Longevity Network
  • Nov 29, 2017
  • Entrepreneur Spotlight

Entrepreneur of the Week: Chat Razdan, Care+Wear

Entrepreneur of the Week: Chat Razdan, Care+Wear

Care+Wear is a medical clothing designer that seeks to make clothing that is both comfortable, functional, and fashionable. Their hallmark product is a PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Cather) line cover that is available in a number of lengths, colors, and patterns. PICC lines are often used to provide intravenous access for patients with chronic conditions.

Longevity Network: What does Care+Wear, the company, do?

Chat Razdan: Care+Wear is a leading provider of innovative healthwear focused on creating positive and effective healing experiences for patients everywhere. Care+Wear’s leading products address the comfort of patients who have PICC lines or chest ports. Our ultra-soft, antimicrobial, breathable and machine washable PICC Line Covers and Chest Access Shirts were co-created with patients, clinicians and hospitals to provide patients with wearable products that are both functional and fashionable.

LN: Can you tell us about your product and how it works?

CR: Our PICC Line Cover helps eliminate some of the challenges of having a PICC line by making it easier to securely the protect the PICC, while allowing for breathability and visibility of the PICC line. Traditionally, hospitals provide patients with a gauze sleeve that looks like a tube sock to protect their PICC lines when they leave the hospital. The Care+Wear PICC Line Cover allows for easy monitoring of the PICC site for dislodgement, leakage or infection by clinicians, patients and caregivers through the patent-pending mesh window, while simultaneously providing airflow to the site for proper dressing functionality. The Cover is also antimicrobial and is machine-washable to ease the burden on patients and caregivers during treatment. In addition to being produced in a variety of colors and styles, there are also Major League Baseball Covers available so that patients can wear their favorite teams on their sleeves.

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Our EPA-approved, antimicrobial Chest Access Shirts for men, women and children are designed to be stylish, while easing the infusion process for patients receiving treatment at home or at treatment centers. With its EPA approved antimicrobial fabric and zipper opening on either the right or left side, Care+Wear’s Chest Access Shirts provide patients or clinicians with direct access to the treatment site so that the wearer does not have to disrobe, promoting warmth, discretion and comfort.

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LN: What opportunity did you want to address with the development of your technology?

CR: Care+Wear was founded in 2014 after seeing a close friend’s difficult experience receiving chemotherapy treatment through a PICC line. Told to wear a tube sock to protect and cover the PICC line site, our friend found that this bulky, ugly sock not only made his taxing treatment even more uncomfortable, but it also served as a constant reminder of his illness. As we saw his struggle with getting dressed and going about his daily life, we decided to create something new and better that would help patients with PICC lines live comfortably, safely and stylishly.

Recognizing the growing need to bring innovation and design to the healthcare industry, we worked in partnership with leading hospitals, patients and clinicians to create our ultra-soft PICC Line Cover. As we worked on our antimicrobial PICC line cover, we realized there was a broader opportunity to define the healthwear industry. Expanding our collection, we now offer Chest Access Shirts for patients with chest ports and have a variety of other products in our pipeline. We hope that by designing functional and fashionable products with care, we can provide positive and effective healing experiences for patients everywhere.

LN: Who are your primary users? In what ways can your products benefit the 50+ population?

CR: Care+Wear products are applicable to patients at any age with PICC lines, Hickman lines, port-a-caths or central lines, among other intravenous solutions. The ultimate goal of our products is to improve the patient experience; for patients aged 50 and older, our products can help provide a great deal of relief for both patients and caregivers. For example, our PICC Line Covers help to keep PICC Lines safe, make it easy to check on the site and can be put in the washing machine with other clothing. Our EPA-approved, antimicrobial Chest Access Shirts are designed to be stylish, while providing patients or clinicians with direct access to the treatment site so that the wearer does not have to disrobe, promoting warmth, discretion and comfort. Our hope is that by providing fashionable products that are medically compliant, we can help improve the quality of life of both patients and loved ones helpful with their care.  

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LN: How did you assemble your team?

CR: Originally, our team was composed of just me and my co-founder, Susan Jones. We began by bringing on a team of top advisors to help guide us, such as doctors and nurses from hospitals like Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins, as well as marketing and consulting help from specialists from top agencies. However, as our sales began to grow, we began hiring strategically, bringing on experts in operations, sales, hospital relations, design, marketing, and communications so that we had dedicated team members focused on every function our business would need to grow.

LN: How has Care+Wear, the company differed from what you envisioned it would be (if at all)?

CR: When we first started – we were just solving to help loved ones. We never thought that this would become a company and didn’t begin to realize how significant the need was for healthwear clothing products. Originally our vision was just to help PICC Line patients suffering from the same difficulties as our friend, but as we learned about the market, we knew that we had to help improve options for patients in as many areas possible. Today, we have the very ambitious goal of helping patients everywhere – no matter what afflicts you, we want to be able to have a safe and stylish solution for you.  

LN: What do you wish you had known before developing your concept?

CR: When I first talked to Susan about designing the PICC Line Cover, she told me “Oh, that’s super simple.” As a former investment banker and consultant, that translated to me as a project that would take a few hours. I like to joke now that when someone in fashion tells you something is “super simple” that means it will take a year to make. Having not been in the fashion industry, I wasn’t aware of some of the timelines. Even today as we develop new products for our pipeline, we want to make sure that we’re gathering feedback from all parties, patients, clinicians, hospitals and designers. Using this comprehensive design approach can take extra time, but it ensures that we produce products that patients and clinicians really love.

LN: What most excites you about the aging and / or health technology market?

CR: The healthwear market is almost completely unchartered territory making it both exciting and scary. It is really thrilling to come up with innovative solutions that truly help patients. I’ve seen the face of someone who went from having a mesh tube sock to wearing one of our covers and that smile is what drives me every day.

LN: What is your best piece of advice for startups who want to include or target the 50+ market?

CR: Dignity is the key to targeting older demographics. Consider their comfort, their needs and their lifestyles – with that information you can assess if your product is a nice to have or a need to have. Only if your product is a need to have will the 50+ population either adapt or convert to your product.

LN: Do you have any other products in development?

CR: Expanding Care+Wear’s collection from our few core products, we have already begun working on a number of other items expected to launch in 2018 including a re-imagined patient gown in collaboration with the Parsons School of Design, mobility gloves for wheelchair users in collaboration with renowned healthier designer Lucy Jones (Forbes 30 Under 30), and a project with Oscar de la Renta.

LN: Where do you see Care+Wear five years from now?

CR: In the next five years, we see ourselves becoming the go-to healthwear brand for patients — regardless of whether they are facing cancer, diabetes, a broken bone or even a tennis elbow. We are already a global company with distributers in the UK and Asia; in five years we look forward to serving patient needs all around the world so that all patients can undergo treatment with dignity and comfort.

LN: Anything else you’d like to share?

CR: Just like our customers, we will never give up on searching for solutions to improve patient lives. We are honored that we have the incredible opportunity to help the most inspiring and courageous people. Every day, the patients we serve push us to build better and better products. We encourage anyone with a solution or story to share to email us at wecare@careandwear.com. We would love to hear from you!

Chat Razdan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Care+Wear, a leading provider of innovative healthwear focused on creating positive and effective healing experiences for patients everywhere. The son of a doctor, Chat created Care+Wear to dedicate himself to improving patient lives. Having recognized the growing need to bring innovation and design to the healthcare industry, Chat is best known for working in partnership with leading hospitals, patients and clinicians to create Care+Wear’s clothing and accessories. Chat was previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs as well as a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney and was named one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2015 at its Builders + Innovators Summit. Chat is a proud University of Virginia graduate with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is an active alumnus, serving on the reunions committees for both schools and on alumni boards for the University of Virginia.

To learn more about Care+Wear, visit their website or follow them on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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