22 Jul Hippo’s Founding Story
I would like to share the ethos of Hippo Technologies that originates from the themes off the Hippocratic Oath:
H = Health
I = Integrity
P = People
P = Purpose
O = Outcomes
My personal calling for working in the healthcare industry started in eighth grade when I was pushing a cart around the Surgical Pathology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland as one of my first forms of official employment. Healthcare was part of my family’s lineage. My earliest memories as a young boy were hearing my parents talk in a language I did not understand, discussing topics around gastroenterology, pathology, oncology; science and its application to medicine were central themes during our dinner conversations.
My Grandfather, Ralph Albert Hamilton, was a hospital administrator for Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a pioneer in computing at Lutheran Hospital developing the hospital’s first data processing center for supply chain management and he went on to run the purchasing department.
My father, Stan Hamilton, dedicated his life to the study of medicine and was a Pathologist at Johns Hopkins, for 25 years. He subsequently spent 21 years as Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, and as of three months ago is the Chair of Pathology at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Southern California.
My mother, Cheryl, worked in a clinical laboratory right after college at the same time she was expecting me, her first child. My mother still works with my father to this day as a clinical research assistant.
My sister Kim lives in Colorado and runs her and her husband’s veterinary practice and also is a professional equestrian rider.
My little brother, Mark, just graduated from Hofstra Medical School after retiring from Major League Baseball. He is starting his residency early and will be battling COVID-19 on the front lines in the New York City Area.
The journey to founding Hippo Technologies did not take shape until 2019 when I had the opportunity to deploy some of the first hands-free wearable computing use cases in rounding, proctoring and consultation in Nigeria. This deployment was facilitated by Hippo Technologies CEO and CEO Emeritus of Ochsner Health Dr. Patrick Quinlan and Dr. Wale Sulaiman who is CEO and Chairman of RNZ Global, Nigeria, whose story you must read to believe. Both are founders in Hippo.
My experience in Nigeria with Dr. Sulaiman and his staff was so eye-opening and rewarding that my time in sub-Saharan Africa became a calling.
Being able to help people through the use of technology has always been a key focus of mine and actually seeing it applied to help and care for people with new forms of open access was gratifying to the point that I knew we had to launch this company to serve patients and those that care for them. Our mission is to make the world a better place and to deliver equality of access in health healthcare for all people regardless of what country they are from or economic means.
There was one story in particular in Port Harcourt, Nigeria at RNZ (Royal Dutch Shell) Hospital which made me realize the power of the work being done. A woman was going into surgery and was literally being wheeled into the operating room and one of the doctors started a pre-op consult with her. She smiled and wanted to try the device before her surgery, and she was able to interact with not just the physician treating her but others in the hospital instantaneously before her procedure. At that moment, I saw the future of Hippo Virtual Care (HVC) – the power and availability and also the clinician-patient connection that technology made possible. It was a life changing experience.
Hippo is now making this a reality. Supporting the clinical community was an important reason why we started this company. The current COVID-19 pandemic effectively sped up our plans for the company’s launch and our pilots. In January, the Hippo team mobilized to send the HVC (Hippo Virtual Care) platform to the front lines in Wuhan, China. Today, HVC (Hippo Virtual Care) pilot deployments are being pushed into clinical settings and intensive care units to support clinicians, front-line health workers and COVID-19 patients, and helping to provide a connection for patients to their families and join with clinicians on rounds to see and get updates. There will be more stories to share in the coming weeks on how Hippo is helping to deliver on its vision for virtual care in the United States and around the world.
My expectations for Hippo as a company are that collectively we will create networks without borders and knowledge without boundaries, while removing the barriers of distance, time and training to access medical care whenever and wherever it’s needed.
I’m excited about the future and I welcome any feedback from everyone about how we can work together to transform the future of healthcare.