My startup wants to revolutionize healthcare by giving patients autonomy over their data to control who buys it and be the main beneficiary of its revenue, AMA!

Austin Jones
Jul 11, 2018

Data is the worlds most valuable resource on the international market. Information is extremely valuable. Medical data is of no exception, and big business is already selling your medical data. The current state of the medical data market is full of lucrative practices, inefficient data gathering means, and black market activity. Brokers don’t care who's buying and sensitive medical record information isn’t treated with the respect of a patients privacy. Patients are run through the mill with medical expenses and health problems to produce data which generates revenue they never see. The least big business could do is give patients some of that revenue, but they don’t. Which is why I founded a company to give patients the control of their data and develop a more efficient means of information exchange within healthcare. What my company, Unity Health Score does is allows patients to house their data with us, we then analyze it to generate a health-score which provides a lot of services for patients like insurance premium cost negotiation. While housing the data we offer a marketplace for research to request specific data with patient access for more interactive studies. Patients have total control over who buys their data being the decider in every transaction, while also being the main beneficiary of their data’s sales. Their doctors and insurance company’s get a small cut of the revenue for help in producing the data, Unity Health Score uses this relationship to levy insurance companies for premium reductions with the health-score. You sell your medical data, you own your health, and you finally get some negotiating space in your care costs.

This is a contribution by Austin Jones, Founder, and CEO of Unity Health Score.

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What is the vision and mission of Unity Health Score?
Jul 16, 8:30PM EDT1

Our vision and goals are to achieve a user rate of atleast 85% of the U.S population. Scale our payout for patients up to 85%. Create a more cost friendly space for patients in healthcare. Give patients more of a platform to raise their voice in healthcare, and bring universal healthcare to the U.S. 

Jul 16, 9:23PM EDT0
Can you explain how your model allows more transparency for data gathering?
Jul 16, 7:47PM EDT1

The current model obtains data through anonymized patients records. Patients have no idea their data is being sold. They have no incentives to produce consistent data. 

Our model allows the data customer to directly engage with the data seller, this allows research to be interactive. It gives patients incentives to get regular health screenings for consistent data. And overall is more transparent because underwriters and data brokers aren't the main ones handling the data with our model. 

Jul 16, 9:21PM EDT0
What are the information that should never be sold online?
Jul 15, 5:23PM EDT1

I don't think it's so much as any information that should never be sold, as to what information should never be used for. 

Insurance company's shouldn't adjust risk based off a person's family members obituarys. Medical records shouldn't be on the black market. So to speak. The information in itself is harmless, it's how it's used. 

Jul 15, 5:55PM EDT0
Can selling healthcare information be damaging to a person when misused by insurance companies?
Jul 15, 5:54AM EDT1

It can and already is. However the issue is in that the system lacks transparency. Patients have no say in whose buying their data or how it affects them, we change that. 

Jul 15, 1:52PM EDT0
Can you explain what the user experience would be like once you move past the seed investment phase?
Jul 14, 4:46PM EDT1

Yeah so our patient users will have access to multiple features like a data hub that lets them either elect to sell their data by individual notification granting access or autopilot. A comprehensive health plan that puts their doctors orders in front of them. A care finder to find new groundbreaking treatments around the globe, free clinical trials, and local specialists with a ranking review o0tion. With our health journal they can link up health trackers and view the data on that also keep up with their mental health. Check out our prototype to see it all on August 15th when it launches on the Google Play and iTunes app stores. 

Jul 14, 5:55PM EDT0
How do you make money off of your startup? Where does the revenue come from?
Jul 14, 5:56AM EDT1

We're a data brokerage so we take a percentage of the revenue from all the data we sell for organizing, packaging and securing sales on it through our platform. 

Jul 14, 1:13PM EDT0
Have you considered that some companies may misuse the data on Unity health score in a way that actually hurts patients?
Jul 13, 7:56PM EDT1

Yes we have because this happens a lot in the medical data market but we firmly believe with our transparent means of data sharing the stakeholders being patients can themselves discern between whose buying their data and doing what with it. 

Jul 13, 8:30PM EDT0
Can you give an example to the type of data that will be exchanged using your startup?
Jul 13, 5:43PM EDT1

Mostly health metrics like cholesterol, blood pressure, bod fat percentage, ejection fraction. Medical history. Genetics. Will also be heavily analyzing demographic data. People's journal entries like their daily mood. Virtually anything that can be related to health. 

Jul 13, 8:29PM EDT0
What are the security measures you have in place to protect your users data?
Jul 13, 1:04PM EDT1

We will be using blockchain to organize and store all of our records with a combined effort of HIPAA compatible encryption central storage. 

Jul 13, 1:08PM EDT0
You say that big companies make money off of people's medical data. How is that possible when there are strict confidentiality laws when it comes to sharing patient's data?
Jul 13, 9:08AM EDT1

Because it's entirely HIPAA compliant to anonymize data by taking away a degree of identifiable factors like your name to sell the data. 

There's even a sub industry of organizations that cross reference purchased data back to people's identity. 

Legal loopholes. 

Jul 13, 12:18PM EDT0
Do you have any current investors in your startup? How did you bypass the lack of credibility phase that you said was your biggest challenge to be able to get through to them?
Jul 12, 2:22PM EDT1

We have interested investors but none are commited yet. I bypassed my initial phase of zero credibility by building a team with credibility. One of my C-suite executives is am epidemiologist, another a hospital data systems security specialist, and another a healthcare administrator. 

Jul 13, 12:20PM EDT0
The data business is continously growing, what made you decide to focus on healthcare data for your startup?
Jul 12, 1:14PM EDT1

I had heard my grandma's doctors complaining a lot about electronic health records and data. When I looked into it I saw how big of a mess healthcare data was. I saw an opportunity to fix it with my startup. 

Jul 12, 1:22PM EDT0
You mentioned being a high school dropout. Did you have to take certain courses or classes to be able to fully grasp the extent of data mining and be able to run your startup susccessfully?
Jul 12, 3:36AM EDT1

I've just read a lot of content on the matter. We live in the age of information and I've utilised platforms like wikipedia, edX, Coursera. I wouldn't exactly call us successful yet, my oversight of this company has had nothing to do with developing data mining algorithms and everything to do with changing the way data is scribed. We don't even have data to mine yet, but were getting ready to start acquiring beta users. 

Jul 12, 3:55AM EDT0
What is Unity Health Score? How did you come up with that name? Why was it started?
Jul 11, 6:19AM EDT1

Unity Health Score is a medical data brokerage and analytics company that aims to empower patients with data ownership and create cost negotiation space for them in healthcare. 

We chose the name because it encompasses everything we do in a single integer. 

It was started to give patients autonomy and sovereignty of their data while making healthcare work for them instead of making them work for healthcare. 

Jul 11, 1:51PM EDT0
What were the initial challenges that you faced as an entrepreneur in setting up Unity Health Score? How do you differentiate yourself from your domain competitors, if any?
Jul 10, 9:29PM EDT1

The lack of credibility was probably my biggest issue. If start to pitch people and then the first thing they would ask is where I went to school or what my degree is. When I told them I'm a highschool dropout they immediately assume I'm ignorant and incapable of validating my idea. It has taken a lot of painstaking networking and validation from medical professionals before anyone really started listening to me. Now all I have to do is throw around a few names of our advisers or beta customers and people give the idea a chance to find they like it instead of condemning it. I went from a catering food vending business owner to a medical tech startup founder and CEO, it wasn't and still at times isn't easy lol. 

I differentiate myself be being personal. I'm not some business expert who prioritizes profits, I'm a regular person whose firsthand experienced the healthcare industry. 

Jul 11, 1:47PM EDT0
What is the importance of healthcare training for various professionals involved in the medical profession, given the ever-increasing complexities in the field?
Jul 10, 6:23PM EDT1

To the best I can answer that, the importance in training medical professionals to stay adaptive in the ever changing complex field of healthcare; is in that they need to be trained to be personal and empathetic with patients while having room for changing the technologies they use. Electronic health record user interface isn't a universal format and subject to a lot of change as healthcare progresses. So making sure medical staff can stay flexible with technology use while centering their work around the patient is an important aspect in job training.  This is only from my personal experience in talking with medical professionals and may not be the best answer. 

Jul 11, 1:40PM EDT0

How do you foresee the future of the data-driven healthcare market? How would small and medium-sized companies maintain their competitive edge?

Jul 10, 11:12AM EDT1

It's going to explode. It's already the world's most valuable resource but it will continue to grow exponentially. 

Smaller and medium sized companies can maintain their competitive edge by recognizing the issues larger organizations are having a hard time stopping and solving with their high workload, like data organization. 

Jul 10, 2:45PM EDT0
What projects are you working on currently? What is Unity Health Score's unique selling point (usp)?
Jul 10, 9:56AM EDT1

Were currently working on our prototype that's launching on the app stores August 15th. 

Our USP is that we give patients autonomy over their data and we give research a better access to the data they want. 

Jul 10, 2:43PM EDT0
What are the key similarities and differences in how data mining is commonly applied in large healthcare organizations compared to startups?
Jul 10, 9:24AM EDT1

The similarites are in that were all reviewing information to find consistencies and correlations for viable findings out of the data. 

The differences are that larger organizations have access to more data, however smaller organizations have an advantage in building up more organized data sets since theyre starting from scratch. 

Jul 10, 2:42PM EDT0
What’s keeping everyone busy at Unity Health Score right now?
Jul 10, 9:23AM EDT1

Right now we're doing the final touches on our prototype that's launching on the Google Play and iTunes app stores August 15th. 

We're looking for a Chief Technical Officer, with a skillset in A.I, Machine Learning, and Blockchain. 

We're trying to reach out to as many journalists and media platforms as possible to get the word out on what were trying to accomplish. 

We're compiling a set of beta customers to buy data from patients once our full product is online. 

Jul 10, 2:40PM EDT0
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