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Clinton Phillips, CEO, 2nd.MD

Clinton Phillips, CEO

Voted one of Houston’s “40 under 40” business stars by Houston Business Journal, Phillips has founded and grown a company which is changing the game for consumers in the healthcare field. In fact, in September 2014, PBS named 2nd.MD one of the Most Innovative US companies. Whether solving the most complex medical case, serving the poorest in Africa, or speaking at MIT, he is determined to make healthcare...
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How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

Medical knowledge is doubling every two years and most people are receiving poor, conflicted medical information. 2nd.MD's first goal is to make the ability to reach medical specialists more easily accessible. For example, our member​s can now ​enjoy a video consultation with a top specialist from ho​me ​within three days, getting remarkable clarity and up-to-date information regarding their condition. ​We are combining high-tech with high-touch, and the marriage is beautiful. Healthcare gets faster, easier and more personal.​


What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

One of the biggest impediments to innovation in our industry is simply being in the healthcare business. Things have been so bad for so long ​that organizations have stopped trying to improve. Large organizations control a lot of the industry, making big changes difficult, even if it would help everyone.

A second impediment is that everyone is concerned about their data being shared or stolen. Healthcare data is incredibly sensitive, but unless you can understand and access someone’s healthcare data, how can you help them? 

A third is the fear of the unknown. When speaking to a top doctor via video for a second opinion, doctors worry they might lose a patient; members worry they might offend their doctor by seeking a second opinion; hospitals worry that a procedure might be cancelled. Like most of our fears, they don’t come true, but you can still expect resistance.


How has innovation become engrained in your organization's culture, and how is it being optimized?

Our team is a group of people so unsatisfied with the current limitations and frustrations of healthcare that we cannot stop thinking about how we can improve it.​ Changing lives is the fuel that lets us know we are headed in the right direction. Our team continually reviews new apps and companies to evaluate if there is something we can learn and improve upon. We look over our shoulder constantly, knowing that our success can be shadowed by a new or current player improving on our model. Frustration, fear, and faith are three equal motivators that drive us to improve.


What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

Being able to prick your finger and monitor 100 markers in your blood on your smartphone is particularly exciting to me. We trademarked 'hospital in your hand' as we see how the smartphone could become the center of healthcare.​ Having most of your medical encounters with medical professionals be from home will save tremendous time, cost, and frustration of sitting in a medical suite for an hour reading old magazines. Also, the ability to instantly access your medical records from various places will allow progress in our treatments and lessen waste, which will be a game-changer in its own right.


Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

I honestly cannot think of a more compelling innovation than one which saves lives through linking people in need to right doctors when they need it most. And what industry requires innovation more urgently than healthcare, where our members remind us daily of the lack of clarity, unnecessary paperwork, unjustifiable cost, and rough edges of our healthcare system.​ 

This week at a managers meeting for a famous company, an employee stood up and told us how 2nd.MD changed their child's life. They had been to see 40 specialists and were not sure of their baby’s future. Today they have a plan and a new hope after a single video consultation with a top doctor.​ No innovation has driven customer engagement like stories people share with one another when a life has been changed.​ 

Of note, my son will never know the healthcare we all struggled with. He will simply pick up his tablet, ask to speak to a doctor, video consult with a perfectly matched doctor who is looking at his records, diagnose his blood, and then, following doctors orders, will roll over and go back to sleep. That’s what we are building.

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