Pradeep Goel has more than 25 years of healthcare experience, developing groundbreaking software for the insurance industry, and co-founding four healthcare IT businesses where he has served in a number of management roles including CEO, COO, CIO, and CTO. So he knows a thing or two about healthcare. As we've reported before, blockchain has a number of unique applications that make it a perfect partner for the healthcare industry. But, it's also an industry riddled with rules, regulations, and incumbents. In the below interview, Goel explains why he thinks blockchain is perfectly placed to help fix some of healthcare's biggest issues and why delivering on your value proposition is the key to making a business work.
How did you first get into blockchain and the decentralized web?
We’ve been researching decentralization and healthcare benefits for quite some time and encountered blockchain back in the early-2000s. As we looked at how to improve the relationship between insurance companies and patients, we found that the solution lay with blockchain technology. Blockchain was initially met with resistance in the insurance industry, but we prevailed to proactively incorporate and adopt a decentralized model that led to Solve.Care creating a patient-centric tool.
When did you set up your company?
Solve.Care was established in 2017.
What need does it serve?
Solve.Care is a global healthcare platform which aims to redefine care coordination, improve access to care, empower the consumer with information, reduce benefit administration costs, as well as eliminate fraud and waste from healthcare and benefit administration around the world.
Solve.Care is the first company to utilize digital currency and blockchain technology in healthcare for value-based payments. This allows for the configuration of patient-centric care administration networks that allow participation based on disease conditions, economic and social needs, employment, and other eligibility criteria.
Have you launched other companies before? What were they?
I previously co-founded Dakota Imaging in 1990 and I later established health software firm EngagePoint in 2006 before setting up Solve.Care.
Can you give us a summary of your career thus far, how did you get here?
I have more than 25 years of healthcare experience, developing groundbreaking software for the insurance industry, and co-founding four healthcare IT businesses where I served in a number of management roles including CEO, COO, CIO, and CTO.
I was the Founder and CEO of health software firm, EngagePoint, where I was deeply involved in implementing the Affordable Care Act across multiple states. I also served as Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Information Officer at Noridian BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota.
I then co-founded Dakota Imaging in 1990, where I served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, before the company was subsequently acquired by WebMD.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building a business in this space?
When we launched Solve.Care, our biggest challenge was that nobody was talking about blockchain use cases. Historically, the blockchain space has been more about cryptography and cryptocurrencies, and less about business applications and enterprise adoption. However, as predicted, there is now a bigger focus on enterprise use of blockchain and delivering real value to stakeholders, and we’re proud to be part of that change. We always aimed to become an enterprise-based delivery model as we believed in the sovereignty of the individual as a patient.
As the market moves from disruption for the sake of disruption to validating a real need for blockchain, the new challenge is delivering a safe, secure, scalable, and sustainable blockchain fabric on which compelling enterprise solutions can be built.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given when it comes to being an entrepreneur in this space?
The best advice I have received is to focus on where your company can deliver value, not on what everyone else is doing. If you concentrate on and anticipate the real needs of your customers, you’ll ensure the sustainability and longevity of your business.
What advice would you give to someone setting up a business in the decentralized web?
I’d advise anyone establishing a business to clearly outline the utility and the adoption of your solution. Like any other business, the decentralized web is a technology that opens up new possibilities and its potential is unquestionable. However, setting up a decentralized business is no different than any other business as the economics remain the same. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the needs of your clients, consumers, and stakeholders. Delivering on your business’s value proposition is arguably the most important factor to your stakeholders, along with delivering ROI to your investors.
If you built your business all over again, what would you do differently?
Before I founded Solve.Core, I was involved in building and leading a number of successful companies. Like any entrepreneur, I’ve faced many challenges in building a business but have come out on the other side. My past experiences and the lessons I’ve learned have influenced the decisions I’ve made when setting up Solve.Care. For the first time, I can say that I wouldn’t change anything.
What project or projects are you most excited about (that aren’t yours!)
I get excited about projects where there is true utility and value to the stakeholder. There are many projects introducing blockchain into their works. For example, projects working with the IoT have begun adopting the technology in their work. Another example of this adoption would be in the non-emergency medical transportation field. Both of these fields, in my opinion, are proving that blockchain adoption is spreading, and that it can be applied virtually anywhere, whether it be a watch, or in an app, allowing you to schedule a ride to the doctor’s office.
Did you know?
I am extremely interested in aviation. I became curious about flying and began to delve deeper into researching different aircraft. I believe it’s essential to explore any realm that is encountered regularly in our everyday lives and to educate ourselves by incorporating this learning as a daily habit.
What is (or what will be) blockchain’s ‘killer app’?
In my mind, blockchain's killer app will be payments, which is already disrupting the global financial system. With no centralized authority or intermediaries, individuals are able to transact with each other in a secure and auditable manner with real-time verification. Blockchain transactions also afford a level of pseudonymous privacy, however, we should expect regulators to implement stricter KYL and AML regulations in the near future.
What’s the difference between setting up a company in the decentralized space versus regular business?
The decentralized space has its own vernacular and its own style with a large amount of community involvement. The blockchain community is often engaged from the conceptual stage and become active proponents of the project, and the constant feedback provided by them is invaluable to the success of your business. The engagement has been unprecedented and such feedback used to cost a fortune and was reserved for big brands only. It’s incredible that now anyone with a great idea in the decentralized space can quickly establish and actively engage a community with thousands of members.
How would you describe blockchain to someone who has never heard of it before?
Simply put, blockchain is an infinite, replicated, immutable ledger of information where all kinds of transactions can be recorded.
By virtue of having the same ledger on everybody's device, you are always in sync with each other and nobody can tamper with it.