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Why the health-tech start-up True Reply is donating $10 for every ether raised.
More and more, cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain, are edging their way into healthcare. Ambitious start-ups are holding initial coin offerings, and blockchain evangelists are promoting its potential to shore up healthcare cybersecurity and bridge data gaps. But this week, a start-up focused on automated voice technology, True Reply, is putting cryptocurrency to a more traditional use for healthcare.
Through the ongoing sale of its TrueCoin currency, the company has pledged to donate up to $200,000 to the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation, in support of “patient-focused research” and better clinical trial design and recruitment efforts surrounding Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), according to an announcement. Roughly 3 million people have the progressive disease, which often leads to deformed arms and legs, causing chronic pain and immobility. True Reply intends to donate $10 for every fundraised ether, a cryptocoin rooted in the Ethereum network, once it hits the 500-ether mark.
“True Reply is supporting these efforts, as we are dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from CMT,” Jose Cotto, founder and CEO of True Reply, said in a statement. “To date, we have utilized our technology in capturing the power of the CMT voice. After hearing countless testimonies from CMT patients living with chronic pain and despair, we look forward to furthering knowledge of CMT and supporting treatments.”
Of course, the monetary pledge serves another purpose: It’s a stab at a broader public relations facelift for cryptocurrencies, whose volatility and lack of regulation have elicited harsh condemnations from establishment financial leaders. True Reply acknowledges as much, noting that it “can be a rare, positive voice for the turbulent cryptocurrency space.”
The start-up also has fused cryptocurrency into its market research portfolio, distributing “incentivized surveys” through the growing footprint of Amazon Echo/Alexa, according to True Reply’s website.
The organization’s core business is developing a voice-based data-collection and analysis platform. For healthcare, that means connecting patients, regardless of their symptoms or socioeconomic conditions, to True Reply’s “intelligent, automated” survey system via telephone. The company uses the tech for greater patient monitoring and participation.
True Reply and the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation are partnering in a way that extends beyond the cryptocurrency blitz. The foundation is hosting a patient-focused drug development meeting later this year, a move designed to connect CMT patients with the FDA, pharma, and others in the healthcare realm. True Reply’s data-gathering abilities will help fuel that effort.
“CMT is often misunderstood,” said Allison Moore, the foundation’s founder and CEO. “True Reply’s technology will offer [healthcare professionals], researchers, and therapy innovators patient voice data to help capture and better understand CMT, and optimize current pipeline treatments while looking for therapies.”
The campaign is significant because no cure exists for CMT. And, of course, the age of smart voice data collection and cryptocurrency for healthcare is only just beginning.
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