Community//

Dr. Eduardo Dolhun of DripDrop ORS: “Gratitude”

Gratitude. I lost my health once and needed others to recover. Be grateful for those in your life who supported and worked with you. People will come in and out of your life and some relationships are really, really tough. But they all are valuable. As a part of our series about business leaders who […]

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Gratitude. I lost my health once and needed others to recover. Be grateful for those in your life who supported and worked with you. People will come in and out of your life and some relationships are really, really tough. But they all are valuable.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eduardo Dolhun, M.D.

Dr. Dolhun is passionate about providing his patients with continuous care in an integrated and comprehensive manner. He places great importance on technical excellence and compassionate patient care. His background reflects these values.

Dr. Dolhun has been co-director of Ethnicity and Medicine at Stanford University since 2000. In 2018, he was appointed Adjunct Professor in the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University.He has been published in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals.

He attended undergraduate atMarquette University and Medical School at Mayo Medical School. He’s founder/inventor of DripDrop ORS, a convenient, small packet of electrolyte powder you mix with water that’s an effective alternative to IV therapy in treating mild to moderate dehydration.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I grew up in Wisconsin on a small farm. As a young teenager, I woke up one day pretty nearly immobilized by what was likely Lyme Disease. It took me years to recover my mobility. I think the dedicated and caring work of my mother, doctors, and therapists made all the difference and inspired me to become a doctor. I realized how truly caring for someone could change the course of one’s life.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I have never thought of my work as “disruptive” per se; I just went about improving upon a promising technology that had saved so many lives, but that had become stagnant.

The discovery of the Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is regarded by the Lancet Journal as one of the most important medical advances of the 21st century. This life-saving technology has proven to drastically decrease the mortality rate of those suffering from dehydration due to cholera.

When I was volunteering on a mission trip I witnessed children vomiting up the traditional Oral Rehydration Solutions issued by the World Health Organization. The very thing that could save them was coming right back up because although the WHO had created a life-saving solution, it tasted awful. And water and sport drinks simply weren’t enough. I certainly don’t fault them for that — they were focused on the solution. I saw that as a chance to focus on more than just a solution. I wanted to focus on compliance.

I saw the need to create something patients would enjoy taking, and therefore increase compliance. We didn’t invent the ORS — but we did create a product that not only worked but tasted great, and that feels like a disruption of its own.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors?

As a child, I had three: Jane Goodall (she taught me the power and humility of observation), Carl Sagan (he inspired me to look up), and Jacques Cousteau (he opened up the undersea world, surrounded himself with great individuals and is credited with being the co-inventor of the aqualung).

More personally, my mentor from medical school, Walter Franz MD, a family physician and Army Reserve doctor inspired me to help the needy in Rochester Minnesota and supported my travels around the world. The travel that ultimately would inspire me to conceive of DripDrop ORS.

Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

You need three things to change the way things are: imagination, hard work, and the help of others.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

When you are in the midst of doing what you’re doing, following your passion, there is often a single-mindedness to it, an obsessive component. You get lost in trying to solve problems, sometimes tiny little problems that are so small, yet so crucial, you don’t have time or the luxury to see the ripple effect it may have.

I have said that innovation is often outcome agnostic. The process of solving problems is glorious. Whether it leads to something useful comes later. Disruption is for others to judge at a later date.

The disruption can become muddled and turn negative though when companies (who are after profits) dummy down the science and create a subpar product.

We see a lot of that in the ORS space. There are MANY sports drink and electrolyte companies that are “based on the science of an ORS.” The truth is a product either meets the WHO’s requirements or it doesn’t. Tricking consumers into thinking they’re getting the real deal, when in fact they are not, cheapens the entire category we’re trying so hard to get people to understand.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Authenticity. Be true to yourself. It is the only way to find truth.

Gratitude. I lost my health once and needed others to recover. Be grateful for those in your life who supported and worked with you. People will come in and out of your life and some relationships are really, really tough. But they all are valuable.

Forgiveness. The journey is filled with mistakes. Learn from them; they are crucial to innovation.

How are you going to shake things up next?

I want to wake up the US healthcare industry to the power of this simple, proven technology that saves money, time, and lives.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I like this humble quote by Albert Einstein: “It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stay with problems longer.”

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Have people learn about the science DripDrop ORS and what makes it special.

How can our readers follow you online?

I am not that active but @dolhun

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