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Clinicoin - Global Health and Wellness Blockchain Platform

Clinicoin is an open source wellness platform that rewards users with cryptocurrency for engaging in healthy activities. Leveraged by a blockchain-based ecosystem, the platform is designed to connect
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Poster & Makers

Discussion

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Ben Tossell
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell This is a great question! The biggest challenges all seem to have stemmed from this industry still being so new. It changes so quickly that some people are afraid to give a straight answer on certain things for fear of being wrong next week. What we've found is to go with our gut, backed by smart business practices.

We've been in business since August 2007, which has its pluses and minuses. On the positive side, we get regular feedback that it's great to see a company with an existing technology and customers with a history of working together, successfully. We're not a startup (nothing against startups, we were one and feel like one a lot, especially lately). The challenges that come with it is that our company was already experiencing some good growth with our existing clients. Many core team members doing double duty, nights and weekends to get us to this point. Everyone's passion for the project has helped people overcome those obstacles.

About 5 months ago if you asked me "what would you do differently?" I would have told you "I wish we would have moved on this project faster," but I don't feel that way at all anymore. We're still early in blockchain, but so many of the decisions we've made have been based on watching what other projects were doing. There are as many "do this" as there are "don't do that" scenarios.

I can say I wish that we'd started earlier, but kept the same launch time-frame we're on now, but as exciting as this has been, I don't think that would have been the case.
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Ben Tossell
What’s your background and what are you working on?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell Hi Ben! Thanks so much for the questions. My background is in marketing and software and I've been running a mobile messaging software company called Mosio for a little over 10 years. We've been working on a health and wellness blockchain platform called Clinicoin. It pays users to participate in healthy activities like running, yoga, and meditation.

Clinicoin is open source and also services as a platform for individuals and organizations in healthcare and research who want to build applications on top or inside of it, securely (HIPAA compliant).
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Ben Tossell
How did you get into Crypto?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell I bought my first bitcoin(s) in March of 2013 at around $250 after reading about it online. My company got into this project after working in the healthcare and research industry providing a variety of solutions for "patient engagement," which consists of communications, reminders for appointments, to take medication, and for surveys in data collection. One of the offerings of our services is incentives and rewards via gift codes.

We've been talking about gamification in clinical research with clients since 2014 and everyone's ears perked up, but we didn't get any real interest until early 2017.

At that point we started discussing how we could do two things:
1. Confirm engagement among patients/participants.
2. Reward them for taking part in desired activities in a way that was interesting.

The blockchain seemed to be a perfect fit for creating a solution and the idea grew from a "this would be a cool project for the company" to now what is the company's core objective.
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Ben Tossell
How and why did you launch this?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell Initially, our thinking was that this would just be another service offering inside the company. We see a lot of clients who want to ensure adherence/compliance/engagement and who want to incentivize or reward people for it, so we had the goal of providing them with a solution.

Along with that, we also have clients who are running NIH funded programs. They don't have the budget to develop and manage a mobile app, so they are running pilot programs through our platform. Our thinking was if we create a secure platform that enables them to integrate external software applications or build their programs on top of it faster and cheaper, they'd be able to use their funding for other things. Then, when proven successful and being awarded bigger budgets, instead of going back to Step 1 to build a mobile app, they can keep adding modules onto the ClinApp they've developed in Clinicoin and keep going.

When you first look at our project, you'll see a "get paid to do healthy things" platform/community. While we are getting great feedback from that value prop, it's the underlying support of the health, wellness, and research industries that will ultimately make this project scalable and sustainable.

We want to provide a global platform that is accessible wherever there is a need. I'm excited to earn Clinicoin (CLIN) tokens for meditating every day, but what is driving the team is the back-end platform and solutions. That's what is going to make the biggest difference in the world.
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Ben Tossell
How did you build an early community?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell This is a tough question because we literally just came out of stealth on Feb 5th, but we have experience in building communities. Our company won South by Southwest in 2008 for the Mobile Category, when the idea was a mobile questions and answers community.

The idea was interesting (and it was flattering to win SXSW as 2 guys in a garage), but even when we accepted the award, we had already told the board we were going to start licensing the software so organizations could create their own Q&A systems. That was the initial pivot that started us in the direction we're in, which eventually lead us to healthcare and research.

The growth we've seen in Telegram in 8 days is pretty amazing. We're at almost 8,000 members in the group and are getting great feedback from the community about the project. Not just from users, but physicians and researchers as well.
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Ben Tossell
How have you grown your project?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell We've self-funded this. While we watched a lot of projects go through the pre-sale/SAFT agreement scenarios and don't have anything wrong with them, we decided to go a different route because of our focus on individuals participating. I don't know if I can do a better job of explaining our philosophy behind it than what it says on our website, so if you don't mind I'll paste it here:

Philosophy
We believe token sales should be aligned with the principles, philosophies, and egalitarian spirit of crypto that makes it special. We believe they should be inclusive and shouldn’t stack the deck against others who may not fit a financial or social profile for early exclusivity. For these reasons we are not offering pre-sale or whitelist programs. We feel everyone should be able to participate equally in the Clinicoin community.

As for how we've grown it, we've put money into PR and Marketing, obviously, but just think it's a project where many people can see the need for it in the world, but also themselves participating and getting others excited about it. The World Health Organization projects that by 2020, chronic diseases (noncommunicable diseases) will account for 75% of global deaths. It's a shocking number, but what is even more shocking is that so many of these diseases are preventable by behavioral changes.

People don't wake up and think "i'm so excited to be an engaged patient today, it's going to be awesome!" They wake up wanting to be healthy and happy. We're looking to help improve global health and wellness by connecting people to each other, digital tools, and organizations that can help them. In that regard, believe it makes ours an easy project for people to want to talk about.
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Ben Tossell
What is your funding model/incentives?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell There are 2 key ways the incentives/rewards functions work on the platform:

1. Community Rewards Pool - 600 Million Clinicoin (CLIN) tokens are reserved in a community rewards pool, distributed to people for participating in healthy activities. The are logged through the app itself or by verified third parties. This works through what we call Proof of Engagement (PoE), where engagement activities are confirmed by Validators. Validators can be developers running third party health tracking apps, or activity leaders like someone who leads a running club, giving everyone credit for participating in their run that morning. In this way we're encouraging collaboration as a key component to health and wellness. Togetherness, collaboration, and community is a pretty big thread in the project. The white paper does a better job of explaining this in greater detail, but I hope that does it justice.

2. Token Distribution Events - This enables providers in the system (doctors, research teams, health organizations, etc.) to reward users for completing desired activities, like showing up for appointments, completing surveys, taking their medicine, being adherent to protocols, etc. For example, it is estimated that each missed appointment costs a doctor about $125, a significant cost that can add up quickly. Doctors can use Clinicoin not only to send their patient a reminder to show up for their appointment, but let them know that by showing up on time, they’ll be rewarded with a certain number of CLIN tokens, effectively gamifying the experience.

I mentioned earlier the idea that the health, wellness, and research industries will help sustain and scale the project. Token Distribution Events are the driving function of that growth. Our experience with clients in healthcare and research has shown us there's an opportunity and a need there, much of it driven by costs, to being a force in the growth of the project. The pain points our company helps solve now show this to be the case. Clinicoin leverages open source and the blockchain to open this up to a much wider audience.
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Ben Tossell
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell Observing other projects and choosing the best moves has been helpful. It's also been helpful, even if not easy sometimes, to stand by the things we we feel strongly about, even though they go against the norm. One of those was the decision not to have an affiliate or referral program. I'm not saying they don't work (I don't really know either way), but they just don't seem to be a good fit with how we operate. We're a healthcare company leveraging the blockchain to provide an innovative approach to health and wellness.

Not only that, we're very excited about the global health and wellness community aspect of the project. We only want people registering and participating who are excited about what we're trying to accomplish. To that end, we want people telling others about it because they are excited about what we're doing and feel those people will be too, not because they're going to drop an affiliate link somewhere in the message, conversation, or post.

At the risk of upsetting someone who thinks affiliates and referrals are the cat's pajamas, I'll just say again that there's nothing wrong with them, they're just not a good fit for us.

Also, personally, through all of this, I've been focused on what I call the "4 S's":
Sitting (Meditation)
Surfing
Sobriety*
Seneca (Stoicism)

*I'll probably go back to having a drink, but I haven't since October 2nd. ;)
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Ben Tossell
What’s your advice for people who are just starting out in crypto?
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Noel Chandler
@bentossell Great question to end on, thank you. I'd say be a part of any projects you can, in whatever capacity, to save yourself some time in learning tough lessons. Blockchain projects are short on helpful, knowledgeable people, so if you're honest and hard working, people will be glad to have you. If you're an entrepreneur and think you have thick skin, find ways to make it thicker. It can be brutal out there. I've prepped myself to be "battle ready" for this period of time for seven months. Read Seneca or any other books on stoicism.

Thanks again for having me here, I really appreciate it!
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