Chrissa McFarlane is the CEO of Patientory, a global currency and population health management service that regulates and secures patient data, Named as one of the top women “leaving their mark on the medtech field” by Becker’s Hospital Review. She is also the author of FUTURE WOMEN: Minority Female Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the era of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.
You founded Patientory in 2015, after being frustrated with patients not having access to a central depository of their own health information. Can you share with us what the current problem is with patients gaining access to their information, and how Patientory proposes to solve this?
The healthcare information technology industry has long-faced interoperability issues. However, accessing private health data is a problem that has emerged recently due to the digitization of medical records, which has created siloed wall gardens. Due to HIPAA policies and regulations, it has been difficult for organizations to freely share the information that resides in distinct and individual patient portals with all care providers and stakeholders who might need the information in order to provide the best care. Patientory tackles this issue head-on, creating products that allow for the seamless integration of all patient health records both on the patient and the provider side.
In the original whitepaper you had proposed a SaaS business model, whereby you sell software to healthcare organizations where patients and consumers can download a free app. Has the business model shifted since then?
We are still functioning on a SaaS business model for enterprises, while offering a user-friendly health data application for consumers. For enterprises, we provide SaaS in the form of our NEITH Enterprise Solution. Neith then works directly with our patient consumer application, Patientory, to address and improve cost efficiencies and healthcare outcomes for the patient.
You personally participated in the intensive 3-month long Boomtown accelerator program in Boulder, Colorado. Could you share your experience and what you gained from participating in this program?
We incorporated our company about a week before joining the Boomtown accelerator program in Boulder, Colorado. This program helped us immensely with the ideation of what we wanted to create and what problems we wanted our products to solve. Our experience at Boomtown helped us set the foundation to address the shortcomings we found in the healthcare market.
Could you discuss your experience having launched one of the first Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017?
This process was definitely a challenge for our team. We started in an industry that was not well known and worked to address the credibility of the space and promote its longevity – something that the general public is only now coming to understand.
It was initially difficult to build a product for an industry, like healthcare, that is slow to change and adopt new technologies. Through this process, we have learned that we need to pace ourselves and work steadily to establish our brand and our products as thought leaders bridging this emerging tech with the existing healthcare market.
In your book one of the biggest problems that you described was the difficulty of getting access to venture funding as a woman, and specifically as a minority woman. Do you have any advice for women who are facing similar issues and who may not be comfortable with launching an ICO?
I would recommend seeking as many alternative funding avenues as possible. An option for investment opportunities that has recently increased in popularity is crowdfunding. There are many options when it comes to this type of investing, including Regulation CF offerings which allow companies to solicit direct investment from investors, as well as various platforms that allow for institutional and non-institutional investors to get involved with projects they care about. I believe this is a valuable option for individuals who are looking to jumpstart their company, especially when it comes to the first funding round that is so very essential in allowing entrepreneurs to build their products and showcase its value.
In your book you discuss the importance of flexibility specifically for female entrepreneurs. Could you briefly share your views on this?
In my opinion, flexibility is one of the most important attributes of a successful entrepreneur. Female entrepreneurs, specifically, are met with many obstacles and barriers to success and it is by remaining flexible that they are able to overcome these challenges.
As the core to being a successful entrepreneur is overcoming challenges, flexibility may take the form of having to pivot from the initial company or product goal to reflect for example, current market conditions or other unexpected obstacles that occur during the launch process. This year, as an example, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the market in an unprecedented way, and entrepreneurs were forced to adapt accordingly.
In early 2019, Patientory Inc. and IrisGuard announced the integration of IrisGuard’s biometric authentication technology with the Patientory App. Could you discuss this partnership, and the benefits of using the IrisGuard biometric technology?
IrisGuard allows end-to-end iris recognition, identifying individuals anywhere with the world with 100% certainty. Our partnership with IrisGuard enabled a closer look at data management and clinical trials. We integrated with IrisGuard by adapting our Patientory app’s Android solution (because a phone with a camera is required to access this type of technology). The integration provides an added layer of security when accessing a patient’s biological data.
Could you give us some details on how the PTOY tokens are used on the platform?
Inherently, the PTOY tokens are part of the PTOYMatrix Blockchain Network, which secures and verifies private health information data storage on the network. For Patientory Inc, as a decentralized app on the network, the token is used as an incentivization tool to reward healthy behaviors. As an example, when using the app, users are rewarded with PTOY tokens when they meet specific monthly wellness goals.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about Patientory?
Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the finalization of The 21st Century Cures Act, which requires healthcare organizations to provide consumers with third party access to their health information. Through various partnerships, the PTOYMatrix can aggregate data from over 10,000 health systems to provide self-sovereign identity and de-identified data for users to medical records.
Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Patientory.