An open call to engineers, data scientists and product builders

We’ve just hired employee number 9 — it’s super exciting. I can still vividly remember sitting in my bedroom in Dundee dreaming up what would become snap40. I was a medical student at the time and I have a previous degree in computer science.

If you consider our technological development as a species, it is remarkable. From my home, I can get an Amazon delivery within an hour. My team and I can work distributed 24/7 from anywhere in the world and stay in constant video communication. I can travel to virtually any city in the world and get a taxi at the touch of a button.

In contrast, I was astonished by the lack of technological disruption within healthcare. It astounds me that while, as a society, we were able to eradicate smallpox, we still use pen and paper to write drug charts, we still don’t have cohesive electronic medical records and patient observations are still mainly taken manually and intermittently.

I believe that too many founders and engineers have been dissuaded by the perceived challenges healthcare technology presents. And there are great challenges, but those challenges belie the true opportunity we have as engineers to work with doctors, nurses and health services to improve how healthcare is delivered.

What we are trying to do at snap40 is bring healthcare to the individual, before they even know they need it. We want a prescription to arrive in the post, an ambulance to show up at the door, a primary care appointment to arrive by e-mail — automatically. Without the individual having to do anything. We want to flip how healthcare is delivered.

Many see us as a wearables company, but that couldn’t be further from the truth — we’re a software company. Alan Kay once said “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” We are a tech startup — not a med-tech startup, not a medical devices startup. We aren’t afraid to tackle the hard problems. We believe that some things are too important to be left to someone else.

We have had to build out a mature tech stack early, we’ve had to focus on enterprise security, reliability, redundancy as well as early investment in developer optimisation. We’ve had no choice — we’re operating in a regulated industry that isn’t used to the speed and agility necessary to build a high-growth, billion dollar tech company. We run from embedded software running on our hardware, to a data pipeline ingesting hundreds of thousands of data points to micro-services computing and constantly analysing health patterns to the front-end where we have to display large amounts of information simply and quickly.

What makes me proud about what we have achieved so far is the team behind it. I could make lots of cliché’s, but the simple truth is that we have built a team of people who are personally passionate about the problem we are trying to solve. We have a team of people who are not afraid of hard engineering problems, of deep data challenges, of new science. We have a team of people who have sacrificed and put everything they have into our mission and to build out the best possible product. We have a team who come to work everyday to learn, build, develop, grow and do the hard things. As such, we’ve built out our product and proven it in about half the typical time it takes.

We aren’t building incremental improvements, we’re working in an entirely fresh domain. We have the opportunity to save someone’s wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter. We have the opportunity to change how healthcare is delivered. And we have the opportunity to do that through an amazing product, based on precision design, engineering and science.

So this is an open call to all engineers, data scientists and product builders who want to work on hard product, engineering and data science problems that can touch people’s lives. If you want to come and do the best work of your life, if you want to work with super-smart, super-driven engineers and data scientists, if you want to change peoples lives then, then please e-mail me at christopher@snap40.com

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