Minneapolis startup Clear.md launches global video content play


Clear.mdA new Minneapolis startup is soft launching today with the ultimate purpose of improving outcomes between everyday patients and their healthcare providers through a niche video platform.

Clear.md wants to be the destination that consumers like you and me turn to for quick, relevant and local healthcare videos from a spectrum of nearby specialists.

Unlike YouTube where anyone can play doctor, or even the more niche sites like Web.md with vertically focused yet generic consumer heath content, Clear’s angle is strictly short form video from qualified professionals around specific granular topics. Whether discovered by the consumer through means of search or promoted directly by the practice or provider, the site aims to eventually have the widest and deepest global video library for healthcare on the web.

“We want to enhance and strengthen the relationship between patients and their health care providers using a new model,” says co founder and CEO John Brownlee.

“Providers get such little face time with their patients as it is and the person who is going to operate on me is who I want to know. We’re empowering those specialists with scalability for the first time ever.”

Unique in approach, Clear works directly with them in co creating short pro-am clips.  With the purchase of a $300 kit — including a microphone, tripod and greenscreen — providers can augment their own iOS, Android, or comparable HD camera to capture an unlimited number of 30 – 60 second communications to put on Clear.md.

“They could be in the basement of a Shanghai hospital or in a New York ER,” he says, “Shooting their own content on the fly, pushing it to us for polishing and publishing. We’re going to be global, multicultural and multilingual.”

With both a freemium and paid model, Clear allows paying providers to embed their videos anywhere on the web, bundle them into categorized ‘vidscription’ packages, access analytics, and target new patients through content localization.

“Imagine you’re going in for a knee replacement in a few weeks and the actual surgeon who will be operating provides you with a series on the procedure.  You’re not only going to be more informed and familiar with whats happening, but also more comfortable with the doctor.”

That ideal has appealed to early adopter North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, who has gone live with hundreds of the 2,000+ videos currently available from pediatricians, optometrists and neurologist, amongst multiple other health specialists.

“North Memorial seeks to make it easier for patients to understand their health and what we have to offer. We see Clear.md as an avenue to provide this in an innovative, engaging manner,” said Eric Schaefer, Director of Business Development.

Like anything audacious in nature, Brownlee admits the challenges are proportionate.

Relying too much on the consumer-driven component and becoming a true destination site may prove to be the biggest barrier to building a critical mass of brand awareness and traffic.   But Brownlee says it’s working so far — at least from the providers point of view — with domestic partners from the east to west and Europe on-boarding now. Regardless, the service model could still prove out even if no-one ever uses the site for search and discovery.

Clear has raised a “small first round of less than $1m” to get through phase one, which commenced six months ago.  Brownlee, who shared some his industry experienced in an earlier interview, knows the ropes of starting and finishing.  Collaborating on this venture is co founder Brian Kayuth, mastermind of the product development.

“It’s easy to get enamored with all the possibilities and excitement…I’ve learned how important it is to stay focused on the blocking and tackling,” he assures.