At FHIRBlocks, we have a big vision—that every person should have control over their health data; who they share it with, what they share, how long, for what purpose,... We’re passionate that it’s now truly possible to empower healthcare consumers and deliver differentiated business value to organizations while transforming healthcare through cloud, decentralized identity, mobile wallets, blockchain and other technologies. This is how our vision came to be…
With the BellSouth merger that re-created the new AT&T in 2006, it’s chief strategist Doug Bulleit, left to pursue a Consumer Directed Health Care (CDHP)-enabling concept that he had been leading there. It was a vision that was stimulated by frustration over his father’s avoidable death, and one that Doug shared with other executives agreeing to fund the launch of DCS Health. But the new company introduced its Health-Over-IP (HoIP) portal in the worst possible times: e.g., the recession then settling in, coupled with positive reassertion of a wider Federal government role in its citizens’ health, ultimately resulted in the DCS dream being put on hold (but, ironically, planting the seeds of its reemergence as FHIRBlocks nearly a decade later).
Undaunted by HoIP’s temporary suspension, Mr. Bulleit busied himself as an advisor to an assortment of early-stage companies. By and by, he became immersed in blockchain development and eventually found himself delivering a lecture series on enterprise blockchain applications at The Georgia Institute of Technology. While there, Dr. Mark Braunstein (GaTech’s Professor of Healthcare Informatics) approached him with a question: “Can a distributed ledger (aka, a permissioned blockchain) solve FHIR’s* trust problem?”
A little bit of digging revealed that “FHIR’s trust problem” is rooted in the simple fact that the owners of sensitive patient information—patients—typically have little control, sometimes not even access, to it! Soon thereafter, over a lunch on the back of the proverbial napkin, and out of the realization that decentralized identities and associated verifiable credentials promise a near-perfect solution, FHIRBlocks was born in late 2016.
FHIRBlocks then shifted to Durham NC where the CIO and CTO of the prestigious Duke University Health System (DUHS) instantly saw its promise and embarked upon a multi-year series of proof-of-concept trials.
Toward the end of 2020 and in the midst of the COVID epidemic, DUHS leadership suggested that FHIRBlocks core credentials, consent & compliance management-as-a-service would be more naturally deployed as a cloud-based solution in Azure. Microsoft also instantly saw the promise; and the rest is, as they say, soon-to-be history.
T.S. Eliot once wrote…
“And at the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive at where we started. And to know that place for the first time.”
It’s strange how, sometimes, the paths of our lives come full circle to better outcomes than we could have imagined along the way. The Obama Administration’s American Recovery & Reinvestment Act tactic—by heavily subsidizing the conversion of paper-based heath records to modern electronic alternatives—led to the FHIR API. And who could have guessed that Mr Bulleit’s wide range of experience and, perhaps more importantly, his Rolodex of superior relevant talent, would lead to the FHIRBlocks solution.
Together with Microsoft’s cloud market leadership and health technology innovations, FHIRBlocks is poised to address one of the healthcare world’s nagging pains: how to “solve FHIR’s trust problem” and to finally give people the control they need to make life better and free cost-saving liquid data out of the siloes of electronic health records that still dot the countryside here and abroad.
If you are passionate about the need for person-centric healthcare, and interested in the power of technology to transform, come join us in our quest!
* FHIR - the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard
Douglas A. Bulliet, PE
FHIRBlocks’ co-founder, Doug Bulleit, has led teams of internet pioneers before, during and after his 13-year tenure as BellSouth Corporation’s Chief Strategist. An electrical & systems engineer by training, at Purdue and Georgia Tech respectively, Doug completed Executive Programs at both MIT and Stanford’s graduate schools of Business. He left BellSouth with the merger that formed the new AT&T to launch the forerunner of FHIRBlocks, DCS Health LLC. Doug has continued to expand his involvement in internet health, most recently following it into the new blockchain landscape that he periodically lectures upon at Georgia Tech. Doug lives with his with Ronnie in Atlanta GA.
Tom Danner is an experienced systems engineer and architect, having led the architecture and technical implementation of FHIRBlocks since inception. His 30-year career has spanned a number of industries including telecommunications, media & entertainment, internet retailing, cyber security, and healthcare. He currently a Contributor to the Decentralized Identity Foundation, and a former member of the Hyperledger Governing Board. Tom has extensive corporate and nonprofit governance experience, having served as board members and executive officers of various organizations. He is a named inventor on 11 US Patents, with more in the hopper. Formerly, Tom led software development and technical operations for Recondo Technologies (Healthcare SaaS Company, with exit to WayStar), and as Chief Technology Officer for Enterprise Information Management, providing content management and analytics solutions to the defense and intelligence communities. Tom is an avid downhill skier, amateur wine maker, photographer, and licensed UAV operator (FAA Part 15). He resides in Colorado Springs with his wife Abby.
Andy McGuire brings over 25 years of experience helping businesses solidify their solution strategies, develop go-to-market plans and capture new revenue. Andy’s expertise spans sales & business development, marketing, professional services and strategic consulting. After an early career as an engineer in the space program (NASA) and with IBM Global Services, Andy developed a true passion for early-stage and venture backed start-ups and has been engaged in helping them solve problems ever since. While more recently focusing on revenue development, throughout his career, Andy has remained involved in technical solution and service delivery: architecting product and technology strategies; and providing project management and technical leadership in software solutions and IT systems delivery.
Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Science degree in Engineering from University of Houston – Clear Lake. Andy and his wife Jill are based in Austin Texas.
Bill brings more than two decades of experience expanding markets and driving incremental revenue growth for application and infrastructure software providers. Bill’s industry and technology experience includes deep domain healthcare expertise across both clinical and revenue cycle transformation, as well as digital transformation initiatives. He has served in leadership roles in both sales and marketing, encompassing go-to-market activities for both product and consulting services.
Bill brings to FHIRBlocks a passion for identifying new or underdeveloped market growth opportunities – in the process accelerating revenue and seizing competitive advantage. In the last decade, Bill has worked closely with leading health delivery organizations, health plans and life sciences organizations to improve health outcomes and elevate the healthcare consumer experience.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Bill holds a degree in Business Management and Sociology from Whitworth University and is based in Colorado Springs CO.
Mr. Aluri has responsibility for the development and delivery of the mobile applications of FHIRBlocks. Previously Chief Technology Officer at Sizebase.com, a community-based web service for size measurement standards for apparel and accessories, he has also served as solutions manager for the Telecom vertical with Funk Software. Earlier in his career, he designed and delivered AAA Services, OSS, CRM and other platforms to BellSouth’s Internet services company and its cellular telephone business. As a consulting software engineer at IBM, Mr. Aluri worked with clients including United Technologies and Martin Marietta. He received his BE with Honors in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India. He also obtained an MS in computer science from Clemson University. Bharat lives with his two sons in Atlanta GA.
FHIRBlocks co-founder, Charles (Buddy) Miller has served in senior executive roles in the telecommunications industry since for over 30 years. From 2000 to 2014 he was Vice Chairman of Level 3 Communications with responsibilities including corporate strategy, M&A, business development, marketing and information services. Before Level 3, Buddy was president of BellSouth International where he previously led corporate strategy and development. Buddy received A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard in 1974 and 1977. Before his telecommunications career he practiced corporate law at Ropes & Gray in Boston and King & Spalding in Atlanta. He and his wife Pinney Allen resided in Atlanta from 1979-2019. Their charitable interests have focused upon educational opportunity and in particular Breakthrough Collaborative. Pinney chaired the board of Breakthrough Atlanta for several years, and Buddy served as Board Chair of the national collaborative for fiscal years 2017-19. In 2019 they moved into their new home in Pebble Beach, CA.
Mark Braunstein, MD
FHIRBlocks co-founder, New York city-based Dr. Braunstein developed Georgia Tech’s first health informatics courses - a graduate seminar offered on-campus and online as an OMSCS elective and an undergraduate VIP project course. In all three courses, students work under the mentorship of domain experts to develop Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) based apps for providers, patients, public health and other FHIR use cases. Mark also developed the first two public health informatics Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and is now offering a three-course health informatics professional certificate on edX. In 2018 and 2019 he developed a similar course at the University of Queensland (UQ) as a Visiting Scientist at the Australian E-Health Research Centre (AEHRC), the health informatics laboratory within CSIRO, the Australian national research organization. Dr. Braunstein is a frequent speaker at academic and industry meetings. His Health Informatics on FHIR: How HL7’s New API is Transforming Healthcare, published by Springer in 2018, is the first book devoted to FHIR and its current and future impact.
Charles is President and CEO at Equinix (http://www.equinix.com), the world's leading provider of Data Center and Interconnection services. During his 10+ year tenure at Equinix, the company has grown to more than $6B in Revenue, ranking in the top 150 in the S&P with a market cap exceeding $50B. Charles served in various roles at Equinix including President of the Americas and Chief Operating Officer before being named CEO in 2018. Prior to Equinix, Charles had a distinguished career, serving in senior operating roles at leading Digital Infrastructure companies such as Verisign, Level 3 Communications, BellSouth and Internet Security Systems. Equinix was recently recognized as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies, is featured on Wall Street Journal's list of Best Run Companies, was named a "Best Place to Work" by Glassdoor and received recognition as a "Just 100" company, a ranking of the top Corporate Citizens, for championing environmental and social sustainability and achieving positive outcomes for all company stakeholders. Charles is also Chairman of Level 5 Capital Partners, a private equity partnership specializing in health and wellness related investments.
Billy Willis, PHD
“Billy” recently retired after over 40 years of service in information technology having served in both the public and private sectors. He most recently held the position of Chief Technology Officer for Duke University Health System. In addition, he served as Deputy Chief Information Officer for the State of North Carolina, Global Vice President for IT Strategy for Cable and Wireless, CTO for Interpath, and Vice Provost for Information Technology at NC State University. He has served on the faculty of the College of Engineering at NC State and the Kenan Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Billy has served on a number of boards and advisory boards for profit and non-profit endeavors. He holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from NC State.
Get In Touch
If you share our vision of putting the healthcare consumer in the center of digital health transformation – contact us! We’ll be happy to share additional details about our vision and product capabilities and to explore how the emerging technologies of decentralized identity, blockchain and fine-grained consent management are game changers. Let’s explore ways we might work together!