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Welcoming First Opinion

By Tony Conrad, May 16, 2014

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What’s that rash? Why isn’t your baby sleeping? Do you have the flu? While important questions to us, these health concerns are just the type to result in what McKay Thomas calls “rejected visits”—in which a patient sees a doctor for just a few minutes only to be told to “keep an eye on it” and “come back if it gets worse.” The kicker is that both the patient—and his health insurance—will be billed for the doctor’s time.

McKay and his Co-Founder, Jay Marcyes, think there is a better way, and have set out to make it a reality with their exciting new company, First Opinion. First Opinion is a private doctor network combined with an iPhone app that gives users access to a personal physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The texting-based service does not require appointments and is completely private, so users can ask their doctor anything—no matter what time it is or where they are. Users are matched with just one doctor, so they can build a personal relationship based on how often they need to connect and what type of care they want. First Opinion is in the “peace of mind” business, complementing local practitioners by helping users answer everyday questions about their health—and saving both insurance companies and patients money by lowering the occurrence of rejected visits.

First Opinion—besides just being an awesome service—touches on two major investment themes for True. First, we love companies that are setting out to disrupt major industries, and health care is clearly one of the largest: according to the CDC, physician and clinical services account for over $500 billion in expenditures in the U.S. each year. Second, nothing makes us happier than investing in Founders with whom we’ve worked before. Jay previously co-founded Plancast, which True funded in March 2010 and which was acquired by Active Network in August 2012.

McKay—who previously co-founded, the premier online retailer for baby supplies in Brazil—and Jay have created a beautiful, useful product that is already connecting tens of thousands of people and doctors and literally putting quality health care in our pockets.

We’re excited to work again with our co-investors, Greylock and Felicis Ventures, and we’re very pleased to welcome Jay and McKay to True!

Read more about First Opinion on TechCrunch.