New York’s growing ‘tech for good’ community
Thursday, August 9, 2018
When Andrew Hoppin and Christopher Sealey launched their blockchain startup this year, they weren’t dreaming of becoming the next unicorn or earning gazillions trading cryptocurrencies. Instead, the co-founders—who had first worked together upgrading technology and communications systems for the state Senate—had a compelling social mission. They wanted their new company, CoverUs, to help make health care more affordable and efficient for ordinary people.
Their plan: Use blockchain technology to allow patients to reap financial benefits from their own health data rather than have it sold by brokers to third parties such as insurers, hospitals and academic researchers.
Blockchains, which are commonly described as digitized, publicly disclosed ledgers, contain batches of transactions, which are time-stamped, linked to other blocks and safe from being altered after the fact. The technology is well-suited for health care, the duo reasoned, because it could allow consumers to control which data they wish to share as well as facilitate efficient and easy-to-track micropayments.
“Our mission is to make a piece of the world work better for as many people as possible,” said Hoppin, who serves as CEO. “We’re inspired about what blockchain technology can do and how it can upend the power dynamics of complex systems.”