Once you strip away the rhetoric, it’s quite easy to see where blockchain will add near-term value in healthcare.

WHO- This briefing is appropriate for innovation leaders in traditional healthcare organizations or technology companies creating disruptive new health & wellness app’s, services and marketplaces.

WHY- It is becoming increasingly clear that the blockchain has the potential to play a material role in health innovation and will have a significant impact the coming health marketplace revolution. Since most blockchain disruption will come from edge-innovators, not from the ‘experts’ at the core… it is critical for health innovators to see the forces of disruption through the startup lens.

WHAT IS IT? Because the underlying research is so unique, this is not your typical research report.  Instead of rehashing the usual data from the usual ‘experts’, we focused on learning from the disruptors themselves. Over the past year we have spent hundreds of hours with promising health startups, immersing ourselves in their foundational thinking on how the forces shaping the blockchain are most likely to unfold in the healthcare space over the next few years.  What emerged was a genuinely fresh perspective and a collection of insights which we have subsequently distilled into ‘first principles’ with a short-list of immediately actionable recommendations.  Specifically, this ½-day briefing simplifies the blockchain, shows 3 areas where it’s impact on healthcare could be most significant, and provides 10 specific recommendations for incumbent health organizations.

BENEFITS… This is a remarkably effective way to get a fresh perspective and develop internal alignment on the forces of disruption shaping the blockchains’ role in health. In addition to reducing disruption risk and sparking fresh insights, you can expect to:

  • stress-test assumptions & inject fresh thinking

  • identify previously unseen disruption risks

  • discover new opportunities for growth &investment

  • build internal alignment on where (and why) to place bets for innovation & investment


Private Briefing* 
(in-person or remote)
*includes written report

Written Report
(with video links)

Executive Summary
(with recommendations)

If you are like most enterprise leaders, you know that start-up innovation is worth paying attention to, but you cannot afford to spend hundreds of hours trying to unpack their thinking, so we have done it for you. We’ve distilled a year’s worth of facilitated discussions with promising, blockchain focused health startups into a ½ day briefing that gives you a crash-course on how the edge innovators think the forces shaping the blockchain are most likely to unfold in the healthcare world.

Packed with fresh insights, first-principles reasoning and actionable recommendations, this Briefing is a remarkably effective way to hone your thinking and build internal alignment on where to place bets to ensure that your organization thrives in the coming blockchain revolution in health & wellness.

Digital innovation in healthcare is about to accelerate as digital marketplaces rise in popularity across the health and wellness landscape. On one hand this is great news, because health & wellness marketplaces will improve efficacy and drive down costs, but there is a problem. Most truly disruptive health innovations rely on sensors, machine learning and data interoperability to unlock value, and healthcare is legendary for slow adoption, rigid compliance requirements and hardened data silos.  This tension, between high-value innovation and data-friction, is one of healthcare’s most challenging constraints AND one of the most compelling opportunities for value creation.

At its core, the blockchain was engineered to remove data friction. Its promise of secure data interoperability combined with cost savings is exactly what makes it such a compelling potential solution in any application where data interoperability unlocks value (apps / data / markets etc.). Immersion with disruptive blockchain startups during this DeepDive has convinced us that the blockchain is coming to healthcare, and that there are three specific applications where it could have the greatest impact.  In our view, health organizations that fail to act in the next 3-years will significantly raise disruption risk while also missing a compelling value creation opportunity. 

One way to prepare for the blockchain revolution in health would be to hire the usual experts and diligently follow their recommendations. That would be helpful to a point, but there are two problems: 1) your competitors are getting the same advice which makes the echo-chamber even harder to avoid. 2) this wave of disruption will not come from the incumbents and experts at the core, it will come from startups and innovators on the edges of health, wellness & betterment.

Here are two reasons why this project focused on understanding how startups and edge-innovators see the forces of disruption unfolding:

  1. the forces of disruption dictate what is possible(get it wrong and you simply can’t win)

  2. seeing the forces through the startup lens makes it easier to understand where and why they choose to place different bets… this is literally the window into disruptive thinking.




We thank our DeepDive partners, for their direct participation and their financial support.


FIRSTEP is a boutique innovation practice focused on bridging the thinking gap between startups and enterprise.  Using a proprietary process, we conduct deep research with disruptive startups, and distill the learnings into fresh, actionable insights that help incumbents reduce disruption risk and spark new opportunities for growth through innovation and investment.