eAdvocate, an online “caring marketplace,” is launching in southern Ontario.
eAdvocate is designed to offer clients essential information, direct care services and innovative online tools to help them become better advocates when caring for their loved ones.
More than 25% of Canadians are involved in providing informal care for a family member or close friend, and over 500,000 Canadians pay for some form of private healthcare at home.
Traditionally, private care has been provided by agencies that hire caring professionals and then assign them to clients. What makes the eAdvocate approach different is they are not an agency but instead a marketplace for care. What makes this approach unique is that as a eAdvocate provides a platform that eliminates the overhead of traditional agencies by allowing families and patients to find, screen, hire and coordinate health care practitioners directly.
The marketplace model has proven its effectiveness in offering more choice and lowering costs in a diverse range of business sectors from accommodation (AirBnB, Homeaway) to transportation (Uber, Lyft) to a wide range of goods (Etsy, EBay).
eAdvocate was founded by Janet Balfour, a PhD with over 20 years experience in social work and social policy, in partnership with her husband Rob Balfour an experienced digital technology entrepreneur.
eAdvocate will be expanding their service to other Canadian provinces later this summer and will also be rolling out new tools including the ability for clients to receive lower cost care plans online and hire care coordinators to assist them in managing complex care. They also plan to launch a new bursary program, eAdvocate Cares, later this year that will dedicate 1.5% of company revenue to support families who may not be able to afford the urgent health and social services they need. eAdvocate plans to further expand to the US in 2016.