“I’ve always had an affinity for helping people and am passionately drawn to the medical industry,” said McFarlane. “So I made the decision three years ago to leave the role I was in to pursue a new healthcare data access model based on the groundbreaking advancements taking place with blockchain technology.”
McFarlane is now the CEO of Patientory, Inc. , a company that facilitates access to healthcare data via an app through integration with the Patientory Stiftung PTOY Blockchain network. According to Dr. Mohsen Shafaei, managing director of the Patientory Stiftung, “Our goal of the Stiftung is to foster a web of data engagement, storage and data access throughout key stakeholders in the healthcare industry.”
Reshaping the Prevailing Health Data Paradigm
Today’s healthcare industry is reliant on legacy systems, many of which are ripe for innovation. A persistent area of concern is the lack of secure platforms to store and share information. As a result, the flurry of data breaches that have hit the healthcare industry during the past three years is attributed in large part to this outdated infrastructure.
Hence, the need for blockchain technology, which can deliver a secure means of mitigating attacks and intrusions involving sensitive patient information. In the case of Patientory, data breaches can be made nearly impossible.
“Security is one of our core strengths,” said Shafaei. “With all of the cyber attacks occurring in the healthcare industry, we have placed a heavy emphasis on our security strategy and protocol to ensure the efficient decentralization and encryption of this data.”
The Patientory team is optimistic about the recent strides that Patientory has made as it advances toward its much-awaited launch.
“We’ve finalized our protocol and are particularly excited about our integration with the digital currency Dash,” McFarlane says. “Concerning our app, we shared it at the recent HIMSS [Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society] conference with plans to debut it at our inaugural summit in Atlanta.”
Asked to elaborate on Patientory, Inc’s decision to select Dash on the payment side, McFarlane lauded the team behind the blockchain-based token.
“Dash has done a great job in building an ecosystem of users,” she said. “We see them as being further along than other protocols and currencies, especially on the payment side of things. They have financial solutions that, I think, really hone in on the healthcare transaction side.”
Likewise, an area of focus for Patientory Stiftung is a strategic assessment of various global locales, examining differences that exist among these healthcare ecosystems. Shafaei noted that the company is currently prioritizing which locations would likely be the most receptive to the Patientory model.
“We see the need for it in the United States for sure,” he said. “There are also other areas that have a need where their governments are already on board with the technology.”
He cited Singapore and Dubai as two regions that Patientory is closely watching, primarily due to the amount of innovation and activity taking place in these locales both from a blockchain innovation and regulatory standpoint.
Ready for Launch
During the next 12 to 18 months, Shafaei anticipates a flurry of activity as Patientory rockets toward its full launch of the network. From the work of the Patientory Stiftung in promoting and developing technologies and applications tied to new, open and decentralized software architecture to the much-anticipated release of the software app at the North America summit in Atlanta, the Patientory team is in full throttle.
The Patientory’s Stiftung Inaugural Blockchain in Healthcare Summit will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 31, 2018. It will convene with leaders in the healthcare blockchain space as speakers, in order to further bring awareness and adoption to the space.
McFarlane said that the timing is perfect, with rapid advancements taking place at the nexus of blockchain technology and healthcare.
“We are moving at a rapid clip, faster than anything that we've seen in healthcare to date,” she said. “Much of this is attributed to the speed at which blockchain technology is advancing in this space. When I started Patientory, I knew it would take some time because what we’re focusing on is arguably the hardest problem to solve in healthcare. So, it’s mind-blowing to see how quickly everything is progressing.”
Despite all of the excitement associated with the speed of development taking place, McFarlane is under no pretenses. She explained that significant gains in the adoption of Patientory’s model are likely two or more years away.
However, it’s the vast possibilities associated with harnessing health data for the improved efficacy of the healthcare industry that is ultimately what keeps her motivated.
“Personally, I’m only beginning to fully grasp the immense opportunities that blockchain technology offers regarding building businesses that can improve the quality of human life,” she said. “Using [distributed ledgers] as the basis for an infrastructure that can improve the quality of human life is the big vision we’re striving for.”