HealthLink - OceanDAO round 8

Name of Project: Health link – engaging and spreading awareness to the medical community to bring healthcare data on-chain into OCEAN

Category : Outreach/ community/ spread awareness

Fundamental metrics : Data-token contracts

One-sentence summary :
A grant is requested to engage and grow an existing community of doctors and healthcare innovators to leverage OCEAN in bringing healthcare data on-chain and accrue value to end-users such as patients and healthcare providers, who are excluded from the traditional healthcare data economy despite being the primary contributors of this data.

Description of the project background:

This project seeks to engage clinicians and garner their participation in the healthcare data economy enabled by OCEAN protocol. This is a crucial first step to unlock healthcare data in order to drive discoveries of new treatments and democratize participation in the healthcare data economy for all end-users, including patients and allied healthcare providers themselves (Nurses, Dieticians, etc). Healthcare is the last multi-trillion dollar market in the United States that has incumbents that are yet to be successfully disrupted, unlike financial services, transport, and retail (CMS NHE Fact Sheet, 2020; Select USA; Ibisworld, 2019). Similarly, in many other countries and regions, it lags behind other industries for digital transformation. Yet, healthcare is an industry that generates trillions of data points daily with vast potential applications from the discovery of new disease treatments to optimisation of individual treatment through personalised care.

Description of the problem:

In many ways, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a catalyst for digital transformation in healthcare, and we are seeing healthcare digitization rapidly pick up pace across the globe. However, a large proportion of healthcare data are never utilised for clinical and/or commercial applications due to conflicts of organisational stakeholder interests (private medical care, pharmaceutical industry, etc) and complexed privacy requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Unfortunately, public health restrictions such as social distancing and minimising patient flow for fear of cross-contamination across healthcare facilities has further siloed healthcare organisations in the provision of patient care, making individual participation in the healthcare data economy even more out of reach.

Blockchain is an emerging technology domain with tremendous potential to enhance security and utilisation of data in the healthcare industry. Benefits of blockchain in healthcare include enhancing security for data governance, with OCEAN providing a privacy-preserving framework for data ownership and arbitrage. The growing understanding of Web3 sustainability loops such as the Growth models for data pioneered by OCEAN provides new hope for disrupting existing healthcare data custodians and accruing value directly to the end-users of the industry – individual patients and healthcare professionals. Leveraging blockchain technology, healthcare data can be unlocked for new applications and unaddressed needs through democratic ideals by disrupting incumbents and spreading power - in giving control of health data back to its end-users. In a web 3 future, this will be based on the individual choice of the patients and healthcare professionals that are the data contributors.

Description of the solution:

This will be achieved through a multi-pronged scientific engagement approach involving (1) summative scientific literature review and publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal to garner the academic participation of existing community members/clinicians and provide a scientific reference to other clinical communities, as well as (2) conducting a blockchain/cryptocurrency track within a virtual conference on primary healthcare innovation. The end-goal at the end of 12-18months is to conceive an approach to conceive a healthcare data onboarding ramp for the OCEAN data economy with participation from an active community of practicing clinicians with private practices that can independently participate without bureaucracy of larger traditional healthcare organisations.

    1. Clinical review: Several medical publications have attempted to provide commentary or catalogue the existing literature regarding blockchain. However, none have utilised a systematic approach to map the existing literature about the forms and maturity of blockchain applications to public health requirements of health systems. Our team will use the PRISMA scoping review approach to capture all the relevant literature about blockchain applications relevant to healthcare, and cross-check them against the World Health Organisation (WHO) framework for public health competencies of health systems and nation states.

Applications will be described based on their incorporation of key network design requirements extrapolated from OCEAN values (Censorship-resistant, Trustless, Public utility, Anti-fragile, Balance data commons/marketplaces), in combination with the oxford center for evidence based medicine (OCEBM) construct for evaluation of technology translational readiness, that was applied in an earlier study regarding applications of digital health for public health applications during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by Dr Dinesh Guna and his team. 1

    1. Medical track conference on Blockchain applications: The inaugural event was organised by a social enterprise, GP+ co-operative based in Singapore, with the theme of the latest developments and new models of care during COVID-19. It was chaired in December 2020 by Dr. K Tan and drew the active participation of 200-300 doctors internationally. The 2nd event is upcoming in July 2021 with a theme of innovations in primary care and chaired by Dr. Dinesh Guna from this project team, more information at this link. This has drawn the participation of a range of innovators from various technology domains including engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) listed in the conference poster portal, without any participation of blockchain applications to date.

Grant deliverables:

  • 1) Clinical review of publications about Blockchain in medical literature to identify existing public health applications and untapped opportunities for health data-driven applications based on the key network design principles extrapolated from OCEAN values.

  • Month 1-3: Development of research protocol, search terms, pilot, and pre-registration of study on open-research repositories

  • Month 4-6: Review and data extraction from relevant publications

  • Month 7-9: Interpretation and preparation of healthcare market research manuscript

  • Month 10-12: Manuscript submission and publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal

  • 2) Blockchain track during the third run of a virtual medical technology conference conducted for private sector healthcare providers that have an interest in contributing to health innovation and innovative models of patient care.

  • Inviting academic and industry submissions for presentations of blockchain projects in healthcare

  • Inviting OCEAN co-founders as guest speakers to evangelise the benefits of data ownership and on-chain permissions to maintain privacy in a GDPR-compliant manner

How the project drives value

The end-goal at the end of 12-18months is to increase total number of OCEAN data token contracts and consuming volume by conceiving a clinically-sound approach and onboarding ramp for healthcare data into the OCEAN data economy with participation from an active community of practicing clinicians with private practices that can independently participate without the bureaucracy of larger traditional healthcare organisations.

Funding request : USD$17,500

OCEAN wallet : 0x38845da5933dfd2b218c921fc39eb80968d13127

Previously received an OCEAN grant : No

Team details :

Patrick Poh

Patrick Poh Huan Yu graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Bachelors in Computer Engineering in 2016, and received the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Singapore book prize for the best student in the honours project. He subsequently co-founded a Telemedicine startup, Doctorbell upon graduation with several co-founders including Dr. Dinesh. His company, Doctorbell provided enterprise telemedicine solutions and completed a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Emergency Department (Link: Doctorbell was subsequently acquired in Q4 2017 by MaNaDr, a digital health tech conglomerate with a regional presence in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and China.

Patrick was then appointed the director of business development at MaNaDr, where he spearheaded multiple commercial initiatives and partnerships. He was subsequently promoted to role of chief development officer where he managed a multinational team of developers in Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam to accelerate the development of the health tech platform. In 2021, he left MaNaDr to explore new opportunities and chanced upon potential applications of blockchain to make healthcare data more accessible for research and scientific discovery.


Dr. Dinesh Guna

Dr. Dinesh completed his medical training at the National University of Singapore (NUS) before practicing in several disciplines of public sector hospitals in Singapore. He concurrently served as Head (Health Informatics) in the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis (TB) Study group from 2011-2019, overseeing the collaboration of 25 hospitals across 10 countries. COTS used cloud computing and big data to develop international diagnostic and treatment consensus guidelines for ocular TB that are being used daily by Uveitis experts worldwide today. He was subsequently awarded the Commonwealth Fellowship in Innovation from the British High Commission of Singapore, and funded for research training at Oxford University while furthering COTS in Moorfields Hospital, London.

He previously co-founded a telehealth company Doctorbell in 2017 overseeing product strategy and medical affairs, that was acquired in 2018 by MaNaDr (an SEA Telehealth company and member of MOH telemedicine sandbox). He is currently practicing as a general practitioner and appointed Physician leader (Telemedicine) at Raffles Medical group, where he actively promotes health education for patient empowerment and greater ownership of health outcomes. He is concurrently appointed Senior Lecturer (Medical Innovation) at NUS, and advocates for the use of digital technologies to improve patient care.

He has published over 30 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including JAMA Ophthalmology, Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Lancet Digital Health, and Nature Digital Medicine, and is an invited reviewer in several journals including the BMJ, JAMA Ophthalmology and Nature Digital Medicine. His other accolades include being named the 2019 NUS Young Alumnus (Medicine) of the year for contributions to health education and screening programs for beneficiaries in the Geylang and Chinatown regions.



  • MBBS (practicing medical doctor)
  • 10 years experience in healthcare data management
  • 1 prior digital health start-up, Doctorbell (acquired 2018 by MaNaDr)

References/Prior work:

  1. Gunasekeran DV, Tseng RMWW, Tham YC, Wong TY. Applications of digital health for public health responses to COVID-19: a systematic scoping review of artificial intelligence, telehealth and related technologies. NPJ Digit Med . Feb 2021;4(1):40. doi:10.1038/s41746-021-00412-9

  2. Agrawal R, Gunasekeran DV, Grant R, et al. Clinical Features and Outcomes of Patients With Tubercular Uveitis Treated With Antitubercular Therapy in the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1. JAMA Ophthalmol . 12 2017;135(12):1318-1327. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.4485

  3. Agrawal R, Testi I, Bodaghi B, et al. Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Tubercular Uveitis-Report 2: Guidelines for Initiating Antitubercular Therapy in Anterior Uveitis, Intermediate Uveitis, Panuveitis, and Retinal Vasculitis. Ophthalmology . Feb 2021;128(2):277-287. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.06.052