What is WELL Network
WELL mission is to make healthcare borderless by connecting patients and doctors via decentralized marketplace enabled by blockchain.
We undertake this mission by utilizing the following three trends:
1. Telemedicine is taking over healthcare and becoming the gateway for all care. Reaching $113 Billion in eight years from now.
2. Globalization is making borders a political formality, instantaneously connecting people via internet and mobile technology.
3. Marketplaces are the future of the global economy with Amazon, Apple, Google, Alibaba, and Uber dominating not just their country’s economies but the entire world’s.
WELL is ready to use. Our telehealth and secure communications platform is translated into five languages and has over 1,600 available clinicians and conducted thousands of patient visits. We are utilizing existing blockchain solutions, Ethereum for our ICO smart contract, Exonum for our private blockchain, and Bitcoin for securing our data.
Network effects are powerful, but very difficult to build. It requires building an initial community and evangelists (Harvard for Facebook, UCLA for Tinder), then continuous investment in the quality of its core product, acquisition of new customers and brand building. WELL crowdsale is building WELL brand, WELL token holders become WELL’s best evangelists and community members. Thus WELL crowdsale helps with chicken egg problem of building networks and provides resources necessary to scaling WELL platform.
Networks are only as valuable as their underlying liquidity and by committing to a philanthropic model described in this article, WELL platform doubles its liquidity and thus value without committing additional resources. The marginal cost of enabling a visit for each paid visit are negligible thus making it economically feasible. WELL partners, such as Doctors without Borders and other charities, help do the heavy lifting of finding and training doctors and patients to utilize WELL network. This also serves as a recruiting mechanism for doctors and good will for our patients.
WELL mission to make healthcare borderless is exciting, but it is just a tip of the iceberg. WELL’s goal to take everything that is not care out of healthcare. We accomplish this through:
1. Frictionless payment. Because WELL is a private blockchain powered by Exonum, there is no gas expenses. Credit risk and corresponding 3% surcharge is avoided also, because WELL utility tokens being paid by patients are automatically transferred to a provider once all the smart contract provisions are met. WELL platform providers save on collections, invoicing, billing and many other exacerbating aspects of payment process, such as non-payment, late payment, etc. These constitute 30% of total healthcare costs in the United State.
2. Establishment of trust. Centralized nature of healthcare controlled by powerful insurance companies and governments leaves patients and healthcare providers can not reliant on these bureaucratic entities to treat them fairly. Claims are approved and then routinely denied creating a game of musical chairs of who is going to be stuck with non-payment patient or provider. Due to this mistrust, insurance companies and government institutions such as Medi-Cal and Medicaid pay higher prices than necessary for services. Providers often over-bill insurers to boost their margins and account for these costs of mistrust. Please read my article on game theory dynamics of healthcare and how blockchain establishes a trust outcome.
WELL healthcare blockchain acts as a kind of Magna Carta liberating subjects form unfair rule of law or Constitution declaring their independence from their rule. All parties coming together on WELL blockchain agree to pre-determined immutable conditions of their relationship.
3. Eliminated overhead costs. The if then nature of smart contracts is perfect to eliminate practically all non-care related costs out of healthcare. These costs constitute approximately 50% of healthcare costs. This is going to be a gradual process with smart contracts gradually eating these costs away one by one. It is important to re-engineer and automate the simplest processes that account for the highest savings. This will minimize bugs in smart contracts and make adoption possible as software gradually replaces back office personnel.
4. Security. By utilizing custom consensus algorithm of Exonum, WELL keeps data safe without need to mine blocks even if a node is compromised, making it near impossible to change history. This makes WELL platform secure even under attack of malicious actors. Unanchored private blockchains can be hacked more easily due to their smaller size. We leverage the bitcoin security while allowing for the privacy required by HIPPA laws only possible in permissioned blockchain environments. Every 10 minutes WELL blockchain anchors to the Bitcoin blockchain. A “snapshot” of WELL platform state to a public source captures payment information to avoid double-spend problem and other care-related de-authenticated patient metadata both establishing trust, discussed earlier, and insuring WELL’s independence, while keeping data private. The cryptographic hash reflects the state of WELL blockchain in the Bitcoin blockchain. If majority of nodes are taken over by bad actor, any changes to WELL blockchain would be noticeable and reversible.
Go-to-market strategy. By now you may get a sense that WELL is a sort of Ripple for healthcare. We agree with a comparison. We don’t want to suffer from the same slow adoption Ripple has suffered from due to its reliance on central banks and large financial institutions (insurance companies and governments in healthcare).
Our initial go-to-market strategy is more Paypal, including the following niche markets:
1. Crypto community. Seamlessly converting BTC and ETH into WELL tokens to receive immediate care instead of current wait times to convert to fiat and see a doctor of at least a week and sometimes months.
2. Repats and expats. This community is technologically savvy and requires access to healthcare on the go and in unfamiliar healthcare environments thus creating a need for cross-border telehealth solution offered by WELL.
3. Medical tourism. The biggest cost for hospitals and clinics is marketing and convincing potential patients about their quality of treatment. The biggest risk for the patient is not knowing what to expect and potentially getting low quality even life-threatening treatment. WELL platform connects a patient and doctor prior to treatment and commitment of time and money.
About WELL: WELL is building the world’s first decentralized global marketplace for healthcare, using blockchain technology to eliminate borders and directly connect healthcare specialists and patients worldwide. By creating a token for on-demand healthcare that solves the current problems of cross-border payments, data accessibility, and payment risk, we allow regions with the highest quality of healthcare to serve the entire world. Learn more about us at: https://joinwell.io/
About the author: Ildar Fazulyanov is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in healthcare, fintech and venture capital. He founded Well, Inc. over two years ago with a mission to provide access to highest quality care to everyone. Ildar has managed all aspects of running a successful healthcare business, including accounting, business development, Medicare licensing, recruiting clinicians, sales, marketing and HIPPA compliance. Prior to WELL Ildar founded and completely bootstrapped Greener Equity, a successful fintech company, sold to Econ Partners. Ildar started his career at Bain & Company. He worked for DB Alex. Brown and was part of a launch of DB Advisors from an internal trading desk to multibillion dollar hedge fund. He also worked in Venture Capital at vSpring Capital ($450M AUM), now Signal Peak Ventures. Ildar graduated with MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with Tuck Scholar Distinction and degree in Economics from BYU Magna Cum Laude.