled out for being slow to embrace and implement technology, but as the demand for care services grows, providers are forced to think outside of the box when it comes curbing caregiver turnover. San Francisco-based home care startup Honor understands this all too well, according to CEO Seth Sternberg. The company is using insights gleaned from machine learning to examine and address turnover internally and with its network of home care partners. Honor, which has raised $115 million since launching in 2014, teams up with independently owned and operated agencies by taking over caregiver recruiting, onboarding and training, in addition to day-to-day logistics. Currently, the company operates in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
Many people would like to remain in their homes as they age. When it comes to caring for an aging parent or spouse, many want to help their loved one stay independent as long as possible. Nearly 90% of people over 65 want to stay at home as long as they are able, according to a research report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute. Technology makes it easier for people to do that. There are a slew of apps and services allowing people to schedule care for their aging parents, track their health and monitor symptoms.
CRISPR genome editing technology is revolutionising biology, but it could soon become even powerful. Two teams have developed new variants of the method based on "jumping genes" that might make it much easier to add pieces of DNA to cells. "I think we will see a flurry of excitement around this," says Samuel Sternberg of Columbia University in New York, who leads one of the teams. For everything from treating many genetic diseases to creating genetically modified organisms, adding DNA to the genomes of cells is a key step. But none of the existing methods work particularly well.
For years, scientists have used a tool something like a pair of scissors for the complex task of gene-editing, but a newly discovered technique using "jumping genes" could offer a seamless, safer alternative. Gene-editing is the process of altering a part of DNA -- the code that governs much about how an organism develops and behaves. A key tool for editing is the CRISPR-Cas9 process, which uses CRISPRs -- a part of the immune defense system in bacteria -- to locate a target in the DNA, and the protein Cas9 to "snip" the DNA strand. The DNA then repairs itself, sometimes guided by a template that is inserted during the editing process. But the process is not always effective -- sometimes the repairs are incomplete or incorrect, and the damage response prompted by the cutting can have negative side effects.