Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane on Blockchain and Healthcare Innovation

R/GA FutureVision

Named a leading female exec in health IT by Becker’s Hospital Review, Chrissa McFarlane is the Founder and CEO of Patientory, an Atlanta startup that’s also now an R/GA Ventures portfolio company after participating in the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio. Her mission: to advance personalized and secure consumer-driven health management solutions and innovation by using blockchain technology.

In a Q&A with Annie Song, Associate Director of Business Transformation for R/GA, McFarlane explained her company’s value proposition: “Blockchain in healthcare embodies the capacity to improve inefficiencies in the continuum of care in the healthcare sector, drastically decreasing costs and increasing better health outcomes.

She’s also a HIMSS Global Digital Influencer and sits on the Interoperability & HIE Committee and Blockchain In Healthcare Taskforce, an industry working group to help speed up blockchain’s use in healthcare. And if that’s not impressive enough, she also just published her first book, Future Women, to inspire more diversity in tech. Some highlights from their conversation:

Annie: You’re one of the first female blockchain startup CEOs. What are some of the innovations that your company is bringing to the healthcare industry and what do you see as some of the biggest challenges—and how is Patientory helping to address that?

Chrissa: We have a broken healthcare system that does not adequately serve the individual, the actual patient. So how can we embody these values into a company, into a service offering? And we knew it was going to take a long time because it’s healthcare but we weren’t scared of that. And then comes along blockchain, which helped with putting the mission in motion.

Annie: Patientory is really powerful because you are catering to both the patients, but also to the doctors and even in health tech you have a lot of players who do just the consumer focus or just the provider focus. Few companies are able to balance both. How have you been able to get hospitals and doctors to buy into using Patientory?

Chrissa: That’s been the challenge because with healthcare, it’s not one-sided, it’s just not a plausible business model. Health is about building collaborations. How are startups really able to gain traction and adopt? So by starting the association, we definitely thought that building that ecosystem, or at least that cushion, can really help start those dialogues.

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