an interview with Maaghul about his journey into the nascent space of
distributed healthcare systems and its future prospects.
you discovered from your leap into distributed health technology?
early stages of my dive into this space, I began to realize that the technology
was pretty immature. In particular, when it came to integration, a lot of the
infrastructure was not available and thus would have to be built from scratch.
that, what solutions did you decide to pursue?
year ago I decided that while running PointNurse, I may as well start a
research and development firm. This would allow me to begin building out
ecosystem capabilities that companies like PointNurse could use in the future.
I named that company HealthCombix.
your aim in launching HealthCombix?
is to build out the next generation of healthcare systems. We want to redefine
and redesign in an open protocol a decentralized network model for healthcare,
replacing existing systems with different protocols that are assembled and
tokenized so that information and tokens can be exchanged between them.
elaborate a bit more on what the HealthCombix model will look like? And how it
will be different?
like confidentiality, interoperability, consent management, identity and
payments — all of these will be situated on blockchains and distributed
networks that can interact with each other. Instead of building everything on
top of one stack or network, we wanted to identify carefully and over time the
appropriate protocol and network for each capability as the underpinnings of a
new healthcare system.
healthcare stakeholders are you targeting?
is to work with independent providers, those who are outside of the existing
system seeking to build something that’s more provider-centric. We are going to
work with those in direct care and concierge medicine, independent or
freelancer, and build a platform that allows them to onboard their patients
directly. We’ll also work with self-insured employers who don’t want to engage
with managed care organizations but do want to have an infrastructure in place
in lieu of working with the existing systems.
you reinventing the wheel a bit given Ethereum’s advancements in the space?
people are looking at applications on top of Ethereum, or are looking at smart
contracts as a part of identity management. To me, that’s okay and it certainly
can be done. But a lot of points of centralization would have to occur with
this approach, which kind of defeats the purpose of decentralization.
news is that there’s a growing group of very clever technologists committed to
building completely decentralized networks. Those who are still pursuing key
management solutions that are centralized, in my view, are asking for trouble.
next in terms of your development?
moving along at a very measured pace, overcoming the prevailing mindset of
doing it the way it’s always been done, on top of a blockchain with a lot of
centralization. We believe that through the use of a little creativity and
some advanced cryptography, we can actually do things in a decentralized way.
other projects you’re keeping an eye on in this space?
and his work with PokitDok, I believe, is an interesting case. They’ve done a
nice job of pivoting from a telemedicine app to an API provider and now a
blockchain provider. While I’m sure there are questions as to whether the
company will survive or be absorbed by a bigger enterprise, I believe they have
a private, permissioned blockchain solution that’s ready for production in the
you believe that a decentralized model for healthcare is key for the longevity
of the industry?
Yes. I do
believe in the power of decentralization, which is why I’m going to be a very
patient builder. In the meantime, I plan to do a lot of education, informing
and teaching from what I’m learning. Unfortunately, lots of people, in my
opinion, are going to get their fingers burned in healthcare just like they did
in financial services before any major breakthroughs occur.