Hello, and welcome to CareZone. My name is Jonathan Schwartz, and I’m our CEO. Recently, my company established a relationship with the National Parkinson Foundation, through which our services (which normally require a subscription) have been made freely available.

CareZone is a utility for people who care for others — we're a safe place to get organized, store important information and share access with family and other individuals you control. Why'd we start CareZone? 

By birth or by choice, everyone has a family. Familes are the first and oldest social network, and for people all across the world, being a part of a family has always been the most fundamental, unifying experience.

Now, my family has had its fair share of challenges, related to Parkinson's, to autism, childhood development issues, long term planning, you name it. Life is complicated. At one time or another, nearly all families have experienced needing to care for one of their own — for children, parents or loved ones. It's the world’s most important job, and for families managing a Parkinson's diagnosis, it can also be one of the most difficult.

As a technologist, I wanted to make it easier.

But organizing and managing a loved one’s information, such as a spouse's or your parents’, is different than managing your own information. As wonderful as today’s social networks are in keeping you connected with your friends or colleagues, they’re based on a business model that doesn’t work for private, family information.

The most valuable businesses on the Internet today are focused on selling advertising. And advertising businesses work by coaxing you to reveal information about your life — to enable advertisers to be charged prices based upon what you’ve revealed. To an ad-based business, privacy is something to fight against — it lowers what they can charge advertisers. That’s why search and social media companies focus so much energy on fighting privacy — and it’s based on a simple conundrum: you are not their customer, you are their product. Advertisers are their customers.

At CareZone, our users are our customers. We don’t sell ads — or allow anyone to access your account that you haven’t explicitly authorized. Our service is paid for by the people who use us, who care about how their information will be managed. That’s the basis for CareZone: a safe, entirely private place to care for a child, an ailing parent or loved one. Our users are our customers.

How does it work?

First, CareZone is built on the assumption you’re caring for someone else, on whose behalf you might keep a journal, archive documents, manage information, or track medicines. We all know that caring for someone creates an endless stream of information — CareZone helps put you in control of the flow.

Second, CareZone’s default privacy setting is simple: only you can see what’s in your account. No one else. If you want to give access to others, like your spouse, extended family, or an emergency response team, you can make (and revoke) that decision explicitly.

If you choose to share your account with, say, your husband or brother-in-law, you’ll both have access to the same information, emergency contacts or reference documents. Families can share journals, medication lists can be shared with a new helper, or a babysitter can have easy access to an emergency contact list. CareZone helps the people in charge of caring share the burden, and enable others to help out.

To be clear, CareZone is a business predicated upon privacy: we are funded by families, not by advertisers, which means you’ll always know our highest priority is serving you. Unlike a social media site, you are our customer, not our product.

Thank you for learning more about CareZone — feel free to sign up for your free account at https://carezone.com/npf. We’re thrilled to be able to serve you and the entire Parkinson's community.

Feel free to follow us on Twitter (@openjonathan), or send us email at support@carezone.com.

Posted: 5/9/2012 7:37:04 AM by Cathy Whitlock


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