Cut to the Chase: No Nonsense Guidelines for Blockchain Startups

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John D. Halamka (Moderator)
Cees Hesp
Florence D. Hudson
Gil Alterovitz


Session Description: RED FLAGS:  evaluating a product's potential, when and how to use tokens , is an ICO worth consideration, and what is the business model...really...


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How to Cite
D. Halamka (Moderator), J., Hesp, C., Hudson, F., & Alterovitz, G. (2018). Cut to the Chase: No Nonsense Guidelines for Blockchain Startups. Blockchain in Healthcare Today. Retrieved from
Track: Knowledge and Leadership
Author Biographies

John D. Halamka (Moderator), Beth Israel Deaconess System, Chairman, New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Co-Chair, HIT Standards Committee, Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Halamka completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, where he received a degree in medical microbiology and a degree in public policy with a focus on technology issues. He entered medical school at the University of California, San Francisco and simultaneously pursued graduate work in bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley focusing on technology issues in medicine. He completed his residency at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

In his role at BIDMC, Dr. Halamka is responsible for all clinical, financial, administrative, and academic information technology, serving 3,000 doctors, 12,000 employees, and 1,000,000 patients. As chairman of NEHEN, Dr. Halamka oversees clinical and administrative data exchange among the payers, providers, and patients in Massachusetts.   As a Harvard professor, he has served the George W. Bush administration, the Obama administration, and national governments throughout the world planning their healthcare IT strategy.

Dr. Halamka has authored five books on technology-related issues, hundreds of articles and thousands of posts on the popular Geekdoctor blog. He runs Unity Farm in Sherborn, MA and serves as caretaker for 150 animals, 30 acres of agricultural production and a cidery/winery. 

Cees Hesp, PharmAccess, Director mHealth Research Labs, PharmAccess Foundation, and Director, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), United Nations Foundation

Cees Hesp is Director mHealth Research Labs at PharmAccess, a Dutch not-for-profit organization that aims to improve access to quality healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cees has a professional background in IT and technical writing, with over 30 years of experience. He holds an MA in English Linguistics from the Free University of Amsterdam, where he graduated Cum Laude. Cees holds several Advisory Board member positions and sits on the Board of Directors of the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) at the United Nations Foundation.

Florence D. Hudson, Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University, Special Advisor Next Generation Internet

Florence Hudson, former IBM Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, and Internet2 Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, is a proven leader and C-level executive in technology and business. She has led multi-billion-dollar business strategies and execution. She has been an independent director on for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Her leadership expertise includes innovation, strategic growth, marketing, channels, partnerships, business development, sales, diversity and inclusion. 

Florence is currently Special Advisor to the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub for Next Generation Internet (NGI) at Columbia University, enabling United States / European Union collaboration. She is on the Editorial Board of the journal Blockchain in Healthcare Today, and on engineering and technology advisory councils at Princeton University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Union County College. She is on the program committee for the Computational Approaches for Cancer workshop at SuperComputing conferences annually, and the 2018 NSF Cybersecurity Summit. She has presented in many venues worldwide, from Dubai to Japan, including a TED talk focused on sustainability on a smarter planet. She is a global thought leader and published on Internet of Things, Smarter Cities, and Cognitive Computing.

Her 30+ year IBM career included 16 years as an executive, including Chief Technology Officer of the Global Industrial Sector, and three roles as Vice President in strategy and marketing. She was a leader of many growth strategies at IBM, including the Internet of Things, smart buildings, smart water management, Watson cognitive computing, healthcare and life sciences, cloud, hardware, software, financing and services. She increased solution sales and partnerships in hardware, software, and services, developing and growing multi-billion dollar businesses. She was a leader in the development of IBM's Emerging Business Opportunities innovation and growth strategy, as cited in a Harvard Case Study. 

After IBM, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Internet2, a not-for-profit consortium of 500 research and education organizations in academia, industry and government. She led a Collaborative Innovation Community of 170 organizations around the world, focused on the Internet of Things, IoT ethics, cybersecurity, distributed big data & analytics, healthcare & life sciences, smart campuses, advanced networking, trust & identity, and cloud computing. She was Principal Investigator on NSF cybersecurity grants for end to end trust and security for IoT, and cybersecurity research transition-to-practice acceleration. 

Ms. Hudson graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, beginning her career at Grumman Corporation and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab working on Navy aircraft, solar power satellites, the space shuttle program, and future missions around Jupiter. She attended executive education at Harvard Business School and Columbia University.

Gil Alterovitz, Harvard Medical School, Faculty, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Gil Alterovitz is faculty at Harvard Medical School specializing in biomedical informatics and with the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children's Hospital. He is Director of the Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory. He is also affiliated with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is co-chair of the HL7 Clinical Genomics workgroup and on the Clinical Workgroup core executive group of the Global Alliance. His research focuses on integrating genomics within healthcare settings as well as international collaborations involving genomics/clinical data integration. His work on integrative methods for “big data” in the biomedical informatics space has been published or presented in more than 30 peer-reviewed publications. His lab site web address is: