houston innovators podcast episode 113
Health care leader says Houston's innovation ecosystem is shifting into third gear
It's never been a better time for health care innovation in Houston. At least, that's what Dr. Toby Hamilton as observed in his time as a health care startup founder and innovation leader in Houston.
"Houston is absolutely beginning to show up on the national radar regarding health care innovation — as we should," Hamilton says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "We are shifting our innovation vehicle into third gear for the first time, and I'm excited to see what fourth gear looks like, because it's around the corner.
Hamilton started his career as a physician before founding Emerus Holdings, a micro-hospital system in the Houston area which later exited to private equity. He also founded a nonprofit focused on connecting hospital innovation leaders called the Healthcare Innovators Professional Society and led the Texas Medical Center's Biodesign program for two years.
Over the years, he says he's seen the potential develop for Houston to hold a significant role in health care innovation across the world — it's just going to take all hands on deck.
"As a community, if we can get behind that vision and be the place that tests, develops, and creates opportunities, Houston has the potential to be unlike anything in the world," he says on the show.
Hamilton hopes to contribute to that momentum and his latest endeavor is tackling a huge obstacle in health care: access. He founded Hamilton Health Box in 2019 and had a full year of operations including a pilot program before the COVID-19 shutdown.
Essentially, Hamilton's vision recreates the traditional method of providing health care access to a company's employee base. The program brings an on-site care team to the company's offices so that employee patients have immediate access to treatment and preventative care.
"Hamilton Health Box that was designed to deliver the lowest possible price of primary and preventative care," Hamilton says. "We built that to be able to take that care to the jobsite and meet the customer where they are at."
In the new year, Hamilton says he hopes to expand on this model and reach groups of people without access to this type of care — like in rural communities.
He shares more on his work and Houston as a health care innovation leader on the podcast. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.