Tom White of Phynd Technologies
An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Tom White, the co-founder and CEO of Phynd Technologies, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Phynd Technologies – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
We saw that healthcare systems were managing provider information in twenty plus clinical, marketing, and claims departmental systems, with each owning only a piece of the overall provider data set (we define “providers” as the people, places, and services that perform health care). Additionally, we noticed that these twenty departments spent a tremendous amount of resources to manage their piece of the overall provider data set.
The simple analogy we use to explain Phynd’s impact is that in 1991, RadioShack advertised 15 different products (phone, GPS, camera, etc) in their newspaper ads. Fast forward to today and those 15 items are now available in the iPhone. That consolidation saves money: those 15 items individually would cost $5,000, but the iPhone costs a fraction of that, and empowers users with apps, photos, messaging, and much more. A single platform – the iPhone – made digital applications accessible and better.
Back to healthcare: health systems spend 15 times what they should to manage provider data, and healthcare has lagged in digital products. Much like the iPhone, Phynd has created a single platform combining all elements of providers into a simple but powerful form: 1 provider to 1 profile. It then enables that data to be managed and funneled into all clinical, marketing, and claims systems in the healthcare enterprise. The results are the same: Phynd ensures a 15 to 1 drop in the resources needed to manage provider data, and serves as the foundation to build digital clinical and consumer tools needed to serve modern healthcare.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
People see the silos, but miss the bigger picture of how digitally transforming providers creates a better business model. COVID-19 has helped accelerate this recognition with the need for telemedicine and the disruption in call centers (still the primary means for how consumers engage with a provider). Phynd enables a better consumer digital experience, shifting healthcare consumers to self-serve patient engagement systems. Phynd and provider data are the foundation for these systems.
What does the future hold for Phynd?
We are early in our journey. We have great, large clients but have tremendous amount of room to grow with new clients. Our clients have green fields ahead of them to build out the digital experience for clinical users and consumers.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Dallas?
I am a veteran of the Dallas startup world. This is my third startup, and I have seen the DFW startup scene change a lot with more professional investors, better infrastructure, and partnerships with the local universities. We utilize interns from SMU and partner with Health Wildcatters. I do think that both city and local governments could do more to build a tech community that will entice more startups to move to the area. This could be done in the form of seed funding, research grants, office space, and local leadership to represent the area, similar to the effort we take to entice large employers to move to north Texas.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Stick to your space (meaning innovate in the area you know vs thinking up a random app). Every industry has lots of opportunities.
Startups are not a side job.
Find funding where you can. DFW still lacks the investor marketplace of many tech hubs, so leverage your network. Be prepared to start with a limited amount of money to develop a minimum viable product, acquire your first customers, and prove your business case.