Traditional healthcare falls short of addressing the exhaustive list of needs most patients have. Care should be holistic, and healthcare models are quickly shifting to reflect this fundamental need. This shift is guided by a philosophy: what a person does when they leave the doctor’s office is just as important as the medication they take. But finding self-care resources is hard, especially for people living in communities with the most need.
NowPow is making it easier. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the women-owned and operated technology firm helps people know where to access self-care services and builds the connections needed to get them there.
“Four in five physicians wish they could prescribe social resources as easily as we can prescribe drugs,” says Dr. Stacy Lindau, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of NowPow. “Healthcare is not synonymous with health, because health is everything else we do as a society to be healthy. It is having access to resources that support our everyday health, and it’s the lack of those resources that result in health disparities among people and communities.”
NowPow uses collective community care to make self-care simple. The social enterprise supports a holistic vision of care, from connecting patients to vital services like food pantries and basic resources, to supporting chronic health and social conditions with tools like smoking cessation classes.
Their technology platform first allows a health care provider to e-prescribe self-care resources based on a patient’s health conditions, screening results, demographic information, and risk profile. NowPow then generates and shares a list of highly personalized self-care services designed to help the person get well, manage chronic diseases, and care for others. And, for people who need more support, NowPow facilitates tracked referrals that engage self-care service providers in communicating with patients to make appointments and monitor outcomes.
At the heart of NowPow is a comprehensive and validated community resource directory built in-house and through partnerships with local resource directories and Chicago’s MAPSCorps, a youth employment and STEM training program that conducts a complete community asset census. NowPow heavily indexes the service information to capture important features like geographic parameters, eligibility, and document requirements, languages spoken, and fee charges – all the information necessary to generate highly matched self-care referrals.
NowPow, as a new kind of comprehensive self-care platform, is already making a local and national impact. The social enterprise is working with health system powerhouses and community service agencies across Chicago and the country. Now in nine states with over 15,000 care professional users and 5 million people in its database, NowPow is empowering patients and clients to take ownership of their self-care needs. Their efforts are also winning recognition globally. NowPow competed with more than 1,000 young companies in Accenture’s HealthTech Innovation Challenge to become one of 10 global finalists.
NowPow is connecting healthcare to self-care and improving communities holistically in the process.