In the early days of the pandemic, the brother and sister duo Shivani Shah and Sagar shah spent time strategizing on an upcoming transition in Shivani’s life.
She was about to move across the country to begin her medical residency at duke university, and with the stress of a new role and making new friends, she was also experiencing first-time dating as a North Carolina transplant and busy doctor. On top of all the health stress the pandemic has placed on healthcare professionals, social distancing and unpredictable schedules have made it even more difficult for healthcare professionals to date, the couple said. Technically.
They reflected on how they could help bridge this social divide and create something positive for healthcare professionals during a chaotic year. After talking to close friends and family members who also worked in healthcare, as well as other residents who were about to relocate or start a new job, they came up with the idea of ForeverX, a dating app specially designed for healthcare professionals looking for a meaningful connection.
“We were looking to create something where like-minded people can communicate,” said Sagar Shah. “Very few people understand the sacrifices inherent in healthcare workers, and the pandemic has exacerbated these problems. “
The pair officially started working on the app last fall. This is their first venture together, and the duo are working with a contracted development team to create the app, while also self-funding the startup.
Its name, ForeverX, is a cheeky call for a prescription drug, while making it clear that the focus is on finding serious romantic relationships, the founders said. It was released to users last month and is currently free, although there are paid and premium features to come. Find it on the App Store and google play.
The app uses a healthcare professional’s national provider identification number to verify their identity. The Shahs say it currently has a few hundred users and that it was launched with an initial target in Philadelphia and New York, two cities close to the founders and with thriving health sectors. Shivani Shah works on the app remotely from North Carolina, while Sagar Shah is based in Center City.
One unique aspect of the app, not yet seen in others in the space, is ForeverX’s scheduling feature. Since healthcare workers sometimes work around the clock, weekends and evenings, the feature allows two people who want to set a date to see their partners’ availability set.
“Sometimes after meeting someone you go back and forth trying to find a time to meet and it saves you from wanting to meet someone and just forgetting about them,” Shivani Shah said. “We have created an attempt to avoid this, where both users can put their times and dates directly into the app.”
An additional feature, ResX, focuses on building friendships. Healthcare professionals can move multiple times during their education, training, and professional careers, and the Friendship Platform provides a way for people to connect on a social level. Due to frequent travel, the app also uses a larger geographic radius to make connections than more general dating apps, they said. That’s because, if you know you’ll only be in your current hospital for a year or two, you’re probably more open to connecting with those in other states or cities, Shivani Shah said.
The founding siblings are the only employees at the company right now, but they plan to hire a technical lead and marketing professional in the future as the app grows.
“We created this brand for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals,” said Shivani Shah. “We wanted to create something that will bring them joy outside of the hospital, work on well-being, and allow them to connect with people who understand them. “