The research that informs this briefing is unique and immediately actionable.  We all know that the blockchain had disruptive potential, but the most disruptive innovations will come from the edges, not the core. That’s why, instead of rehashing the usual data from the usual ‘experts’, we spent hundreds of hours with promising blockchain startups to learn how they see the forces of disruption unfolding in health.  It’s a genuinely fresh perspective and we’ve distilled that into a set of first principles that helps to demystify the blockchain and sheds light on where it can add value in healthcare in the near-term (3-year horizon). In addition to demystifying the blockchain in general, and it’s role in healthcare specifically, you will receive nine immediately actionable recommendations and a short-list of compelling opportunities for innovation &/or investment.

IMMEDIATE BENEFIT - This briefing is a remarkably effective way for you to get a fresh perspective and develop internal alignment on the forces of disruption shaping the blockchain’s role in health. It will help you to reduce disruption risk and spark new opportunities for growth through investment and innovation. You can expect to:

  • stress-test assumptions & inject freshthinking

  • identify previously unseen disruptionrisks

  • discover new opportunities for growth & investment

  • build internal alignment on where (and why) to place bets


FIRSTEP’s DeepDives are not like traditional research.  Rather than go to the usual experts, we focus on going very deep with promising startups to immerse ourselves in their thinking on how the forces with the most disruptive potential are unfolding.  We go to the edge because we believe that most entrepreneurs live outside the echo chamber of experts: they have a genuinely unique fresh perspective on which forces matter, and on how those forces are unfolding. As a result, they often envision a different future.  It’s a perspective that’s well worth paying attention to.


This DeepDive briefing isn’t your typical research report-- it will immerse you in edge thinking.  It’s a genuinely fresh perspective, but by definition that implies that some of the ideas are going to feel foreign, perhaps even objectionable:  that’s okay.  This process is about gaining a fresh perspective, not just agreeing with what you already know.


The written version of the report provides nine specific actions that health organizations should take now.  The private briefing goes even further by including a post-briefing workshop to ‘edge-test’ your existing strategy. Where appropriate, we offer the extra option of conducting a FORCECASTINGTMworkshop with your internal leadership team (the same process that we use in our DeepDive sessions). This is a proven and remarkably quick way to stress-test your assumptions and build alignment on where to place bets (and why).


While this briefing conveys the collective thinking of many edge-innovators, we strive to distill the key insights into a practical framework for decision making using first-principles reasoning.  The goal is to provide a practical thinking framework that you can use to course-correct quickly as the technology evolves.


Executive Summary - a brief primer on blockchain followed by a high-level overview of the disruptive forces at play in health. We identify three areas where blockchain can add near-term value and provide nine immediately actionable recommendations for health organizations.

SECTION ONE - BlockChain Primer - a plain language review

- what is it… what’s the problem it addresses
- blockchain - the enterprise perspective
- blockchain - the edge-innovator perspective
- where we’re at (progress &unresolved challenges)

SECTION TWO - The Situation in Health at it relates to blockchain

- forces of disruption shaping healthcare
- the role of two-sided marketplace revolution in health & wellness
- three compelling opportunities for BlockChain in Health
(3-year window)

SECTION THREE - Edge-Insights From The Disruptive Startups Who Participated in the DeepDive

(related to the Top 3 Opportunities for BlockChain in Health)

17 DISRUPTIVE FORCES- we review the edge-perspective on each of 17 key forces and explore how it impacts the role of blockchain in health, with a particular focus on the three key areas where we feel that blockchain offers has the most disruptive opportunity in healthcare in the next 3 years.

9 IMMIDIATELY ACTIONABLE RECOMENDATIONS - we present specific recommendations for health organizations to reduce disruption risk and capitalize on emerging blockchain opportunities in health


for those interested in placing bets in the healthcare innovation space, the briefing identifies numerous opportunities. Where appropriate, we are also are able to provide the thesis deck for each participating company so that you can have an opportunity to understand the foundational thinking behind their ‘big idea’.



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

Written Report
(with video links)

Executive Summary
(with recommendations)


FIRSTEP is a boutique innovation group helping leaders tap into startup innovation to see the forces of disruption through a fresh lens.  Our goal is to reduce disruption risk, increase agility and build alignment around where, and why, to place winning bets.

We focus on disruptive forces because we believe they define what is possible.
We believe that the forces are moving so quickly now that it’s almost impossible to know how it will all turn out, so we focus on helping innovators get very clear on what they believe will be true. 

We use a unique process (FORCECASTING) that has proven to be a remarkably effective way to identify the disruptive forces with the greatest potential to impact the success of any innovative new product or service. 

We believe there is a simple reason why so much disruptive innovation comes from the edges (startups) and not from the core (incumbents).  Entrepreneurs simply see the forces of disruption through a different lens, so they focus on different forces and they see them unfolding on a different speed and trajectory than enterprise leaders.  It’s a genuinely fresh perspective and one that’s well worth paying attention to, not because it’s always right, but because it’s the source of so much disruptive innovation.


Over the past few years, we’ve gone deep on 6 profoundly disruptive topics in health. This DeepDive was focused on the role of BlockChain in health, but much of the thinking that emerged build on insights that we gained through our DeepDive into 2-Sided Marketplaces in Health.

FIRSTEP offers briefings on a range of health innovation topics: