Taken with permission from Unsplash.

In February the FDA announced it was launching a pilot project for drug supply chain participants to pilot the usage of emerging technology that helps with tracking and tracing prescription drugs. Though the project has a broad remit, they specifically mentioned blockchain technology as something they were interested in. This is a phenomenal opportunity to get engagement from a regulatory body on a nascent technology.

Over the past few weeks several projects have announced their involvement, but we didn’t have a full picture until recently. The FDA posted the list of project participants last Wednesday, and though several of the…

Modified “Locked” from the Noun Project

Privacy is part of the zeitgeist of this moment. Our headlines are dominated with high profile privacy scandals and there is no indication that this is going to slow down anytime soon. On the other hand, advances in data science and the creation of incredibly powerful new platforms offer increasingly large benefits to their users. We’re struggling to grapple with the growing demand for our data at the same time as growing calls for privacy.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that it is a false paradigm that we must give up our privacy to gain the benefits of our…

Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

— Charlie Munger

It’s common for pundits to say our healthcare system is broken, but that’s not true. It’s working exactly as designed.

Most of our healthcare system operates under a model called fee-for-service, where a payer (e.g insurance company) pays a fee for each covered item individually. Under this model, providers (e.g physicians) are incentivized to provide more service or more expensive services regardless of the outcomes.

We need to transition to value based care, where providers are incentivized to provide the best health outcomes at the lowest…

These numbers track traditional venture capital funds raised and exclude initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs). My research is built entirely off of public sources. There are likely startups that haven’t released their funding and as such I can’t account for here.

A quick breakdown of the numbers:

  • Since 2017 $49.8m of investment in 9 blockchain in healthcare startups has been publicly revealed
  • Including PokitDok in this count would over double these numbers to $104.8m, but the bulk of their funding was raised prior to introducing a blockchain product
  • Investment was scattered across use cases and industries…

Taken from Unsplash

I have a prediction to make: within 5 years the unauthorized sale or otherwise usage of deidentified health data will be illegal. There is legislation in Oregon and Maryland that does just that. Expect these to be the first of many bills to come.

The greatest irony of the status quo is although you may not have access to your health records there are a handful of other people that probably do. Today a vast and murky market exists for the trafficking of your health data.

If health data is deidentified, that is, if there is no reasonable basis to…

For the uninitiated an Initial Coin Offering, or an ICO, is a way of launching and funding projects. Similar to an IPO, a portion of the supply of your new cryptocurrency is sold to fund operations. Unlike an IPO which accompanies an existing business, ICOs usually raise funds to then go about building a product or community. ICOs confer a different set of rights to their participants, mostly around access to some network resource, or the right to perform some form of governance.

Vince Kuraitis and I reviewed the performance of healthcare ICOs in October, and well, it wasn’t pretty…

Blockchains have been proposed as a way to enable health data interoperability while empowering patients and preserving privacy. There’s great work underway in this space, and that shouldn’t be lost. However, a core benefit of blockchains in healthcare that has been under discussed has been platform neutrality.

A brief introduction to platforms

Broadly speaking platforms provide underlying core components that are used by their participants either to perform some sort of activity (e.g send a Tweet, post a photo, etc) or by third party businesses and developers to build higher layers of abstraction on top of (e.g applications, analytics, etc). Platforms are dynamic ecosystems often…

Recent attacks on public blockchains demonstrate why we should be talking about security today.

Blockchains aren’t magic, they work because of a system of carefully structured incentives. When those break down so do the benefits of blockchains.

Last week a rogue party was able to gain control of more than 51% of the hashpower on the Ethereum Classic Network, and was thereby able to double-spend ETC, the underlying asset.

The mechanics of this are fairly technical, but practically this means that a single party had gained enough hashpower to rewrite a chain’s history, thereby rendering the core benefits of decentralization and immutability null. …

A weekly newsletter on the most interesting ideas in blockchain and how they apply to healthcare

I’ve felt there has been a gap between the blockchain and healthcare communities. Some of the most interesting ideas and trends in both communities never make it to the other. For example, I haven’t heard any discussion about the 51% attack on Ethereum Classic within healthcare, nor have I heard any discussion about the Synaptic Healthcare Alliance outside of healthcare.

These are important developments! And both communities can learn from each other. So, I’m starting a newsletter to bridge that gap. I’ll be curating select content, providing light commentary, and sending them out weekly. …

A little over a year ago CryptoKitties launched and quickly became the most successful non-financial DApp. Borrowing from their own description, CryptoKitties allows you to collect and breed digital cats like these:

Robert Miller

I write about blockchains, data, and healthcare. Sign up for my newsletter here -> http://beyondblocks.bertcmiller.com

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