First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Clint Phillips : I used to complain about being stuck at home until I realized how fortunate we are compared to many people around the world. In South Africa, you can’t go for a run or bike ride, there is no takeout or food delivery and you can’t go visit grandma. Since I stopped complaining, I have enjoyed every hour with my family and found ways to be productive at work while navigating children who are constantly looking for entertainment from dad 🙂
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined Medici.
Clint Phillips : I owned a clinic helping people avoid back surgery in Aspen, Colorado when my daughter suffered a stroke. My wife and I desperately needed to speak with a specialist that was far from home to find solutions that would help her not spend her life in a wheelchair. When we suggested meeting over Skype to discuss our daughter, the pediatric neurologist said “No, that’s not possible.” This challenge is what inspired my first healthcare company. 2nd.MD, where people can get a second opinion from some of the world’s best doctors and experts through a secure platform. As 2nd.MD grew to cover millions of members, I realized that patients had a terribly hard time contacting their doctor and that life for doctors was no rose garden. We were determined to recreate the doctor-patient relationship into a simpler, more rewarding experience. Since my resume would probably preclude me from being able to lead companies like this, I figured I would have to start them 🙂
How does Medici innovate?
Clint Phillips : My personal inspiration toward innovation is to look at other industries. Somebody is often solving your problem in another industry, you just need to go and find it. Secondly is try to engage the entire team in developing a problem-solving mindset. Resourceful is one of our company values, getting people to creatively solve roadblocks.
Our roadmap for ideas and innovation now stretches out several years.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Clint Phillips : The pandemic has quickly accelerated the use of telemedicine. We knew it would catch on and people would realize how easy and useful it is, but we thought it might take at least 2 years. The pandemic has pushed that timeline forward in the span of about two months. In fact, in just 30 days we saw a 1,400% increase in patients using the app and currently have 25,000 providers using Medici, including general practitioners as well as therapists and even veterinarians. The pandemic also brought many doctors who faced going out of business and we had to find ways to help them. We continue to look for solutions for them.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Clint Phillips : Yes. Being a CEO you are faced with having to make difficult decisions that can affect the direction of the business. I have learnt to surround myself with strong leaders and advisors who can help me make the best decisions possible and show me areas which I have not considered. Being humble and listening to others have helped me be a better person and leader.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Medici in the future?
Clint Phillips : Faith, family and fitness are my ways to dealing with stress and anxiety. My faith reminds me that God has a purpose for my life to alleviate suffering. It helps me push through difficult times. My family reminds me of my priorities- Facetime interruptions from your kids in the middle of a serious healthcare policy meeting provide much-needed relief. Fitness activities like sprints on the track or a bicycle ride also clear the mind and are often where I have my best ideas.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Clint Phillips : My competitors are many. Most competition comes from doctors using their phone instead of a proper healthcare solution. Other competitors like Zoom or Doxy offer very cheap but limited solutions. There are dozens more who do not provide a solution for doctors beyond just a video consultation. We offer this plus the ability to message many patients at once plus ePrescriptions, Billing, translation, $1MM Malpractice insurance and industry leading compliance. Practices will need these features if they make telemedicine part of their business, rather than a quick fix to talk to patients during the pandemic.
Medici is also unique in that it is not only the fastest way for healthcare providers to treat their patients virtually, but unlike other participants in the space Medici is not driven by profit. For the entirety of its existence Medici has both operated without profit, and without frustrating its supportive investor base–all because of its mission: To recreate the doctor-patient relationship and take the stress out of medicine.
Your final thoughts?
Clint Phillips : Telemedicine will continue to play an ever-growing role in helping physicians connect with their patients and will save both time and money by improving the delivery of healthcare. Medici has seen tremendous growth on the back of the Covid pandemic but will continue to meet the high demands of patients and physicians due to the robustness of its platform.
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