First Female CEO Of A Blockchain Health Startup Keeps Busting Through New Thresholds

Written by Dana Sanchez

Atlanta-based cybersecurity startup Patientory has received a grant to fund the integration of a public blockchain with Patientory’s own private one — a first in healthcare interoperability between digital distributed ledger networks.

Patientory, which raised $7.2 million in three days in an early June token sale, enables healthcare companies to secure private information and rent computing power, servers and data centers. Patients will be able to download the mobile app and use it to monitor their health information through private infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain.

The technology is also empowering patients to take a more active role in their care by giving them secure access to their health information, McFarlane said.

One of the few Black female founders in technology, Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane raised more than $7 million in about three days in June in a crowd sale for her cybersecurtiy healthcare tech platform. Her success has inspired others to take the leap and start their own companies.

This week, Patientory announced that it has joined a new grant program established by cryptocurrency Dash and Blockchain Web Services provider BlockCypher. As a partner in the new program, The Patientory Foundation will receive a grant to fund the integration of the Dash public blockchain with Patientory’s own private blockchain using BlockCypher APIs.

“We will be the first healthcare blockchain to show interoperability between blockchain networks. This is a major leap forward for how blockchains can be used to process healthcare claims payments,” McFarlane said in a press release.

The money raised in the crowd sale will be used to launch Patientory’s electronic medical record storage platform and unite EMR chains.

Patientory’s mobile app is scheduled for release by the end of 2017 and will give users the option of one or more blockchains for payment. Patients and payors can use BlockCypher web services to maintain Dash wallets and settle payments over the Dash network.

“I really think it’s important for more females and minority groups to start building their companies which impact the communities that they live in,” McFarlane told Moguldom in a video interview at the 500 Startups Unity & Inclusion Summit in Atlanta. “That’s what I expect to do on a more global level with Patientory — to be able to inspire other female entrepreneurs to take that leap and start their companies.”

McFarlane talked to Moguldom about her thoughts on a crypto bubble, promoting ICOs, and being a pioneer.

Moguldom: Do you see more Black people getting into cryptocurrency startups and professions? 

Chrissa McFarlane: As the first female CEO of a blockchain startup, that has inspired a lot of people. I have had a lot of outreach from black entrepreneurs wanting to know how to start their own companies. They come to me with various startup ideas that want to use blockchain. I’m in healthcare. I give them my experiences and resources — lawyers to use, accountants and different support.

Moguldom: What do you think of the concerns about initial coin offerings and the crypto market overheating? Could we be in a speculative bubble similar to tech stocks in 2000 and real estate in 2008?

Chrissa McFarlane: It probably can be (a bubble.) That’s something that the market decides. As I see it, as more people come into this so-called bubble, the larger the ecosystem becomes, which creates more opportunities for everyone.

Moguldom: What do you think of regulatory concerns around initial coin offerings and the material risks investors face when investing in an ICO?

Chrissa McFarlane: We actually did a token sale which is regulatory and legally different from an ICO. Different laws apply. We are a utility token so we’re not a currency. But for ICOs, those companies comply with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations because they are basically issuing shares, stock or ownership in an enterprise. They definitely have to comply with SEC rules. The SEC has been trying to regulate and put standards around ICOs. With a token sale, that refers to a method of selling participation in an economy. That’s what we fall under.

Moguldom: Is it a good or bad thing that celebrities such as boxer Floyd Mayweather and hip-hop artist The Game promote ICOs to investors?

Chrissa McFarlane: I think it’s good. It really shows the potential and just the rapid adoption crypto have made in less than five years. I don’t think promoting ICOs is an issue at all. They have an interest in the project. It’s like with anything else. If you think something is good you’re going to talk about it.

Moguldom: What do you say to people resisting the technology?

Chrissa McFarlane: With any new breakthrough concept in society, there are always going to be resistors who are change-averse and I think that’s fine. Everyone has their opinion.

Moguldom: What do you think when you’re described as a pioneer?

Chrissa McFarlane: That’s what we signed up for, especially being a female. We’re on the verge of a technology that’s going to change the way we do business but also improve the quality of living. That’s an honor. It will serve millions of people.

Moguldom: What’s next for Patientory?

Chrissa McFarlane: We’ll be releasing our public app soon for use by hospitals and patients. We just announced Dash Payments (using BlockCypher web services) for healthcare insurance payment. We have two of the best companies to work with in blockchain for solving one of the hardest problems in the world — innovation in healthcare. The value of the grant is not disclosed. It was a cash grant. We don’t know how big the grant is yet. It depends on how much time goes into the grant. We’re currently working through the logistics.