Is My Personal Data Worth Anything? I Turned to Blockchain To Find Out.
The idea behind CoverUS is to harness as much health data as possible—from self-reported data to automatically generated real-time feeds—...
Healthcare is projected to be a nearly $9 trillion dollar global market by 2020. In 2016 alone, the US spent $3.3 trillion (17% of GDP) on healthcare-related expenditures. It is estimated that more than $1 trillion is wasted every year to health system inefficiencies.
37% of Americans can't afford a $100 medical bill, and that's a huge problem. 64% of patients are delaying health treatment until they have the money to pay for it, resulting in poor health outcomes and skyrocketing national health costs. Financial barriers to care are even more crippling in transition economies, which drive 7.5% of the total growth in global health spending.
Not only is this an invasion of privacy, it's bad business. Lack of direct patient engagement makes it difficult for the healthcare industry to conduct highly targeted marketing campaigns, to incentivize people to take healthy actions, and to collect real-time, real-world health data from patients at scale. This leads to higher costs for research and development, advertising and medication non-adherence. Health information is more valuable to industry buyers if it's connected to you, and if it can be used to engage you in the conversation.
Rather than accepting the status quo of third-party data brokers collecting and profiting from your most private information, the CoverUS App will enable you to take control of your health data and earn money.
Note: The CoverUS app and platform described in the video at the top of the page are still under development; the features and business capabilities demonstrated here are not yet functional and may require acceptance by various organizations in the health and financial industries in order to be successful.
Widespread hacking of personal data – from Yahoo!, to eBay, to Equifax – and the high value of health information has made healthcare the industry most affected by data breaches. With sweeping new European privacy laws providing global challenges, and US states like California following suit, companies handling sensitive data must embrace innovative solutions to increase transparency, security, and privacy.
CoverUS has you covered. Our RESPECT data governance framework allows CoverUS members to decide what data they want to share and with whom they want to share it. They can also adjust sharing permissions over time. This ensures compliance with strict data standards like HIPAA and GDPR.
HOW IT WORKS
CoverUS is creating a two-sided marketplace between consumers and healthcare companies:
CoverUS makes money when members create uniquely rich health data profiles and respond to targeted, revenue-earning offers from the healthcare industry. Our transaction fee model means we only profit when our members do.
Our plan is to become the world's leading health data broker with direct patient consent – selling custom data and insights to the healthcare industry and creating a regular stream of income for all CoverUS members who opt in.
CoverUS achieves scale by working with distribution partners in healthcare and beyond. We are developing our first GTM partnership with an online patient community of 1.5 million people suffering from one of the more costly chronic diseases. Additional partnerships are being negotiated with leading medical, advertising, and health IT companies. We will leverage our experience in working with governments and large issue-based organizations with the goal of bringing the CoverUS app to everyone, everywhere.
CoverUS will target global markets including Electronic Health Records (EHRs / EMRs), Mobile Health, and Telehealth. These sectors are projected to grow at an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.15%.
If recent growth in the personal data market is any indication, multiple major players will emerge in the health data space. Our team has been empowering and engaging consumers at scale for decades, and CoverUS is well positioned to not only compete with, but to also collaborate with several of the companies listed below.
Having completed phase I product ideation and design, the CoverUS App is in the development stage. We will use the funds from our Crowdfunding round as follows*:
*Note that funds raised up to our minimum funding goal will be devoted primarily to Marketing and Operations (including for the crowdfunding campaign itself), while the other categories will receive proportionally a greater allocation of the proceeds if we raise more than the minimum goal.
Digital health is known to be one of the hottest markets for venture capital. Our unique value proposition places us directly in 7 of the 10 most active sub-sectors for investments in the digital health industry:
The CoverUS team has experience in creating, growing, and exiting successful startups.
We launched this equity crowdfunding campaign because we believe that you should have the opportunity to own not just your data – but also a piece of the company that is putting the power of data in your hands.
The smallest investment amount that CoverUS is accepting.
CoverUS needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
$25,000 – $1,070,000
CoverUS needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount CoverUS is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
CoverUS has raised sufficient investor capital to bring the CoverUS app and platform to market in Q2 of 2019, and we expect to begin onboarding members and generating revenue within Q2.
In parallel, we will be working throughout the first half of 2019 to raise additional investment capital, both from crowdfunding and from traditional professional investors, to scale the company after initial launch of the platform.
Our internal membership growth, revenue growth, and cost models, while subject to change, currently project break-even for the company on a cash-flow basis in Q2 of 2021. We anticipate needing to raise at least $2.6M in additional investment (including funds raised from the crowdfunding campaign) capital in order to achieve break-even in 2021.
While our platform is being designed to be relevant to all patient and consumer groups, our go-to-market strategy is focused on engaging and financially empowering consumers that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a condition experienced by approximately 10-15% of the world’s population that is one of the more costly chronic diseases. We have created charter app distribution relationships with organizations that currently reach approximately 1.5 million IBS patients worldwide.
Accordingly, we expect our first customers to be organizations that are focused on learning from, engaging, and serving IBS patients. These may include pharmaceutical companies developing therapies for IBS, the Contract Research Organizations (CROs) that help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs, market research firms that seek to understand the consumer preferences of IBS patients, health data analytics companies researching IBS itself, employers seeking to support employees that suffer from IBS, health care payers, and consumer-facing companies offering products and services to support consumers in managing IBS.
Over time, we expect to offer customer cohorts such as these a range of services related to the data and attention of CoverUS members, group into Marketing Solutions, Research Solutions, Incentives Solutions, and Data Solutions. In each case, we deem ourselves to be working as the agent, or proxy, for our members, assisting them in brokering their engagement, attention and data only on terms that they are informed about, explicitly agree to, and that are economically advantageous to them, as represented by our RESPECT framework.
We are also already working to build broader distribution relationships beyond IBS with organizations ranging from innovative clinical testing companies to large member organizations.
Health data is valuable, but also sensitive. CoverUS members need to be able to trust that their data will not fall into the wrong hands, nor be used for purposes that go against their values. To that end, above and beyond adhering to all relevant legal privacy and security requirements, CoverUS is creating RESPECT, a semantic framework for the ethical sharing of data that will allow members to decide what information they want to share, with whom, and under what conditions, to revoke or change these data sharing permissions over time, and to stay informed about how their data is shared.
Beginning with Privacy by Design principles as a foundation -- including the goal of storing only what data needs to be stored, for as long as it is needed -- we are working together with civil society organizations, the medical industry, and existing health communities to design default data sharing choices that protect our members.
The resulting RESPECT framework, designed to be both human and machine-readable, will be built into the CoverUS app and, we hope, will add further impetus to an industry-wide movement towards more ethical data sharing principles and business models.
As we are pioneering the application of a new more expansive approach to balancing the inherent tension between data privacy and data sharing, we won’t get it perfectly right out of the gate. We will need ongoing input from our members, our business customers, and of course relevant standards bodies and other governmental and civil society organizations that are already working on related challenges. Accordingly, RESPECT is being developed through an open, iterative process, and its’ design will evolve over time we receive ongoing feedback, and learn from applied experience over time.
Consumer data brokering is an approximately $200 billion market, of which the health data segment is approximately $20 billion. The rapid growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning applied to vast troves of health data is thought to have hold the promise of accelerating discovery and commercialization of breakthrough therapies for everything from cancer to dementia, as well as delivering on the long-awaited promise of personalized medicine, in which therapies are tuned more specifically to an individual’s own biology. As such, our health data is valuable in the aggregate.
However, while public estimates of the value of an individual’s health data range from dozens to hundreds of dollars annually, the commercial value of any individual’s data may vary widely depending on a range of factors ranging from accidents of genetic phenotype to whether one is sick with a chronic disease. Furthermore, the current health data brokering market creates perverse incentives that harm patient welfare, reduce accountability and reduce information sharing which could otherwise drive innovation. In the current state, consumers provide valuable health data but are not able to realize its value directly, and customers are limited in their ability to use data assets without consent, and unable to fill gaps in the data.
CoverUS believes that the greatest value of one’s data lies in the insights and actions that data can inform, rather than in the data itself. Realizing this greater value, in our view, inherently requires a consumer to be involved in the creation, enrichment, maintenance, and permissioning of their data.
While this patient-centric data management is not the norm in the health data brokering industry, there is growing demand for this “real-world” data-- the context from a consumer’s daily life that makes the information in medical records more valuable. Increasingly, drug companies and other actors in the system are asking for this data because it helps them improve the efficacy of and adherence to the proscribed use of their products.
As such, CoverUS is focused on aggregating a rich real-world health data set in partnership with our members, and also on the engagement of our members with offers to take actions informed by this data that create value or reduce risk for other organizations in the health system.
We believe that this will enable us to aggregate revenue streams related to health data that are traditionally segregated into different sub-sectors of the industry, from market research, to patient incentives, to data brokering. Our initial “North Star” goal is to generate revenue for our most engaged members from these aggregated streams sufficient to wipe out the ~$1500 average medical debt experienced by some 40 million Americans today.
As part of its BlueButton and Blue Button 2.0 initiative, the United States government has strongly urged holders of electronic medical records to make them available to patients online. In March of 2018, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Trump Administration initiative – MyHealthEData – to empower patients by giving them control of their healthcare data, and allowing it to follow them through their healthcare journey.
As of 2018, Apple is making this even easier for iPhone users by connecting medical records to its Health App and also providing APIs to third-party software developers like CoverUS. There are a variety of companies inside and outside the blockchain space that are singularly focused on helping patients get their health records with minimal friction, and we expect this market to grow.
CoverUS believes that one's digital health records will be much easier to obtain in the near future thanks to these efforts, and is designing its’ platform to leverage integrations with these relevant vendors to make the connecting of health data to CoverUS an even easier process. In addition to health records, CoverUS members will be able to connect data from fitness trackers and other wearable devices, as well to provide “patient-reported” information via surveys and other feedback tools.
Click here for information from the U.S. government's health IT website on what your rights are when it comes to electronic medical records access, and what special tools are available for Veterans and Medicare recipients.
Andrew Hoppin: I'm Andrew Hoppin.
Chris Sealey: And I'm Chris Sealey and we are CoverUS. Andrew and I came together inspired by the promise of blockchain technology to really empower people. We looked at the healthcare system because we really believe that there's a real problem today. People have no privacy over their data. It's also information that is earning hundreds of billions of dollars at the same time, most of us can barely afford our healthcare bills.
Andrew Hoppin: I know from being a government CIO and then a Gov Tech entrepreneur, that government is designed to try to help people. I also know intimately from the inside where and when government falls short. A lot of things in our society, including health care people are just cut off from their ability to actually interact with each other and to actually make money where they should and actually choose what to share and what to keep private. Blockchain technologies can help give that power to individual people.
Chris Sealey: People ask us, "Are you disrupting the healthcare system?" No, we, we think we're helping the healthcare system work like everyone in the healthcare system wants it to.
Andrew Hoppin: Hello Drapers and Jain. I'm Andrew Hoppin. I'm a former NASA planetary scientists and government CIO, turns civic entrepreneur with multiple exits.
Chris Sealey: I started my career helping fortune 500 companies market their goods and services. And then after that I spent the latter part of my career helping some of the world's foremost philanthropists tackle big issues like healthcare, the national debt and the global economy. And what we are doing with CoverUS is we are aiming to make healthcare more affordable for everyone, everywhere. Global healthcare spending is projected to reach almost 9 trillion by 2020 with up to a third of that being waist. Right here in America, hundreds of thousands of people die each year simply because they can't afford to be healthy. Yet, the value of their personal data, which is being bought and sold without their knowledge or consent tops, 200 billion a year. This is the status quo and we find it absolutely unacceptable.
Andrew Hoppin: So the CoverUS app enables you to reclaim your health data, to secure it using blockchain technologies to decide what of it to share, what of it to keep private and then enables you to capture the value of your data so you can afford to be healthier in the first place. The medical industry likes this because we enable them to get richer data than they've ever had before. Patients like this because they can afford to go to the doctor when they should and fill their prescription when they need it. And when patients engaged better in the health system, the whole system works more efficiently for everybody.
Tim Draper: Now, So I've seen a business very much like this and they were taking data from people in Africa giving them free healthcare because the data becomes so valuable, They were not using the blockchain. They weren't doing what you guys are talking about. Are you going to use existing tokens there? Are you creating your own? What are you doing? How are you doing this?
Andrew Hoppin: Yeah, it's a great question. So first of all, people are selling your data as we said, and in some cases they're giving you some form of compensation. We think however, unless you actually are preserving that individuals agency in terms of choosing what to share and in fact their privacy that that's not the right thing to do. It's about securing the data, using blockchain technologies. We think that we're building it the right way. Secondarily, we're not building our own new blockchain protocol. We're going to be using a variety of decentralized health data exchanges to monetize the data.
Tim Draper: You're not creating a new token?
Andrew Hoppin: We're not. We're issuing a stable coin, which is our reward's currency, which adds additional incentives.
Tim Draper: Your own stable coin?
Andrew Hoppin: It is.
Tim Draper: You're creating a new coin.
Andrew Hoppin: Correct. So that we take in Fiat revenue from people that pay for your data or for your attention and we give you a stable coin, which is your rewards currency. It can be cashed out for Fiat or you can invest and preserve that so that it grows and we can tune the incentive-
Tim Draper: Wait so they can just take their Fiat for their data and just use it for buying bear claws.
Chris Sealey: Well that's actually important.
Tim Draper: Or Donuts or whatever.
Chris Sealey: Certainly you could use it to buy donuts and on some level-
Tim Draper: So you're not really creating that cycle?
Chris Sealey: Well, we are. Well, I think you have to consider what consumers are willing to do. So on the marketing world, you have to realize that to engage people at scale, which is really where our business takes off, it's hard to tell people what to do with their money. We will certainly create incentives by using the stable coin within our internal economy to spend it on things that are in service of your health. But a lot of reasons why people don't go to the doctor for example, is that they don't have a ride, they don't have an Uber, they don't have a babysitter. We'll certainly sweeten the pot and the ways that you suggest. But an Uber to a doctor's office is a healthcare spend that doesn't fall under that normal rubric.
Bill Draper: What is your background and what is yours?
Andrew Hoppin: Sure, so as a former government CIO, I both managed an IT portfolio for legislature as well as put up the first ever government GitHub repository, published all of the code that ran this institution online.
Bill Draper: So you managed the whole Nike portfolio?
Andrew Hoppin: The whole IT portfolio. I'm sorry. Yeah. So I'm on both a hands on technology manager, but also I have a track record of creating new open standards for data that actually helped people to understand and have more transparency about the way that our system-
Tim Draper: So you've evaluated a lot of technologies and so you're saying, "Hey, here's an interesting opportunity."
Andrew Hoppin: Exactly. And I've also-
Tim Draper: I mean I'm looking around, but you got to chiefs that are flying at 60,000 feet. Who's going to do all this work? Who's going to make this thing work?
Chris Sealey: Do you want me to give a brief intro of myself or we-
Bill Draper: Yes, I'd like that.
Tim Draper: Sure, go ahead.
Chris Sealey: So I started my career in mass consumer marketing, making things cool for the 17 to 34 audience. And I think that's relevant because people don't think about their health unless they're unhealthy and people don't think about rewards in an abstract way. You really have to surround them with these opportunities. So a lot of the marketing skills I learned there are really relevant today. And when you talk to health care companies, their biggest self identified struggle is connecting with patients and consumers at scale in a well branded manner.
Tim Draper: Who's The entrepreneur here? You got a bureaucrat and a bleeding heart, so you put those two together and you're getting an entrepreneur?
Polly Draper: That is not how I define either of them.
Andrew Hoppin: What we're trying to do is so big here. Health is such a complex system. It involves the obviously government, it involves industry to a massive massive scale and it obviously it involves civil society, right? We need depth and expertise in all these different realms and as a team we think that that's what we bring and it distinguishes us I think to a significant degree from a lot of other health IT companies that really just have that domain expertise.
Chris Sealey: And to be very clear after working in government, Andrew started his own company with several successful exits. So the more traditional entrepreneur is standing to me right now.
Bill Draper: I'd like to ask each of you, what is your biggest success in life?
Andrew Hoppin: As an entrepreneur, my biggest success was my last startup and it was not just because it was a successful exit. We actually created a community and a platform and a movement that's open source that's used by governments all around the world.
Bill Draper: If I had invested $10,000 in it, what would I have gotten out of it?
Andrew Hoppin: So the returns were infinite cause we bootstrapped the entire thing and had an exit that's north of $5 million.
Bill Draper: You got $5 million out of it. That's pretty good.
Andrew Hoppin: We did.
Tim Draper: So are you investing some of that $5 million into this?
Andrew Hoppin: Yes. We've been in a research mode on this for nearly a year and we in fact didn't think about making it into a company until a bit on a Lark. We entered a competition called the blockchain for social impact hackathon. And we won that just on an idea. And then we said, boy, people thinks is actually is something that should happen. We've now decided that we're ready and we've just closed a $400,000 pre seeds. So now we're actually off to the races to complete the product-
Tim Draper: Again, who's going to build it.
Andrew Hoppin: So the other two people on our team that are core that are not here are a health IT expert who has implemented electronic medical records systems in many states. And then the other is a colleague from the open source community that I spoke about. He's our engineering lead and so he's managing the development team.
Bill Draper: I'd like to hear your story.
Chris Sealey: Well, my biggest success in life is convincing my wife to marry me and I think [crosstalk 00:23:13] that would be very clear.
Tim Draper: Can we get her to join the team.
Anu Jain: We need women on the team.
Chris Sealey: I joke about that often with her and she says, well you can't afford me. But interestingly enough, it was validation from her former company, which is a number two worldwide medical device company saying that the thing that we were on to and the data that we were going to be able to pull from individuals as self reported data was a gold to them.
Tim Draper: Well, terrific. Well thank you so much for coming to Meet The Drapers.
Chris Sealey: (Silence) It was awesome. I mean, they asked really great questions. The thing that we're most excited about was just getting their feedback and I feel like we actually learned a lot.
Andrew Hoppin: If we're doing something that's inherently difficult and complicated, we're talking about a $9 trillion industry that we're trying to disrupt. We're talking about health tech, we're talking about blockchain tech. And yet what we're bringing to that table to that universe is the ability to actually translate these complex things for consumers and actually make a difference in their everyday lives. So it's a good exercise for us to be able to take all that complexity and to distill it down to something that can work in the context of something like a TV show.
Chris Sealey: And this is why I think this TV show is so important for us. If we are trying to build something that we think of ourselves as the custodian of people's health data and their money. So the opportunity to talk to not just these entrepreneurs like the Drapers, but to do so on the republic platform and actually have regular people invest in this product. It's exactly why we started this company. So I just feel really lucky, pretty special feeling to just get that kind of time with those kind of people.
Tim Draper: So let's see what the judges thought of CoverUs. What did all of you think?
Polly Draper: Well, first of all, I thought they were brilliant. Thinkers outside the box.
Bill Draper: I liked them. They had had good experience to become entrepreneurs and I always weight that very heavily.
Anu Jain: They're basically bringing the data in locally or globally and then providing the tokens to the consumer. But how is that individual benefiting into that whole wellness? That's what am-
Polly Draper: Yeah, I was confused about where the money [crosstalk 00:25:43]
Tim Draper: All they're saying is, we're going to give them the money and then-
Anu Jain: And then that's it.
Tim Draper: Go use it, whatever. To buy donuts.
Anu Jain: So it's not really impacting that user whose providing the date.
Tim Draper: Well, I asked if they're doing their own coin and they said no. Then they said we're doing a stable token and I thought that's what your own coin is and I think you really are not. They're just sort of throwing it out like a ... I don't think they know what they're doing.
Anu Jain: I mean, why does it have to be crypto currency? Why can't the incentivize the person providing the data with just money.
Tim Draper: The cryptocurrency secures the data so that it's always going to be there. This is a big opportunity. Huge opportunity. I just don't think that they're the ones that are going to be the one's that make it.
Bill Draper: And explain that because in a pitch full way I thought they were qualified. Why do you think they're not in?
Tim Draper: Neither of these two had really good technology background and you really need that. You need to provide a really good technological advantage. He evaluates-
Anu Jain: I think their team [crosstalk 00:26:45] other team members were technology experts.
Tim Draper: Yeah.
Polly Draper: But how about the company that he put all of his stuff in he's made $5 million. Since you spend a lot of your time banking on the person as opposed to the idea, it seems like that would be a guy that
Anu Jain: Can do it.
Polly Draper: you-
Tim Draper: Let's vote. Let's hear it from crystal ball.
Polly Draper: 'Cause the crystal ball might give you things.
Tim Draper: Because that might change somethings here. Okay let's hear-
Polly Draper: Mini beanie, chilly beanie. The spirits are about to speak.
Tim Draper: They're odd spirits. Okay, you ready?
Judges: Up, down, all the way around.
Polly Draper: I'm kind of-
Anu Jain: Half, half.
Bill Draper: We're two and two.
Tim Draper: When it's a good business, not everybody gets, when you guys started InfoSpace, I'm sure people didn't really get it.
Anu Jain: Well yeah, it's basically perseverance and I think the guy's brilliant so he could potentially make this huge.
Tim Draper: So now you, the viewer can either vote up or down or invest. You can invest by going to meetthedrapers.com and give them a thumbs up and send them some money. So let's bring on the next entrepreneur. But before we do that, let's see what's going on behind
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