Patientory: The Perfect Storm of Blockchain, Business, and Bullshit

Patientory is a blockchain health informatics company whose initial coin offering (ICO) was the perfect storm of blockchain, business, and bullshit. It was a triumph of fantastical ideas over the necessary detail that would nevertheless net its creators $7.2 million in that initial offering, with the coin selling out within three days.

For those unfamiliar with the vicissitudes and complexities of health informatics and the brave new world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, it all seems very reasonable. On closer inspection, however, the likelihood that Patientory has the ability to deliver on its initial White Paper seems very slim.

This is not to say that Patientory is doomed to failure. Indeed, the single biggest danger regarding Patientory, is there is a chance it might actually happen.

Had the ICO not given Patientory founder, Chrissa McFarlane, the war chest and the accompanying business profile, the idea alone as posited in the Whitepaper never had a chance. But she and her team did get that injection of cash and a slew of high calibre collaborators who most certainly do have a chance at getting this terrible idea up.

I should point out that Macroscope is a strong proponent of individuals' controlling their own medical data; and I am similarly enthusiastic about the possibilities blockchain and crypto offer the health informatics infrastructure space. You can read Macroscope's vision for a health informatics infrastructure revolution here.

That is not, however, what Patientory ultimately aims to do. It is American health insurance industry marketing run amok in the blockchain candy store, gorging itself on buzzwords and technology that no one really seems to understand.

Patientory offers a cautionary tale regarding the overheated ICO environment of 2017, as well as the false assumption that complex systems are ripe for rational (simple) disruption.

Not only was Patientory’s ICO handled poorly (more below), it was flawed in its very conception, not least due to the absence of anyone with a biomedical or patient advocacy background on the development team. If you look at the current team as listed on the website, they seem to have one medical doctor among a panoply of marketing and digital types. It is not a recipe for epistemic rigour at any level.

Even the Patientory advisory board at the time of the White Paper included only one person with any connection to biomedical science - a medical doctor who does not seem to practice medicine, but rather works in health insurance.

This shocking dearth of medical, biomedical science, and patient advocate input was glaringly apparent as I read the White Paper, even before I had the opportunity to look at the Patientory website.

Indeed, the Patientory vision offers a parody of a dystopian bureaucratic nightmare of blockchain’s potential, from which we are fortunately saved by the current state of complex systems irrationality - for now, anyway.

Patientory’s skewed priorities - enrichment of the bureaucratic layers at the expense of patients - is not only evident in the white paper and in the personnel involved, but also in the people being sought to work for the company. While full time jobs immediately after the offering were advertised for positions in marketing and business development, oversight of the actual product build (project manager) was only apportioned a part time position, indicating something like contempt for the seriousness of the task they sought to undertake.

Essentially, the Patientory white paper is replete with contradictions and foundationless assumptions, offering a series of unimplementable solutions to problems whose shared feature comprises a suite of epistemological challenges underpinning a compromised and increasingly degraded knowledge base due to perverse incentives; none of which Patientory can counter, instead adding their own in the form of incentivising outcomes without rigorous epistemic testing of initial assumptions (such as rewarding certain health outcomes, as opposed to provision of services).

A compromised ICO:
Patientory’s ICO seemed to have been hampered by rush, poor implementation and failures in due diligence regarding the exchanges and platforms with which it partnered.

Even after the ICO, its ‘careers’ page was still advertising for key positions, such as ‘project manager’, ‘marketing manager’, and ‘business development associate’.

That these roles were not filled prior to the ICO - and remain unfilled over a month afterwards - was a further indication of vaporware.

The Patientory ‘faq’ page is replete with answers to questions that could only have arisen as a result of poor practice, such as, ‘I participated in the pre-sale/crowd sale. Why are my tokens locked?’ and ‘I heard some people have been able to start trading tokens already. How can they do that if the tokens are locked?’

For a detailed critique of the Patientory Whitepaper, submit a request below. Price on application

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