In the early days of the pandemic, sister-and-brother duo Shivani Shah and Sagar Shah spent time strategizing about a transition coming to Shivani’s life.
She was about to move across the country to start her medical residency at Duke University, and along with the stress of a new role and making new friends, she also was experiencing dating for the first time as a North Carolina transplant and busy doctor. On top of all the health stresses that the pandemic placed on medical professionals, social distancing and unpredictable schedules made it even harder for those in the medical field to date, the pair told Technical.ly.
They brainstormed how they could help fill this social gap and create something positive for healthcare pros amid a chaotic year. After talking to close friends and family who were also in healthcare, as well as other residents about to move or start a new job, they formed the idea for ForeverX, a dating app specifically catered to healthcare workers looking for meaningful connection.
“We were looking to build something where likeminded individuals can communicate,” Sagar Shah said. “Very few people understand the inherent sacrifices healthcare workers make, and the pandemic exacerbated these issues.”
The pair officially began work on the app last fall. It’s their first venture together, and the duo is working with a contracted development team to build the app, while self-funding the startup.
Its name, ForeverX, is a cheeky call to a medicine prescription, while making it clear the focus is on finding serious romantic relationships, the founders said. It launched to users last month, and is currently free to use, though there are paid and premium features coming down the line. Find it on the App Store and Google Play.
The app uses a medical professional’s national provider identifier number to verify their identity. The Shahs say it currently has a few hundred users, and launched with an initial focus in Philadelphia and New York, two cities close to the founders and with thriving healthcare sectors. Shivani Shah works on the app remotely from North Carolina, while Sagar Shah is based in Center City.
A unique aspect of the app, not yet seen in others in the space, is ForeverX’s scheduling feature. Because healthcare workers sometimes work 24-hour shifts, weekends and evenings, the feature allows for two people who are aiming to set a date see their partners’ set availability.
“Sometimes after you match with someone, you’ll go back and forth trying to find a time to meet and it kind of takes away from wanting to meet someone, and instead just forgetting about it,” Shivani Shah said. “We created an attempt to avoid that, where both users can put their times and dates in right there in the app.”
An additional feature, ResX, focuses on building friendships. Healthcare pros may move many times over the course of their education, training and professional careers, and the friendship platform offers a way for folks to connect on a social level. Because of frequent moves, the app also uses larger geographical radius to make connections than more general dating apps, they said. That’s because, if you know you’ll only be at 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 sibling founders are the company’s only employees right now, but they intend to hire a technical lead and marketing pro in the future, as the app grows.
“We made this brand for healthcare pros by healthcare pros,” Shivani Shah said. “We aimed to create something that will give them joy outside the hospital, work on wellness and give them connection with people who understand them.”-30-