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All-in-one Platform for Enhancing Resident Engagement & Boosting Staff Efficiency in Senior Living Communities

February 02, 2024
Amber Bardon, Dylan Conley

Join our host, Amber Bardon, on the latest episode of Raising Tech as she speaks with Dylan Conley, the Chief Technology Officer of LifeLoop. Discover how LifeLoop's platform is equipped with innovative tools that can improve community operations and enhance staff satisfaction. With LifeLoop technology, residents, families, staff, operators, and owners can all stay connected, resulting in optimized communications and a better overall resident experience.

With over 30% of their team members having worked in Senior Living communities before, LifeLoop understands what it takes to create exceptional senior care. Discover how their smarter communication capabilities keep families, their loved ones, and staff connected by listening to the episode.

You can find more about LifeLoop on their website and LinkedIn.

Find us online:

Amber Bardon: Welcome to Raising Tech Podcast. I'm your host, Amber Bardon. Our guest today is Dylan Conley. Dylan is the Chief Technology Officer for LifeLoop. LifeLoop is a technology platform for senior living providers that provides engagement and operations functionality for the day to day.

Welcome to the show, Dylan. 

Dylan Conley: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Amber. 

Amber Bardon: Dylan, would you start us off by telling our listeners about who you are, what's your background, what brought you to LifeLoop?

Dylan Conley: Absolutely. I've been in technology for decades, but really just entered senior living. So my background is more enterprise SaaS applications, spent years and years with large technology companies building software solutions.

So this was a big move for me just a few years ago. What really drew me to LifeLoop was the mission. The mission and the outcomes to be able to innovate and provide technology to an industry that affects the lives of so many people has been really just the greatest privilege of my career.

Amber Bardon: I'm always curious to ask people who are new to this industry, because I've been working in this industry for almost 17 years. So how do you find it? What do you see are some of the differences from your previous past experiences? 

Dylan Conley: It's interesting. I think that organizations that we work with, no 2 are alike.

The needs of the seniors, the needs of the staff, they're always different. And so 1 might come to a technology company or setting and expect we're going to build a solution that is so robust and simple that it meets everybody's needs, and that is absolutely not true in this industry. Customization, flexibility, ensuring that every individual, regardless of the level of care, has their needs met is a fun challenge.

Amber Bardon: So let's talk a little bit more about LifeLoop. Tell me about the history of LifeLoop. How long has it been around? What's the founding story? Anything you can share there? 

Dylan Conley: Believe it or not, our story started 25 years ago, our founders were the first to break computers into senior living and they found very quickly that it had a huge impact.

It was immediately clear. There was an opportunity and this was needed in senior living. So they founded IN2L aimed at helping seniors engage with specialized content covering all the dimensions of wellness. Over the past 25 years. We've continued to curate, collect, refine that content set so that our engagement solution has more than 6,000 different content items covering the needs of seniors in every care setting and handling scenarios that you would run into in just about any context.

About a decade ago, LifeLoop was formed or founded with the goal of helping families stay connected with their loved ones, helping families stay connected with staff. So it was really a communication centric platform, but through the years it's evolved into a full operational platform with solutions for every department and senior living. Everything from activity and calendar management and maintenance, transportation and photo sharing. We've really built a solution that covers the needs of everybody. The 2 companies came together, LifeLoop and IN2L, a little over a year ago, and we were able to very quickly integrate both the products and the teams thanks to our shared DNA which is the mission.

Amber Bardon: Actually, I was going to ask you about that because I know that everybody is aware of the merger between IN2L or It's Never Too Late and LifeLoop. And I've had clients asking me "What does this mean? What are the changes? What does this mean for us as a potential client or an actual client?"

So can you just talk a little bit about how that partnership works and any changes or integrations down the road? 

Dylan Conley: Yeah so we've already integrated the products to the degree that you can get everything that each company provided but now you can get them together. It means that our robust content library that was through IN2L only available in pre packaged hardware solutions is now available through the App Store Play Store in the LifeLoop app. It also means that we can bring the content, bring the engagement to different areas of the daily senior living workflow in new and innovative, creative ways that wouldn't be possible without the two solutions all part of the same platform.

Nobody has lost anything. Nobody's going to lose anything. This has allowed us to bring just a tremendous amount of value to our customers in addition to what we were already providing. 

Amber Bardon: Thanks for sharing that. Can you talk a little bit more about what does LifeLoop do specifically? Can you tell me about what are some of the key differences between LifeLoop and some of the other platforms on the marketplace today? 

Dylan Conley: Sure. So specifically LifeLoop provides daily senior living workflow platform that assists in all of the day to day activities. Our content, our engagement system is really our biggest differentiator in that we have been perfecting this over the last 25 years. And we still to this day have a large team dedicated to curating

and highlighting content so that every month there's fresh new activities for residents to take part in. Never a dull moment. Never an experience of "Okay, I've done it all. What more can I do with this platform?" It never happens because there's always something new. On the operation side, staff operations, our platform handles messaging communication, whether it be between families and staff, families and residents inter staff communication.

Mass emails, notifications to the community and into families. Our messaging platform is really the core of the platform. And then the heartbeat is the calendars and activity management. We have built a robust activity management framework into the product so that you can facilitate and automate the day to day.

Everybody's on the same page. Every resident and family knows at a glance what's  planned activity, attendance tracking registration. And everything you could imagine that would go with activity management. In addition to this, we have transportation capabilities, maintenance capabilities, so that a resident can request help in their apartment. Photo sharing, digital displays, and so we tie it all together with the ability to showcase important information in strategic places within the community, whether it be what's on the menu near the dining hall, what's the agenda today in a recreation room?

All of that information available from within our platform. You can display in digital displays throughout your community. Now that's just some of our key features. We do a dozen or more different things with our platform. 

Amber Bardon: I want to just reiterate what you said because that is an important distinction between LifeLoop and some of the other products out there is that not only are you a resident engagement platform, but you also do the staffing side, which is really unique. I don't think any of your competitors also have the ability for staff to use the tool and use the system.

Dylan Conley: It is the content, the engagement that is our key differentiator and not just that you can do the 2 with 1 platform, which does bring a tremendous amount of value to just 1 less system that you need to worry about learning and maintaining, but it allows to integrate and weave the content and the senior engagement into the day to day and in creative ways that others just wouldn't be able to do. 

Amber Bardon: So walk me through that a little bit. Let's say I am a staff member at a community that has LifeLoop implemented and all the different modules and aspects you talked about. What does that look like for my day to day workflow?

Dylan Conley: One example is we have the ability to bring our music content into the displays. And so what's typically a static digital display that's presenting information in a slideshow format. Now you have accompanying music, and so you can fill the room. You can essentially provide overhead music from our content offering, which is specifically curated to the needs and the tastes of folks in senior  living directly within your display.

Amber Bardon: So let's talk a little bit about the industry specifically. So what are you seeing from LifeLoop's perspective?

What are some of the key challenges that the industry is facing as well, specific to communities? And how is LifeLoop helping to solve those challenges? 

Dylan Conley: I think there are a few big challenges that we hear from our customers over and over. Just ubiquitous problems in the industry and hearing that feedback has driven the direction of our product.

We take a customer led approach to product design and and strategy, but to answer your question directly, the 1st problem I would call out is staff turnover. I don't know that I've met a single operator that isn't focused on improving staff retention. It's a tremendous problem in the industry today . So our products are built to save staff time and to empower them to do their best work. These are some of the most talented, hardworking professionals I've ever met, really a demanding job. And so to  save them time is a meaningful thing. We've long held the belief that the key to improving staff retention is reducing burnout. Studies have shown in the vast majority of cases, burnout is cited as a key reason for leaving a community.

These staff members just don't have enough time to provide the residents with the experience that they wish to provide. And it's unfortunate. It's that they can't meet their own quality standards, which leads to burnout. Some of our most innovative customers approached us saying we're observing something.

We think that we're seeing longer staff retention, the longer duration of employment on average. We've seen that since rolling out your system. Can you validate that? Do you see in your data that's true? So we dug in. We looked at the data. We found that on average. Length of employment or length of activity within LifeLoop is 31 percent longer than the average length of employment in senior living.

So this is a pretty big difference, but the data is very clear. That when staff members have access to LifeLoop, they stay employed at least 31 percent longer. And when you consider the costs of onboarding new staff and potentially using temp workers, it's really a significant cost savings.

Amber Bardon: That's really fascinating. How did you guys get that data? Did you do surveys? Did you ask the HR teams to provide that information? 

Dylan Conley: In product data, we looked at when did the staff user first become active?

When did they start using the system, all the way through to when did they stop, when did they become inactive. On average for each staff user of our application was 31 percent longer than industry average. 

Amber Bardon: Congratulations. That's an accomplishment. 

Dylan Conley: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. We're very excited about that. 

Amber Bardon: Let's talk a little bit about the technology market in senior living. I always say that I think senior living technology is the most exciting technology field because it's such a  huge area that's really been ignored for a really long period of time.

So there's so much innovation happening. So many new vendors coming into the space. What's your assessment of that? 

Dylan Conley: Yeah, so there's really 1 thing that I've been hearing a lot over the last 18 months or so. it is that there are a lot of technology providers in this space. There are more than 300 providers that I'm aware of, that the team has analyzed, we've looked at capabilities.

Just understanding the technology landscape and the vast majority of those 300 providers have just one capability in their product or said another way, their point players. I see the technology landscape and senior living has fragmented, made up of hundreds of point players. And as a result, a lot of our customers come to us frustrated.

They try investing in technology, but now they're stuck with numerous systems that don't talk to each other. This exacerbates an already overwhelmed staff who now has to maintain all these different systems, each with their own  idiosyncrasies, each with their own learning curves. And making the staff retention and burnout problem worse and so essentially undoing the positive intended effect.

A very small minority of providers in the space have 5 or more capabilities where your typical senior living community wants to automate or digitize dozens of different workflows. A very small minority who do more than a dozen capabilities like LifeLoop. I think in summary, my thought is that I don't see having a landscape

so fragmented is scalable in the long term. I see point players only really thriving. With investments and integration or with M&A with mergers with other point players or expansion of the tool set.

Amber Bardon: Yeah, I completely agree with you. I think definitely the vendors that can figure out how to integrate are the ones that have the best long term solution, because we really moved to a place where  best in breed is what everyone's looking for.

We're moved away from the old days of one system doing everything. And, we definitely hear that a lot from our clients that having 10 different passwords to things and systems not talking to each other is such a huge challenge. So I'm really agree with you on all 

of those comments.

Dylan Conley: Yes, that's right. And it's more and more of our customers are asking for integrations and that's why a big focus for us over this past year has been building APIs to support open synchronization with any system as well as SSO. So then instead of having to maintain passwords and usernames across all of your different systems, you have one set of credentials and it flows through.

And we've been getting really good response from those capabilities. 

Amber Bardon: We have run into some challenges with the SSL with the Microsoft MFA credentials, but that's probably a different topic. But let's talk a little bit about the future. So what do you see are some trends that are going to be happening in the industry?

And I'm specifically curious. How do you think AI is going to fit into that? That's a question that I get a lot. So I'm interested to hear your take. 

Dylan Conley: Yeah, so AI is here to stay and generative AI in particular, I think will have a major impact in the next year or 2. It's happening now. The interest is there now, and it's happening quickly.

I think there are a lot of really time consuming tasks that. are going to be automated as technology providers master the APIs provided by vendors like open AI, the makers of chat GPT, just as one example, where these sophisticated systems can create what one of us could with nearly the same quality, but in a fraction of the time.

 What's even more exciting about this is they can be trained to meet very specific criteria. Whether it be corporate objectives or industry level best practices. And so highly tunable, accurate automation systems, I think, is going to do a  lot to reduce the dependence on the few highly tenured staff who are most in demand in the community who have been there longest and understand what's the daily operations and the residents better than anybody's will take burden off of them, which will in turn improve retention of the folks that are most crucial to the success of the operation.

Amber Bardon: Is there anything that LifeLoop is working on that you can tell us about that's going to be coming out in the future. 

Dylan Conley: Yes, and now I'll just say that we are working on some big things that make use of artificial intelligence, generative AI in particular, to meaningfully reduce time in a very measurable way.

I can't say much beyond that. Unfortunately, but I will talk about something that is coming very soon here, just in the next month. And we already have this in some of our more innovative customers hands as they pilot it. We're preparing to launch a product that we call LifeLoop Insights. With this product we are empowering and arming  operators with all the operational data so they can understand at a glance how their communities are performing operationally and how their residents are engaging.

So we provide KPIs that serve as leading indicators. So operators know where risk is emerging within their system, where to invest their time and attention. We also provide actionable insight. So it's clear what steps to take with each community to improve performance. Front and center, plain English.

Here are the recommendations of steps that you can take to make your communities more efficient and help your residents engage better and more holistically. And we've seen that when done right, there are very real, very measurable wellness outcomes, wellness improvements. We use data, not just from within the system but across the industry and broad.

So we have thousands and thousands of communities that use our products today. And so we see the data we've analyzed what does best in class look like in the industry and where are there opportunities for improvement? And with LifeLoop Insights, you have the ability to compare your community's performance, not just to other communities within your system, but across the industry and broad.

Amber Bardon: Sounds really exciting. looking forward to learning more about that in the future. Dylan, thank you so much for joining me today. Is there anything that we have not covered, or any words of wisdom or advice that you would like to share with our listeners? 

Dylan Conley: I really appreciate your time.

Thank you. Great questions. I think the only other thing I'd say is this is an exciting time. We're seeing evolution and technology unfold in front of us. It's not too different from the birth of the Internet, the birth of the cloud. You might call this the birth of generative AI, but I prefer to say we're entering the age of intelligence.

And just like all other evolutionary events in technology, the systems and operational practices that took us here from where we were yesterday, they're not going to take us into the future. So my advice, words of encouragement is to embrace this change. It's the innovators that will differentiate their products by being the first to harness this new technology.

Amber Bardon: I love that. The age of intelligence. You should coin that. 

Dylan Conley: Thank you. Maybe I'll, maybe we'll go for a trademark. 

Amber Bardon: Dylan, where can our listeners find out more about LifeLoop if they'd like to 

learn more? 

Dylan Conley: Yes. We are LifeLoop.com. If you go to LifeLoop.com right on the homepage, you can fill in your contact information.

Our phone number is there as well. We'd love to hear from you and we'd love to see if we can help bring value to your communities. 

Amber Bardon: Thank you so much for joining me today, Dylan. It's been great having you. 

Dylan Conley: Thank you, Amber. 

Amber Bardon: Listeners, if you'd like to find more Raising Tech podcasts, or you'd like to share any feedback with us, or you have an idea for a future episode, you can find us online at RaisingTechPodcast. com and on social media at all of the same handles. As always, thank you for listening.