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Ep. 63: Radhika Iyengar-Emens on enterprise blockchain and deeptech.

December 5, 2021
Trent Fowler

Watch our interview with Radhika  on Youtube.

Radhika Iyengar-Emens is a founding partner at StarChain Ventures, a venture studio focused on the disruptive potential of blockchain technology in combination with AI, ML, and IoT, as well as a noted expert on applications of the blockchain.

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Show notes

  • Radhika is a seasoned venture capitalist with experience in deep tech, particularly in Web3, blockchain, IoT, and AI.
  • Having been in Silicon Valley for many years, she has seen a variety of hype and development cycles and has a good sense for when a new technology is ready for investment and deployment. 
  • This, combined with a very cosmopolitan upbringing has positioned her well for her current ambition: to solve global challenges by leveraging technology.
  • In response to the question 'how do we engineer the perfect human', Radhika replied that the proper approach lies in personalized medicine. Our current healthcare system tends to take a 'one size fits all' view, but the reality is that each person is profoundly unique. The healthcare they receive should reflect that fact. 
  • How do we do this? Radhika thinks that Web3, blockchain, 3d printing, and AI will all play a role, but fundamentally it's a data problem. There's so much health data, but nearly all of it is dispersed, inaccessible, insecure, making it difficult to use. 
  • What's more, much of the relevant science and the clinical trials are from small samples of relatively homogeneous people, making it dangerous to generalize the results to a divers, global population.  
  • Because the entire data story within healthcare is broken, Radhika has chosen to focus her energies on using blockchain solutions to fix this key part of the healthcare system. 
  • The blockchain system which Radhika's company is building has three core components which will help solve healthcare's data problem: 1) zero-trust architecture, 2) granular control over who has access to personal data, and how much access they have, 3) leveraging the immutable ledger of data access to spot anomalous behavior. 
  • But Radhika's system has another useful application. Because she's so focused on being the security layer for healthcare data, her technology can help to mitigate some of the unprecedented ransomware attacks that have been aimed at hospitals in the past decade. 
  • Thomas found the vision compelling, and wanted to know where the biggest resistance to adoption comes from. Radhika says that the seriousness of the attacks against hospitals is such that no one can really afford to remain with the status quo, but that their technology is architected so as to reduce the pain of integration as much as possible. 
  • Stepping back a bit, Trent asked about uses of the blockchain beyond healthcare. As it turns out Radhika has written a book called "Enterprise Blockchain Has Arrived", which outlines numerous real-world, present-day deployments of the blockchain in finance, supply chains, and energy. 

 

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