Hello! We are Carevena, a mobile health technology startup, and I’m its founder, Caleb. I wanted to introduce to you why we are doing what we are doing, and where it all began. This journey started with Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease of which I’m a patient. I was diagnosed with a severe case of the disease at 19 when a flare up came on like a wave.
In my instance, I was diagnosed and was placed on chemo drugs, immunosuppressants, and a number of other nasty medications to bring it under control. At the time, 80% of my body was covered. Eventually, that cleared up and now, ten years and ten different medications later, I find myself here.
Carevena is a direct outcome to this experience as a desire to better empower those with chronic conditions to track and manage their care and more effectively share their story with their medical provider.
Our first solution, Dermitrax, is targeted to those with skin and cancer related conditions. Being a designer with a chronic condition I had to ask, “How might design play a role in supporting those with chronic conditions like psoriasis?”. To explore the question further, I not only looked at my own experience, but spent three years talking to other patients about their experiences, their challenges, and what they saw as gaps and opportunities. I also investigated the challenges that medical staff and doctors face dealing with chronic conditions.
The key insight that led to Dermitrax was the knowledge/data gap between medical visits, the challenges of finding information, and the many ups and downs a patient may face between returns to a doctor. This led to a year of co-creating prototypes and concepts to gather the right requirements and needs with patients. Right now, we are still in the development phases of an alpha to better understand data capture for patients. We have also applied for a research grant with the National Psoriasis Foundation and have a crowdfunding campaign launching soon (more on that to come!).
While my story led us to start this company, the stories of the many patients and doctors and researchers we’ve collaborated with have helped to set our course and shape our values as a design-driven startup. My hope is that if you are a patient, caregiver, family member, doctor, or friend, and our story resonates with you, we encourage you to join us on this journey by sharing your experiences with us.
G. Caleb Sexton, Co-founder & Patient Advocate