Virtual care startup that aims to improve health in rural areas via headsets raises funds


Hippo Technologies is the Vancouver, Wash.-area startup developing technology that connects patients in rural areas with doctors and has raised seed money through Ochsner Health, a large health care system that is based within New Orleans.

The companies didn’t disclose the amount of the loan, however the cash raises the the total investment of Hippo at $3.7 million according to the spokesperson. The previous investors include Hippo’s executive team as well as individual investors.

Hippo’s platform connects with software that supports the virtual care and telemedicine workflows . headsets worn by healthcare professional.

The headsets that are hands-free and voice-activated are available during the care process to stream patient interactions to specialists in hospitals.

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Hippo will partner with Ocshner to bring specialists together with doctors and patients in the remote regions of the Ochsner network, that serves Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South. The focus initially will be on neurology.

The partnership will “bringing the expert and healthcare team to the patient no matter where the patient is,” said CEO Patrick Quinlan in the statementWednesday announcement of the deal. Quinlan was previously the CEO of Ochsner founded Hippo in the year 2020.

The other co-founders are neurosurgeons and the chief medical officer Wale Sulaiman, who was previously a professor of neurosurgery clinical in Tulane University and medical director of the Ochsner back and spine center; corporate lawyer Craig Williams; and Brian Hamilton, founder of the Vancouver-based RealWear the assistive reality wearable startup which recently was able to raise$23.5 million.

RealWear makes Hippo’s specific headset, as well as Hippo creates the software that is also compatible with other displays mounted on the head as well as smart glasses. Hippo has a cost for installation for the hardware, and an annual licensing fee that is determined by the amount of usage.

The company started to form three years ago , when Hamilton who is from a line of medical professionals, tested a headset to provide patients’ care in Nigeria together along with Quinlan as well as Sulaiman.

According to a CNN article about his life Sulaiman was born from Nigeria and has committed to offering medical services within the nation. Sulaiman has been named the chief executive officer and the founder of RNZ Global, a medical services and management firm that operates in sub-Saharan Africa , and employs Hippo’s platform.

Hippo is also being utilized to provide medical education at Barry University and other customers. Hippo was used at hospitals across China at the beginning of the pandemic, and is currently being used by dialysis centers within Guatemala.

The company employs 10 people including the chief tech officer Ivan Lumala who was the chief technology officer for Microsoft 4Afrika, the tech giant’s initiative to expand its operations on the continent through local innovation.

Hippo declares that it stands out from other virtual-care providers by offering a collaborative clinical workflow that allows for multiple clinical specialists to work on a case of a patient.

“Hippo” is an abbreviation that represents the Hippocratic Oath. It represents integrity, health people, purpose, and results.

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