Building a Frictionless Future: A Conversation with CLEAR

Posted by The MedTech Conference on June 22, 2018

Read below for an interview featuring Joe Trelin, SVP, Head of Platform & New Verticals at CLEAR. CLEAR uses biometrics to create a connected world that is smarter and more secure. Prior to joining CLEAR, Joe served in senior roles at, Amazon Web Services (AWS), NBC, IMDb and Standard & Poor’s.

Can you give us a quick introduction to CLEAR today?

Our mission is to make it simple to be you. At its core, CLEAR a biometric identity platform that provides frictionless experiences to its members. We’re building a world of security and convenience that doesn’t require you to use wallets, keys, usernames or passwords to identify yourself. For example, a world where you could go to a sports game and buy a beer without ever needing to wait in line, swipe a credit card or take out your driver’s license.

Today, we’re in more than 30 airports and venues nationwide, and have over two million members. We’re also expanding into new verticals where identity plays an important role, from hospitality to healthcare.

How do you see CLEAR facilitating frictionless experiences in an industry like healthcare?

With CLEAR, you are your ID. You don’t need to carry a wallet, drivers license, or other documentation.

For example, imagine a world where a patient doesn’t need to provide an insurance card at their doctor’s office. This saves them the trouble of having to keep track of their card and carry it with them. It also saves the payer the cost of creating and delivering that card, and saves the provider the process of asking the patient for (and keeping track of) that card. Plus, the patient could pay their copay with CLEAR, too and have greater transparency to the cost of their treatment before they even walk out of the office.

We’ve seen a lot of disruption in healthcare recently, with major tech players like Apple and Amazon entering the marketplace.

Yes, we’re seeing some of the largest players in tech get into this space and we’re also seeing employers increasingly self-insuring, demonstrating that all of these parties have a very vested interest in understanding (and playing in) the industry.

Why do you think?

The healthcare industry is at an inflection point. For the first time in a long time, the market is demanding that the industry focus on the patient. Not just because it’s better for the patient, but because it’s better for the business, too.

Businesses like Amazon see ample opportunity to improve the customer experience in healthcare, just like they’ve done in other industries. And employers are interested in saving costs and giving their employees a better experience because it’s a sticky differentiator for them.

How will a company like CLEAR drive that change? And how do biometrics facilitate it?

Today, a patient’s experience and data is fragmented across a myriad of systems. CLEAR provides a universal way to connect that data by providing a single, unique identity across the entire healthcare value chain, making the system much more interoperable than it is today.

Interoperability is the long sought-after holy grail, but it’s extremely complex. Technology is only part of the problem. There also needs to be both a willingness and ability for companies with divergent interests to work together. Anyone using CLEAR has a simple way to do just that.

Having a unique, validated identity across every portion of the healthcare value chain would give them a truly complete understanding of a patient’s medical history, from treatment to compliance to pharmacy pick-ups.

What advice do you have for healthcare companies looking to prepare for change to come?

Now is the time to lead. As consumers ourselves, we’ve seen significant change towards an age of customer centricity, and of immediacy and transparency in so many industries, and healthcare is next.

You don’t have companies like Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway disrupting this space unless they feel confident they can.

We’ve seen many other industries disintermediated in this same way, like Apple with music or Netflix with movie rentals. In fact, I worked at Amazon myself for many years, and saw this type of change firsthand.

Healthcare companies need to count on the fact no company or industry is too big to be disrupted, and stay nimble, innovative and customer-focused as a result.


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