by David S. Williams III, Founder & CEO, Karen
This is my mother, Karen Norris Williams, Ed.D., and her health journey. She almost died giving birth to me because of small bowel cancer. After my birth, she had a tubal ligation because the medical experts said she wouldn’t survive having another child. Six years later, she gave birth to my brother. Those weren’t the only times the medical experts were wrong. When I was 11 years old, she was told she had six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. She didn’t die in six months. She lived through that, too.
My mother had more bouts with cancer throughout her life. She died just short of my 39th birthday, and it was never the cancer that won. Heart failure ultimately ended her life. That’s 39 years and two children past her supposed end. Her journey of survival amid multiple serious, life-threatening conditions has inspired me to believe anything is possible, even against the greatest odds, and so-called expert opinions.
This is why we have branded our service, Karen. Karen is an inspiration to keep living your life journey. To keep going against the greatest odds. To capture your experience and share it with those who care about you so they can help along the way. It’s your journey. Live your best. Karen did. You can, too.
You have my word that I have put all of the time, energy, passion, and love into this platform to help you manage your health and care for yourself AND your loved ones in one place. If you look at Karen’s journey of education, family, and health events, you can see how health and care dominated her adult life. As you can imagine, every day brought another key health decision. The way health and care technology are marketed today, Mom would have to use a specialized app for EACH health (red) event and condition. But none of those conditions exist in isolation. Mom would also have to use a different set of apps for managing her children’s care as well as that of her mother who had developed Alzheimer’s. The result of this reality is what so many of us face: a disjointed, confusing experience with the healthcare system.
Today, we as patients and families have no way to manage our health journey and those we care for in a way that reflects our overall life experience. We need ONE platform to manage health and care, not many.
The healthcare system treats us like we are separate parts, not a whole person. Each part sees a different physician, specialist, therapist, nurse, or other care provider. Our health data is then fragmented amongst all of those people, so we don’t have easy access to our own health information. Worse yet, the care providers don’t talk to each other. All of this leads to misdiagnoses, redundant and unnecessary procedures, avoidable and expensive emergency visits and hospitalizations. The healthcare industry has no way to consolidate our information to make timely and accurate decisions.
The healthcare system will always be reactive without a full picture of each person’s experience to anticipate her needs and help her and her loved ones remain as healthy as possible.
Karen’s life is a journey that needs to be optimized for her health and for the health of her loved ones.
Welcome to Karen, the health journey platform.
Karen chronicles each person’s life journey and the health events that define it. At every point, you should be able to manage and track your own health, your care, your personal health information (PHI), and be able to share that experience with anyone you choose including family, close friends, and your professional care team. You should also be able to engage in all of those activities when you care for others.
Organizations charged with supporting your health should be able to participate in your journey, providing education, information, care plans, and timely interventions across multiple domains and specialties so you have a seamless experience managing health and access to timely care when you need it.
Karen is the system where you own, store, access, generate, visualize and share your personal health experience over the course of your life journey.
With Karen, you can manage your own health and everyone you care for in the same platform and the same experience. Data sharing becomes simple, and isn’t hindered by geographic movement, job and health plan changes, doctor switches, and more. When used with a health plan or provider network, the data on the platform drives interactions and interventions.
The vision for Karen is to be a companion with you and healthcare organizations along every journey, with data shared driving information, interactions, and interventions at the right time. The results are improved care access, better health for you and others, and reduced costs.