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Calgary’s Next Economy: Humble Health looking at delivering convenience and privacy

Reid Kimmett grew up with medicine all around him.

The people around him were doctors, nurses or pharmacists.

“I am not any of those,” Kimmett, co-founder of Humble Health, said.

“But, in 2012, my dad asked me to take over the family business, a brick-and-mortar pharmacy.”

 He had a business background but grew up being around the pharmacy setting. Kimmett saw firsthand some of the challenges patients dealt with. There was a lot of waiting; waiting for medication or waiting to be counseled.

“It took me about six or seven years to craft a better way,” he said.

In the interim, he’d met Craig Stickel in a 2017 MBA program.

Stickel is a self-described lifelong learner. He’s a formally trained computer engineer, doing development and design. He’d spent some time in research and development for oil and gas, and did other freelance work for years.

He recalled an article he’d read in the MIT Technology Review, and the cover had a photo of Neil Armstrong with a caption that read, “you promised me Mars colonies and instead I got Facebook.”

“That just shot me straight to the heart, and I was kinda like, what am I doing?’”

The pair continued to cross paths and had further conversations. But Kimmett wasn’t ready. He said he was the typical 20-something in business school. He wanted to graduate and go make a pile of money in oil and gas.

Then, his sister died in a car crash.

“That quickly shifted my perspective on life. I realized there was something more,” Kimmett said.

“She wanted to dedicate her life to helping people. She didn’t get the opportunity to see that through. My life’s work is carrying on some of that for her.”

Humble Health beginnings

The pair, guided by a quote reminding them of humility in serving patients, launched Humble Health.

Kimmett said that in his time around the pharmacy he saw two big issues: convenience and lack of privacy. He wanted Humble Health to address both of those.

 “We wanted to remove that inconvenience of having to come into the pharmacy,” he said.

They’ve launched an app that allows users to upload a picture of their medication, they would receive counselling and product recommendations through the app and then it would be delivered via mail to their home.

Clients can also access symptom trackers, dose reminders, and even wellness checks if they haven’t heard from a patient.

Charting the path to better health

Stickel and Kimmett took part in the Platform Calgary Junction program and it delivered the right information at the right time.

Kimmett said that they both have great theoretical knowledge, but they go the specific information they needed to move forward with their business.  Having access to the network of founders and the mentors was also valuable for building their business, Kimmett said.

“It’s amazing just being able to have the advisers look at something and just say, ‘Well, what about this’ and you go, ‘Oh, shoot. Yeah, of course,’” he said.

They’re fine-tuning Humble Health through Kimmett’s family pharmacy (Two Pharmacy) in Cochrane. It’s a percolator for the project, Kimmett said.

The future direction isn’t set in stone. They’re toggled between being a direct-to-consumer medication delivery system, or a larger workflow system that could be applied to other pharmacies. 

That would allow pharmacies to focus more on the patient care journey, Kimmett said.

“We like that better because we can take care of them. That’s what we’re here for,” he said.

“The rest we can figure out along the way, and we have plans for opportunities, but it always just comes back to taking care of people.”