As Mobile Heartbeat continues to innovate and transform clinical communication & collaboration, we’re looking for employees who are eager to work on an important product that affects hundreds of thousands of users and their patients. This monthly article series highlights some of the current MH employees who exemplify our values and are helping us work toward our goal of improving communication in healthcare.
This month’s interview is with Mike Kellstrand, a longtime Mobile Heartbeat engineer who’s always up for something new to learn.
When and Why Did You Decide to Become an Engineer?
It’s so hard to decide what you want to do, or what you might be good at—I see my own children struggling with that. For me, I became interested in computers when I was 14 years old. That’s when I had an incredible opportunity to stay at a local college for a month during the summer, kind of like a camp.
While there, I took classes in microbiology and computer programming. I liked them both, but computers really stuck with me—and I enjoyed tinkering around with them. This was about the time when personal computers became popular, so I started working with them at home, writing video games and other things along the way. That carried on through college and eventually became my career.
How Did You Hear About Mobile Heartbeat, and What Made You Want to Work Here?
Well, I officially started here about five and a half years ago, but “unofficially,” I started here long before that. I actually worked with the founders of Mobile Heartbeat when we were all at a previous company. When they left to start this company, I kept in touch—occasionally doing small projects for them when they needed some help.
That kept on for a while, until I realized it was time for a change—so I started looking around. Honestly, when you’re looking for a job in engineering, there are so many that are pretty pointless or wasteful of talent. How many banner ads you can fit on a website, for example? I didn’t want that. I restricted my search to opportunities where I could make a huge difference in people’s lives.
So, I reached out to the founder of Mobile Heartbeat, since he was so well connected. “Do you know of anything good?” I asked. And he said, “Well, why don’t you come work for us?” The time was right and the company was growing at a great pace. Everything just fell into place, so I agreed to join.
How Would You Describe the Work You Do Here?
I’m a principal software architect, which means I wear many hats. When I first started here, there were just five engineers all writing code and working on the platform independently. But now, we have a collection of well-organized engineering teams. I manage one of them and am hiring a second.
I help with designs, guidance and direction, and just keeping things productive overall. Whatever my team needs, I try to facilitate and help so that they can thrive at what they do. That might include solving problems, sharing wisdom, removing roadblocks, or coordinating with other teams to keep things on track. It’s something new every day, which is great.
What Do You Think Engineers Are Hungry for These Days—and How Does Mobile Heartbeat Give Them That?
I find that many engineers from other companies are feeling bored, to put it bluntly. Maybe the technologies aren’t interesting or they’re in a rut, doing the same thing. So they tend to look for opportunities to learn something new and grow their skillset with more meaningful work.
Our product is quite broad and complex with many moving pieces, so there’s always something new to work on and learn here. You might join as a server engineer and over time, become proficient in iOS or Android programming. Or vice versa. No matter your interests, you’ll get training and on-the-job experience to make them part of your career.
And with the nature of work that we do for hospitals, there’s always another pain point to ease, another problem to solve. Something that can be streamlined and serve as a launch pad for the next big feature or tool. You’ll never run out of things to learn here.
Beyond all that, many engineers are intrigued by the opportunity to work in healthcare and actually make a difference. Working here you can improve patient care and save lives. That means a lot to them.
In What Ways Do You See Your Work Making a Difference?
At other companies, engineers may never meet their customers or users. It can make the work seem so abstract. That’s not the case here. There are always opportunities for engineers to visit hospital facilities and meet care teams to see how they use our product day-to-day.
We actually have a program where Mobile Heartbeat employees can spend four days at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire, shadowing the departments to see how our app impacts their work in various areas. So, you might do rounds with a nurse and watch them interacting with patients while using our platform, or visit the pharmacy or radiology lab to see how those specialists engage with the product too. You get to see the tools and features you had a hand in creating come to life in different contexts, which is awesome. To see providers collaborate with each other instantaneously—all thanks to MH-CURE™—it’s gratifying work, and pretty mind-blowing too.
Plus, it’s a morale boost. It reenergizes our team to really do their best, because they feel that connection and commitment with what they’re doing, and how it affects lives in a meaningful way.
How Have You Seen Mobile Heartbeat Evolve Over Your Time Here?
I’d summarize it with two words: growth and stability. About 10 years ago, the company launched as a two-person startup. Five years later, it grew to 15 employees. Now, we have around 100 people, and still growing.
Stability is also a big piece of it. We’re now owned by a $45 billion parent company—which provides us the security and latitude to do our best. But we still maintain that small-company culture, where we all work in the same office and know each other. It’s honestly the best of both worlds.
What Direction Do You See Mobile Heartbeat Taking in the Next Few Years?
At a high level, we’ll continue to grow, adding new customers and new talent who are hungry for opportunities to make a difference and expand their skillset. Our technologies and product lines are evolving in really exciting ways. So if anyone is reading this and looking to be a part of something truly extraordinary, I strongly encourage them to get in touch and join us!
To learn more about working at Mobile Heartbeat, visit our careers page, or call 781-238-0000.