A new company called Enurgi has taken its cue from social networks by creating a service network that connects caregivers with patients and facilitates their business transactions online.
The site is premised on the notion that it is currently too difficult for the elderly and disabled to find professionals to care for them (or clinicians to find clients who can benefit from their particular skills). Since Enurgi serves as a tool for both patients and caregivers, it can be viewed from either of two ends.
Professional caregivers can join the site by claiming their identity (with scanned proof of license) from a database of about 1.5 million caregivers, which Enurgi has built up from public records maintained by states across the US. Once registered, caregivers fill out their profiles with information about their specialties, work experiences, accreditations, locations, and contact methods. If they already have clients, they can record the times they are busy in an online calendar. Soon, caregivers will also be able to run background checks on themselves using LexisNexis and post the results of those checks on their profiles. Once ready, these caregivers can then find people in need of their services by searching Enurgi’s pool of registered care recipients.
On the other end of things, those in need of care (or those who have responsibility for those in need of care, like family members) can register and set up their own profiles with information about their medical conditions, lifestyles, support systems, and needs for special care. They too can fill out an online schedule for themselves but will probably skip right ahead to searching for caregivers who live in their area, who are registered with the site, and who possess the right expertise.
Caregivers and care recipients can establish relationships by sending each other messages through the website. Enurgi will then keep track of these relationships, help schedule sessions with its calendaring system, and manage all of the payments that clients send to their caregivers through the website (powered by PayPal). Clients can also post reviews of their caregivers that can be viewed by other potential clients. Among Enurgi’s features is a tool that helps care recipients calculate how much money they will have to spend on services given their insurance coverage. Another tool helps caregivers deal with the paperwork of working under contract.
Enurgi will determine in time just how it wants to make money from its service. However, they plan on taking a percentage of each financial transaction made through its site (although not until January).
Enurgi demonstrated its service in the TechCrunch40 demo pit this past September.