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DigiPharm Eliminating the Barriers to patient centric healthcare using Smart Contracts

Ahmed Abdulla of Yemeni origin and Swiss citizen along with his team want to change the way healthcare systems across the globe operate. They want to move the healthcare system from a fee for service to a fee for performance reimbursement model. So what does that mean and why?

Founder and CEO of Digipharm, Abdulla aims to develop price value based model for drugs that will depend on the result they can achieve for a patient rather than being priced at a fixed fee.  So Digipharm has set out to create an ecosystem where patients, insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and healthcare providers can agree on fair prices based on results. This would lead to innovative flexible pricing agreements. By trusting the data knowing it has not been manipulated and with the use of smart contracts, fair pricing agreements can be created and managed automatically.

It is expected that by 2021 the annual global drug prescription spending will reach $1.5 trillion and that 75% of healthcare payments will be value based.  According to Abdulla, “Today every time a new drug wants to enter into a market there are price negotiations and usually these drugs enter after a trial period of 6-9 months but this is not enough to put the right price on a drug, what is needed is to price these drugs based on results in the real world with input from real patients.”

As such Digipharm is developing the world’s first smart contract platform for flexible pricing of healthcare technology and treatment provision, the world’s first ‘live’ real world evidence database with the ability to reward patients for contributing their data.

With the cost of healthcare skyrocketing as individuals live longer and more chronic diseases emerge, engaging in price for results will not only provide better quality healthcare but ease administrative costs and increase innovation as funds are spent to improve great performing drugs and develop new ones. As Abdulla explains, “By using Smart Contracts based on data provided by patients we are giving incentives to drug manufactures to produce more effective drugs. We can trust that the data is not manipulated and the process is automated based on smart contracts pricing these agreements automatically. This can also be scaled to medical device companies as hospitals pay for what works.”

According to Abdulla, “the platform is being developed using Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, and Ethereum smart contracts. We are developing a utility token that allows different stakeholders to use the platform. We are currently developing pilots with several pharmaceutical groups and are close to completing a commercial version. Digipharm was one of the top 10 finalists in the Pfizer Healthcare Hub grant for 2018.

Digipharm is partnering with players that can provide a competitive advantage and spur the development of the platform. Digipharm partnered with Engene a spinoff from the department of BioSystems Science and Engineering in Zurich and provides statistical data analysis and quantitative modeling for healthcare related projects. According to Abdulla, “Our partnership with EnGene is crucial to realizing the lofty aspirations for our Insights platform. EnGene will contribute to the development of computational statistical algorithms for the real time analysis of genomic data, automated analysis of data derived from patient medical records and supporting HTA statistical analyses. The vastly experienced team bring many years of technical expertise that can only benefit our platforms and the Digipharm ecosystem”

In addition Digipharm has partnered with SwissCom Blockchain, founded by Swisscom. Abdulla explains, “Our partnership with SwissCom Blockchain is to develop the Blockchain platform itself along with our team. Being part of Swisscom Telecom they are able to provide the cloud based application for Digipharm platform.”

On July 1st Digipharm will be offering its 100 million tokens at 80 cents/ DPH Token. Abdulla states, “We have a soft cap of 7 million and a hard cap of 27 million.”

As for the future Digipharm is signing agreements with a leading global pharmaceutical company and will be piloting their first project in the UK. As for the MENA region Abdulla says, “We are in the in the process of developing partnerships in the UAE and KSA and we have been in talks with healthcare authorities in MENA and will be piloting projects soon as well.”


Lara Abdul Malak

Lara has been a journalist and writer in the technology field since her graduation from AUB majoring in political science. She has had career in corporation communications in the telecom sector and was part of the launch of first 3G network in the GCC and MENA region. Since her return to journalism she has been focused with passion on blockchain, tokenization, crypto focusing on the GCC and MENA region.

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