Ask any entrepreneur in the Boston tech scene how they got into their field and you’ll always get a different answer.
For Ken Accardi, Founder and CEO of the digital health company Ankota, it was a series of hospital visits that kick-started a career in working with healthcare companies.
“I was born with a congenital leg issue called pseudarthrosis of the tibia,” recalls Accardi, pointing to his shin. “When I got to be about one year old, I tried standing on my own and I broke my leg. Because of this, most of my childhood was oriented around not being able to walk. We found ways for me to walk, however, and as a result of that, I became interested in health-oriented things.”
Nowadays, thanks to surgeries and therapy, Accardi can walk fine.
While working as a consultant for various Boston-area healthcare companies, Accardi was inspired to start a company based on personal observations. Accardi took note of how some patients in hospitals become frustrated with their lack of extensive care when they are sent home. He also observed how some home care providers were focusing primarily on medical needs and not other ones, such as providing food and water.
Accardi’s startup, Ankota, is on a mission to help the home care providers with a software platform to help the businesses run smoother. “Hospitals know how to take care of you when you are there, but not necessarily when you are at home,” says Accardi. “When we started this company, we decided ‘Let’s make home care better.’”
The name “Ankota” is actually a rough translation from various Eastern European countries that means “healing tree.”
“We had a marketing team come up with a list of names, and thought Ankota sounded cool,” he said. “When we found out what it translated to, we thought it fit the company’s core mission.”
Ankota is a cloud-based platform that provides home care businesses with an intuitive UI designed for both office workers and care providers like home health aides. The company’s product displays several aspects of home care business management, such as when a home care provider should be visiting a particular client, and listing which type of care the patient needs.
Ankota’s software displays detailed maps to help schedule when and where a provider should be. “One thing we are doing is we are scheduling in an optimal way,” Accardi says. “We are connecting the business with home care providers who are closest to the patient, and we have a route optimization component.”
These features are available in both the mobile and desktop versions. The mobile version is designed for caretakers, including its own specific features including a basic clock-in, clock-out feature.
With the rise of Alexa and Siri voice control apps, Accardi is looking to incorporate voice-enabled functionality into their product.
The 12-person company is located in Downtown Crossing. An interesting aspect of Ankota’s dynamic is its diversity, as the employee base is an equal balance of men and women. “We’ve been trying to push for diversity since the company’s founding,” Accardi says.
Most home care businesses are small, but the market itself is set to grow. “The market size today is about 8 million people and 50,000 companies,” Ankota’s CEO says. “We took a look at the demographics, and the market is expected to double with baby boomers starting to get up there in age.”
With those numbers, Ankota is looking to lend a helping hand to an ever-expanding market.
Images courtesy of Ankota