Family caregivers are doing an incredible job – and this Munich startup is there to support them

Nui Care, a Munich-based startup, has developed an app that helps relatives to organize the challenges of home care more effectively. The person behind the product is a former top manager who devoted himself to caregiving through a very personal experience.

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Running errands, preparing meals, getting medication or accompanying someone to a medical appointment – one in five people in Germany is involved in the care of a relative. And in times of the Corona crisis, the need for nursing in risk groups is significantly higher. The coordination of all tasks represents a major challenge for all parties involved.

The Munich startup Nui Care – participant in the Innovation Programme of the InsurTech Hub Munich – has developed an app to meet exactly this challenge: The software supports the caregiving relatives in organizing their everyday life while providing answers to the most important questions surrounding the topic.

Nui is a matter close to the heart for the founders, as two of the four shareholders themselves have parents in need of care. “With Nui we want to contribute to improving the situation for all those affected – those in need of care as well as their respective caregivers. It gives me great pleasure to be able to achieve this, every day anew,” explains Markus Müller, co-founder of Nui Care and former head of Blackberry Europe. The 46-year-old entrepreneur gave up his position voluntarily in 2015 and dedicated himself to a new, meaningful task.

From top manager to hospice attendant

In an airport bookstore Markus got his hands on the book of palliative nurse Bronnie Ware (“The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”). In this book, the author describes what people on their deathbed often regret most: spending too much time at work and too little time with family and friends. For Markus, this was a key experience in his career. He subsequently gave up his position as manager and started his training to become a hospice attendant in the hospice association “DaSein” in Munich. Through his voluntary work, he experienced how much family members often suffer under the burden of care.

“I vividly remember a man who admitted his 65-year-old wife to a nursing home after eight years of care. Not because it was medically necessary, but because he just couldn’t take it anymore. She died there one day later,” recalls the Munich-born man. As an entrepreneur, it was immediately clear to him: he must do his part to improve the care situation.

Together with Christian Ehl, Oliver Gajek and Neil Heiland, he founded Nui Care in late 2018. The first beta version was launched in April, followed by the commercial release in November. “Nui” is Hawaiian and means “excellent”. The name is chosen in reference to all the relatives who do an excellent job of caring for their loved ones at home.

Task Manager with intelligent chatbot

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The Nui Care app essentially consists of two parts. With the “Family Care Manager” the caregiving relatives allocate the tasks at hand and communicate with each other. The big advantage over messenger services such as Whatsapp, shared calendars or to-do lists is the lucid and transparent communication. Nui Care combines chat, calendar and to-do list in one. Users may communicate in individual channels, comment on appointments and mark tasks as complete for everyone.

The second part of the app provides information about care (e.g. tax credit, state care benefits, short-term care without degree of care) and answers the most important questions. The care assistant in the app, an automated chatbot called “Nui”, queries and analyses the situation with machine learning algorithms and advises the user of his or her respective care requirements or gives individual recommendations for action.

The vision: The intelligent Assistant “Nui” should holistically support, advise and guide through every aspect of caregiving and thereby independently and proactively recognize which care offer or information is needed at the right moment. On the same note – what is important to the founders – Nui does not claim to solve the current nursing shortage, but would like to make an important contribution to the solution for this problem.

Nui is free of charge during the corona crisis

This also includes the fact that, due to the current corona crisis, the app can currently be used free of charge for three months – possibly even longer. Nui normally costs 9.99 euros per month for the whole family. The billing is therefore per care case, not per user.

Various companies – including Serviceplan and MaibornWolff – are already using Nui to support their caregiving employees and help them combine work and care more easily.

Nui also represents a benefit for insurers, as the app helps to prevent illness. Relatives can organize themselves better, don’t suffer from stress as much and thus become ill less often themselves. For this reason, the Nui founders see networking with the InsurTech industry as a great opportunity:

“The InsurTech Hub Munich offers us access to reputable insurance partners. We are also fairly new to the healthcare market and are by no means experts in the field yet. Therefore, we are excited about the opportunity of being mentored, which will help us to further advance in our mission,” explains Markus.

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