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ShareCare Application: Updated Dec 26th

ShareCare provides a channel for primary caretakers to seek assistance in watching over their loved ones for a few hours.

Photo of Taegh Sokhey

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

The idea is designed for the primary family caregiver.

Taking care of a loved one with dementia can be very time consuming and emotionally taxing. ShareCare gives primary family caregivers the ability to step away for a few hours either to manage other tasks in their lives, or simply to take a break from the strain that care-taking may be causing.

Late December Update: 

Prototype Phase: 

  1. Gathered feedback from 45 caregivers to hear their feedback and collected interviews from 10. 
  2. We realized the first prototype was unintuitive and redesigned the way family and professional caregivers could be reached. We experimented with dozens of different interfaces before we found one that we were confident with.
  3. Updated the name to ShareCare, as this app is a platform designed to lessen the pressures of caregiving and efficiently distributing it to others. 
  4. Narrowed down on our Family Connect feature, which allows users to efficiently collaborate with friends and family, and our professional caregiving feature, which allows primary caregivers to access background searched, experienced professionals. 

Challenge Deliverables

Final Prototype

Initial Prototype 

Interview Feedback (available in attachments) 

Personas (available in attachments) 

User Journeys (available in attachments) 

Prototype & Interviews: 

In order to conduct interviews and gather feedback for this phase. We used an iPhone X running an interactive wireframe. This was after a discussion of the apps features and functions. We followed a strict set of questions for each type of caregiver we interviewed and collected feedback from. 

                Would you use the ShareCare service if it was available? : 

                                  (Randomly Sampled Caregivers) 


Research Phase

  • The insight we derived from our research revealed that society is generally less forgiving of the resentment that builds up from family caregiver’s frustration in managing the disease, making it taboo for them to express and release the tension. This led us to ask how might we design a solution that reduces frustration build up that ultimately leads to resentment. We hypothesize that family caregivers are consumed with caretaking and have few opportunities to balance caretaking and other parts of their lives, including managing their own wellbeing.

  • MiCare offers the ability for caretakers to step away for short periods of time. This time can be used to do either chores (grocery shopping or other personal appointments) or activities that help rejuvenate (shopping or dining with friends) 

  • The primary caregiver would post via MiCare, the times when they are seeking help. The initial post will be seen by the broader network of family members. This process brings other family members in so that caretaking can be more of a shared responsibility and allows for family members to build empathy and understand the primary caregiver’s responsibility better.

  • If family members do not have the availability or cannot help at the requested time, the primary caregiver can post to a network of professional caregivers and have the network of family members contribute to the professional fees. This relieves the financial burden it may be for the primary caregiver to hire additional professional help in order to step out for a few hours.

  • If the primary caregiver is unable or unwilling to pay for a professional caregiver, they can disable "MiCare Pro" in their search feed which will show volunteers. 

  • Volunteers are incentivized through the community service opportunity as well as through customizable rewards that can be fulfilled by sponsoring companies. Example rewards may include free movie tickets, subscriptions, and special discounts. 

  • We seek to affiliate ourselves with the Northwestern University Healthcare system's volunteer network to create one the first global healthcare volunteer network of its kind. This will provide additional credibility as well as incentivize volunteers accross the world to get on board. 


1. Zach Lewis Disbrow Kellogg MBA Program / Design Masters

2. Taegh S. Sokhey Northwestern University Biology Undergrad, 

3. Bonnie Tung Kellogg MBA Program / Design Masters

4. Diego Alonso Blondet Padro Kellogg MBA Program / Design Masters

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We can launch an alpha version of this app with a small group of volunteers and primary caregivers that we know to better understand how we can tweak the model and add additional functionality.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Volunteers are motivated by the rewards system. We can assemble OpenIDEO community business leaders to submit rewards on behalf of their companies and organizations, which will not only incentivize volunteer caregivers, but also provide a prime marketing opportunity for them.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration

Tell us about your work experience:

Our team has a diverse background with members that have been healthcare consultants, software designers and healthcare researchers. A majority of our team is now enrolled full-time in the design masters/MBA program at Northwestern-Kellogg University.

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone?

ShareCare allows primary care givers to schedule help from their family and friends or from a selection of background checked professionals. Top floor please!

How does your idea demonstrate our Criteria of Accessibility?

The application is entirely free for family caregivers and family members willing to help; those two demographics should enable the platform to get scale. We plan to incentivize volunteer caregivers in the final version of this app to ensure that anyone can find care on their schedule, regardless of their financial condition. Only if a caregiver opts for a professional help will they be charged. A portion of this will be used to continue updating and extending the app.

How does your idea demonstrate or plan to demonstrate scalability?

Recommendations from geriatric experts and small launches partnered with professional societies would be the initial spark to kickstart this platform. Moving forward, word of mouth via local support groups and aid circles among alzheimer’s patients’ families will help keep the customer base growing.

Our research demonstrated that this app is about as easy to use as Uber, which is a service that has scaled to millions of users around the world.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

The key objective is to protect free-time for the family caregivers in problematic moments, regardless of their pocket size. To discover the impact of our services, we will ask family caregivers to answer questions (tension index) in the beginning to monitor tension and stress levels. We can periodically monitor and track responses to these surveys and compare it to the initial benchmark to measure effectiveness of the platform as a means to improve their experience.

What are your immediate next steps after the Challenge?

The next step is getting our wireframe coded in swift. After that, we will build awareness by partnering with local dementia/alzheimer's foundations along with the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab research hospital. We found that many primary caregivers are highly involved with walks, fundraisers and political lobbying events, which are ideal opportunities to present our product directly to our users, we will be focusing on marketing at these events.
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Attachments (17)


User Journeys! Uploaded as a .pdf


We have had to consider a wide range of user types that this application will be serving. Here are the personas we discovered through the prototype and research phase. (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 9(Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 8 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 7 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 6 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 4 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype interview 3 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype Interview 2 (Updated Dec 26)


Prototype Interview 1 (Updated Dec 26)


Initial app activation screen.


Chat function for caregivers, family, professional caregivers and volunteers.

Signup Caregiver.png

A caregiver must add the care recipients information and description along with the times and days which they seek assistance.

Sidebar Volunteer.png

A caregiver must add the care recipients information and description along with the times and days which they seek assistance.

Sidebar Menu – 1@3x.png

Caretaker menu. Can switch to become a volunteer if they choose.

Family Care Givers.png

This is a portal to allow family and friends to plan caregiving in an efficient manor.


This allows caregivers, volunteers, and MiCare Pro professionals to exchange information and get in touch.

This inspired (1)

Analogous Stories


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate

Hi Taegh,

How might you develop your idea over the next month?

Are you able to share some examples of rewards you could offer?

Photo of Taegh

Kate Rushton Kate Rushton , our team will be working on a soft launch over the next month, if selected, we will launch a targeted beta for families in the Chicagoland area. We can offer volunteer/caregiver connections and extended family collaboration features. In terms of rewards we could offer discounted movie tickets, food items from restaurants, free music downloads, among others. The rewards system is viable as both the volunteer and participating business will benefit. We could also increase the rewards portfolio through open-collaboration with the IDEO company to members that might be interested in having their businesses featured.

Photo of om

Also consider incentives paid for by the agencies whose load you are relieving. Through them, you might get a boost. Most are state/federal funded, so that could come in the form of local discount as done by many local communities. Maybe Chamber of Commerce?
Also many Alzheimer’s/Health Care Providers have a budget for community education and might by interested to participate or contribute to the knowledge base.

Photo of om

I’m curious, could your network also provide ‘telepresence’ to keep an eye on the situation for shorter breaks? Depending upon the situation, of course.

Photo of Taegh

That’s a fantastic idea om goeckermann . We were experimenting with Apple’s home kit to provide utility use monitoring such as door lock/unlock notifications to the caregiver(s), so for short periods of time, a caregiver might not even need to be present and remote monitoring could be done. But we had difficulty coming up with telepresence models that could allow for rapid, but simple adoption by caretakers. Any ideas?

Photo of om

One difficulty is that you maybe considering providing Yet Another Social Media experience.
The alternative, joining fb or Twitter, is less intrusive but you can also get very lost in the noise on a user’s personal device.
I get the sense you are an ‘Uber’ for homecare nurses.
If that’s the case, the incentive is the ability to work when and for however long they wish and to get payouts from ‘spare time’ work.
Then a stand-alone app is worthwhile.
- Professional has a few hours and makes themselves ‘available’ - this makes their text messaging active and jobs come in as they are submitted.
- Volunteer is ready to help and they activate the app, which shows them active requests in a geographic region. Their ‘volunteer window’ is used to alert caregivers that someone nearby is available and they can take the break then instead of later at their requested time.
- Caregiver/Relative can enter a request for a certain time, they can see and respond to volunteers who are ready now, they can review and donate to an individual, caregiver can set themselves as ‘available’ for other jobs.
- Clinician can agree to short notice jobs, rate patients.

I think you have a winner in terms of rapid simple adoption if you can also perform a hassle solving function. I think this is the ability to coordinate between the caregiver in the home and the visiting specialist. If a specialist doesn’t have to make a dozen phone calls to make sure someone is home, their life is a lot better. Even more so if the appointments are put in order through an automated negotiation conducted between the various appointments and the results sent to the specialist as they go about their day.
You have an opportunity to help the patient coordinate among the various moving pieces of their appointment too. Rather than a single person going to various patients this transaction is a single patient trying to coordinate the various people to arrive at one appointment. This might be the ride, an interpreter, the personal aid, the clinician, and perhaps a second appointment depending upon the results of the first.

Phone based, hash tags on Periscope, SMS notification/negotiation, are simple and reliable components with an AI backend doing the routing/coordinating. Adoption is also positively impacted by clinicians who see a system working for their patients. With an impulse to care, they will go through some pain points if the client is clearly being helped.

Photo of Taegh

We genuinely appreciate this. Win or not, we would love to work with you on further developing this solution, we seem to have a very converging thought process.

Photo of om

I’d be excited about that. Thank you for considering me. If I could do this for a living, I would happily.

Photo of Ymkje

Love this idea! This is one of the most pressing needs that caregivers experience! Professional caregivers are often cost-prohibitive.. I wonder if you could add some kind of basic dementia training, so people who sign up as volunteers come into the care situation with at least a basic skill set. Also, a place to list some of the person's favorite activities, daily schedule, etc?
Check out our OpenIdeo proposal (Mindfulness Based Dementia Care Online) for online training..maybe there's potential for collaboration?

Photo of Taegh

Ymkje Dioquino, this is an amazing idea. I guess great minds think alike! Our volunteer and procaregiver portals now include instructional videos and written guides. We will be implementing these on the next version of our open beta. We do have sections for favorite activities, daily schedules and care related activities already up and functioning!

Photo of Ymkje

Love it:-)

Photo of Joy

Look forward to following your idea and seeing how it develops. One of the key elements necessary to the success of my Respite Lite concept is finding a reliable network of caregivers, so glad to see your contribution in this challenge.

Photo of Taegh

We appreciate the complimenting of your own project! We are going to be using multiple reliable caretaker pools, including selected volunteers from the world's leading rehabilitation hospital.

Photo of Jo

One thing that came up in my research was that people also needed help getting someone to help them pack up their parent's belongings or sell stuff on Craigslist and that kind of thing. Might be an interesting add-on.

Photo of Brittany

Hi Taegh Sokhey  - welcome to Refinement!

We're eager to see updates to your idea and learn more. Don't forget there are a few additional questions now that you're in the Refinement Phase. You can see them by clicking "Edit Contribution" and scrolling to the questions that don't yet have answers from you. We also encourage you to add a user journey map and start thinking about a small experiment you could test in the next few weeks. Perhaps testing with both caregivers and care-recipients? Gathering feedback? Please reach out with questions! or feel free to email me at