Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane Doubles Down on Healthcare Data and Blockchain; Here’s Why
Entrepreneur Chrissa McFarlane is on a mission to radically improve healthcare by empowering people to take back control of their data. She’s a big believer in the potential of blockchain to do exactly this, providing people with better access to their health data so they can generate insights that allow them to lead a healthier lifestyle and prolong their lives.
To further her mission, McFarlane founded her blockchain startup Patientory back in 2015. In an interview with The Keyword, she discussed how she worked for over a decade in healthcare before realizing that the industry was desperately crying out for a more personalized and consumer-focused health information management system.
“I was working with a telemedicine company and experienced firsthand the difficulty patients have obtaining access to their medical information,” she stated. “I was also actively researching Bitcoin and Blockchain at the time and made a connection between the two industries.”
Patientory is a blockchain-powered health data management platform that empowers users to take back control of their private health information. Through a pair of decentralized applications, it’s possible for medical professionals, healthcare providers, and patients to securely access, store, and exchange healthcare information in real-time while ensuring that data remains fully encrypted and therefore inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t have permission to see it. Patientory is powered by the PTOYMatrix blockchain, which provides secure and encrypted storage for health data and enables it to be securely exchanged.
According to McFarlane, sharing healthcare data is a big challenge due to the lack of interoperability between legacy technology systems and a reliance on paper documents. This has become more of a problem in the age of digitization, where health records are increasingly stored in computer systems. The lack of interoperability and access has created numerous healthcare data siloes, she explains, which make it almost impossible to share this information.
“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,” McFarlane explained. “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.”
Patientory is compliant with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.
Patientory has racked up a number of impressive achievements since its founding. The company has closed a string of funding rounds since it was launched, with the most recent one occurring in April 2023. However, McFarlane admitted that doing so was far from easy. She told Business Insider how she was rejected by more than 500 venture capitalists, prompting her to go down the crowdfunding route, where she was able to raise $7.2 million in just three days through an initial coin offering.
“Being a pioneer in the space, it was difficult to secure the first round of institutional funding. So we decided to create a cryptocurrency, called PTOY, through our Foundation,” McFarlane told The Keyword. “More than 1,000 people all over the world purchased the cryptocurrency, which secured over $7 million in funding for Patientory.”
It’s not just money that Patientory has attracted, but also dozens of awards. For instance, in 2018 it was named one of the 10 Most Innovative Digital Healthcare Solution Providers by Insights Care, and later that year it landed a Globe Award in International Trade from the U.S. State of Georgia.
McFarlane herself was named as one of the “top women leaving their mark on the MedTech field in health IT” by Becker’s Hospital Review, while her company has twice been named “Startup Company of the Year” by the World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.
All the while, Patientory has been steadily building up its subscriber base, and now counts more than 45,000 users of its two applications. Its platform has also created integrations with leading healthcare record systems, including Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, Meditech, and Athenahealth.
COVID-19 has also helped to shine a light on why a solution like Patientory is needed, and in the wake of the pandemic, the company has announced key partnerships with the United Nations and Georgia’s Department of Economic Development, providing essential personal protective equipment to healthcare workers.