hippo app

New Toronto app lets you order doctors to your home

On-demand services are a dime a dozen in Toronto. From bigwigs like Uber and Foodora to local startups, such as Rover and Eden, there are plenty of smartphone-based apps that help make daily life in the city a little more manageable.

The newest entrant, however, is looking to the past for inspiration. "HippoMD is all about bringing the traditional doctor's house call to the 21st century," says app co-founder Adrienne Ng. HippoMD, which launched in beta two weeks ago, is currently available in the App Store for iOS users. It's not out for Android just yet.

"It's on-demand doctors," explains Ng. "You select your location and then you request a doctor. And then you get periodic updates about when the doctor's going to arrive based on who's ahead of you in the queue."

Since house calls are covered by OHIP, the app is free to use if you have a health card. HippoMD's still working on its business model, but it's considering running itself like a walk-in clinic.

It employs a small group of family and emergency room doctors right now who'll provide feedback throughout the beta testing period.

The app's icon is particularly striking. Hippo, of course, is a play on the Hippocratic oath, but it also lets the founding team have fun with its branding by using an adorable hippopotamus as its mascot.

Ng started this new venture along with two doctors. "Our goal is really to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for everyone," she says. They also want to help divert non-emergent patients away from our city's already crowded ERs.

HippoMD's available in midtown from Wilson/York Mills to Dupont between Bathurst and Bayview. Ng tells me they hope to expand their service area in the near future.

Similar apps, such as Heal and Pager, are already on the market in the United States. And here at home, the Toronto-based iamsick.ca also tries to make healthcare more convenient. It tells you which clinics and pharmacies are open on weekends and holidays, lets you book appointments online and offers a virtual waiting room for added convenience.

Right now, HippoMD, lets you request doctors between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends.

Photo via @myhippomd.


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