Posted by Ken Accardi

Jul 16, 2009 12:01:00 PM

Personal Tragedy Inspires Entrepreneur to Improve Healthcare Delivery

Baltimore, MD - July 16, 2009 - Ankota, Inc. announced today the release of the Ankota Home Healthcare Delivery Management (HDM) software suite, including home care scheduling software and paperless work reporting software that aids with home care compliance. These products, deployed via the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, will enable home healthcare agencies and their workers to improve patient care while seeing and caring for up to 30% more patients.

With the release of its product, Ankota is implementing a multi-tiered strategy to improve the management of care, which includes advanced scheduling, GPS routing, Mobile handheld and telephony (IVR) work tracking, plus management of best practice care protocols.

Ankota has come to market with an initial set of products to improve the operations of home health agencies. "If Fedex and UPS can track my package delivery in real-time, I questioned why home health care scheduling seems to be in the stone age," said CEO Will Hicklen. "When we researched it, we found that the technology exists, but that nobody has focused on serving the special needs of home care. We needed a delivery model that works with small agencies, and solved that with SaaS (software as a service). More importantly we needed to develop a solution that manages the intricacies of patient care. So for example, Ankota's software delivers efficiency while still giving nurses control of their schedules and those of their patients," Hicklen explained.

With the aging of the baby boomers and improvements in the quality of care in the US, the population of people age 65 and over is on track to triple between now and 2030. Also, it is anticipated that 6 out of 10 people over 65 will be managing one or more chronic diseases. These numbers make it clear that delivery of care outside the hospital will grow and that quality and efficiency need to dramatically improve.

For Will Hicklen and his teen daughters Hailey and Hannah, their world changed last July upon the death of their beloved wife and mother Sandy Hicklen. Sandy's was a rare cancer, and the path to properly managing her care was unclear for some time. Through numerous hospitalizations, surgeries, outpatient services, nurse home-visits, and, finally, end-of-life care through hospice, the experience exposed the tremendous gaps and inefficiencies in coordinating delivery of care. Will, a successful software industry entrepreneur, and his close friend Dr. Hunter Young, a medical doctor at Johns Hopkins, saw through Sandy's fight the opportunity to dramatically change the lives of patients and those who seek to care for them.

One year later, Will launched Ankota ( as the pioneering company in the field of Healthcare Delivery Management (HDM). "When you need healthcare outside the hospital, all of the burden of scheduling and coordination falls upon the patient or loved ones," Hicklen shared, "and although the health workers are adept at their skill, nobody seems to understand the big picture. It's a helpless and lonely feeling that I don't want others to experience."

When asked if this is the right economic time to start a business, Hicklen said he sees no better time and explained that the solution fits perfectly into the country's movement towards healthcare efficiency. He further looks forward to the opportunity to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Ankota's products are available now and several pilot projects are underway. Hicklen added, "We've just launched the web site [] and we're opening the solution up to Home Medical Equipment [HME] and Home Care providers. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive."

Hailey, Hannah and Will are moving on with the great support of family and friends and the legacy of Sandy Hicklen lives on in their daily lives, as well as in Will's new venture.

About Ankota

Ankota is the pioneering company in the field of Healthcare Delivery Management (HDM). Ankota provides Home Care Software Solutions delivered via the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that improve efficiency and compliance within Home Healthcare Operations. All Ankota solutions are designed with inputs from the home care community with the goals of providing better patient care in a provider friendly manner. For more information, please email