Team Stories

Why I joined Fathom: Dave Hughes

Dave Hughes
May 28, 2024

From time to time, Fathom invites recent hires to share their experience in deciding to join our team. In this blog, Dave Hughes, Engineering Manager, tells the story of his passion for AI and healthcare and his path to Fathom.

Let's play two truths and a lie:

1. Working with the FBI, I helped take down the biggest botnet in the world.
2. Stephen Hawking was a customer of mine.
3. I'm a pro-level kite surfer.

Believe it or not, the lie is that I'm a professional kite surfer! But the other two anecdotes are absolutely true.

Hawking, hackers, and healthcare

I've always been interested in the intersection of software, AI, and healthcare. I studied computer science at Wake Forest, and while in school, the opportunity to intern at Intel came up. My team built connected wheelchairs for quadriplegics, which is how Stephen Hawking ended up being one of our most famous customers!

After graduating, I worked as a software engineer at Quantcast, Google, and Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Healthcare). At Google, I spent two and a half years building machine learning pipelines and internal tooling to detect malicious ads traffic. It might not sound glamorous, but some of my team's work helped the FBI take down 3ve – one of the largest and most sophisticated botnets in the world.  

From there I transitioned to Verily, where I was the technical lead for the underlying cloud infrastructure powering Verily's medical IoT devices. My team and I worked on security and protocol design for a few products like Verily Patch, Study Watch, and a number of yet-to-be-released devices, including the FDA 510k for the Verily Patch. We even developed algorithms to detect Parkinson's or the onset of COVID through sensor data analysis during the pandemic.

After my time at Verily, I founded a company called Revvable, where we developed software to streamline powersports dealership operations. As CTO, I built out the product and engineering teams and led product development. I left Revvable after about two years due to changes in my personal life, and before I joined Fathom I consulted as a fractional CTO/Head of Engineering for startups.

Finding fun and fulfillment at Fathom

When the opportunity at Fathom presented itself, I leapt at it. I really wanted to work in an AI startup that was focused on healthcare, and Fathom piqued even more of my interest by using AI to address real problems and inefficiencies in healthcare. During the interview process, I was amazed by how clever, deeply technical, and ambitious everyone I spoke to during the process was.

I've been an Engineering Manager at Fathom for just over half a year now, and I'm very excited to continue to grow the team and meet the demand the market has for our product. Fathom's engineering team is very unique in the way that it operates. I'm learning and will continue to learn about how to operate and grow an organization in a hyper-growth environment.

Working here has been a fantastic experience, and I really appreciate the effort Fathom makes for teammates to build rapport and get to know each other outside of work. The team culture here is amazing and I've had the chance to go to some really fun offsites and impromptu happy hours.

I'm incredibly proud of all the hard work everyone at Fathom puts in, and can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

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