Smart Takes

Startup aims to make caregiving easier

Posting in Technology

Caring for a parent or child can be challenging. A new site offers a private place for people to share medically-related information about their loved ones with fellow caregivers.

Most days, I feel like I'm still in my 20s. Then I do something rash, like trying a new core-strengthening class at the gym and my actual age becomes apparent. Father Time doesn't pull any punches, it seems.

While (touch wood) doctor visits are an infrequent event for me, I'm not completely immune. My knees, for example. During a ski trip over 15 years ago, I attempted my first black diamond run. It didn't end well. I tore my anterior cruciate ligament and ended up riding down to the bottom of the mountain in a ski patrol sled. This dashed all my hopes of making the Indian Olympic Ski team.

Since that fateful run, I've had ongoing trouble with my knees -- meniscus tears, sprains, swelling, etc. Every once in a while a nurse or doctor will ask for my medical history and I'll blank. What year was it when I tore my ACL? When did I get my meniscus snipped? How long ago was that most recent MRI of my left knee? As I stare at the doctor and search the memory banks, I can understand the need for a centralized place to keep track of your medical records.

Recently Jonathan Schwartz visited the SmartPlanet studios to tell us about his new company, CareZone. If his name sounds familiar, it's because he used to run a little corporation called Sun Microsystems. CareZone is a more personal project. The site provides a private online place for users to manage medical information for their loved ones and share it with fellow caregivers. Maybe you and your siblings are caring for an aging parent. Perhaps your partner and babysitter are monitoring your child's illness. You can learn how the idea for this startup came to him in this interview.

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After the interview, Schwartz encouraged me to sign up for a CareZone account and said to get in touch if I needed any tech support. I'm guessing that's not an offer he made very often at Sun.

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Sumi Das

Chief Correspondent

Chief Correspondent Sumi Das has been a correspondent for SmartPlanet since 2008. Previously, she worked as a correspondent for CNN and MSNBC. Between 1998 and 2003, she was producer and host of "Fresh Gear" on TechTV. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She resides in San Francisco. Disclosure