When we first heard about HippoMD, the new app that dispatches doctors directly to your doorstep, we were curious: Did this mean we would never have to darken the door of a waiting room ever again? We caught up with co-founder Adrienne Ng to get the scoop.
SDTC: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to develop this app.
AN: The idea actually came from my two co-founders, Evelyn and Leo, who are both family doctors working in a busy emergency room in the GTA. They both realized how many patients came to the emergency room where they worked because they did not have access to a family doctor or walk-in clinic. Ultimately, the goal is to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for everyone, and to empower patients with another choice as to how they would like to access healthcare.
For me, I thought the app was an incredible idea, and it is something I would love for myself. I also think that there is so much to be done when it comes to using technology to bring healthcare into the 21st century, and I wanted to be part of that movement. I’ve launched several companies in the past (most notably Indie Coffee Passport & LUVYT), and I love taking an idea and building it into something real.
Why do we need an app that sets up doctor housecalls?
For the busy young professional who works during the day and long hours into the evening, HippoMD is open when most other clinics are closed. Of course, we always recommend that you see your family doctor (if you have one), but if you’re in a pinch, HippoMD is there for you. For the young mom juggling a career and young children who are sick, sometimes it is really difficult, if not impossible, to find a way to trek to a clinic with kids in tow. Of course, again, your first call should be to your child’s family doctor, but when all else fails, a HippoMD housecall can make the world of a difference.
How do we know that we are getting a reputable doctor through this method?
All HippoMD doctors are pre-screened physicians who are fully licensed family or emergency room physicians who are in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
What are the advantages of doctor housecalls over going to a walk-in?
A HippoMD housecall allows you to wait in the comfort of your home, office or wherever you are. As well, at a walk-in clinic, there is an undefined wait time. With HippoMD, the app gives you periodic updates as to the doctor’s arrival time. Finally, at a walk-in clinic, you will be exposed to other people who are sick and have coughs/colds, so if you have to bring a young child along, that may not be optimal.
How do you see this expanding in the next year or so?
We will extend our hours, and we will expand one neighbourhood at a time. On our website, people can vote for where they’d like us to expand to next. And of course, we’re working hard on launching an android version of the app.
Crunched for time? Check it out.