Disruption by Blockchain Part 27: Mihaly Kertesz – Etheal

  • 21 February 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Dr. Mihaly Kertesz, Co-founder, COO at Etheal.

1. What’s the history of Etheal? How and where did you begin?

MK: While we ran our advertising agency which is eight years old this year, we developed a “pet project”, a now thriving medical comparison site called Doklist.com. As we grew this side-project, we started to see huge potential in the healthcare sector. One year ago we shifted focus to work on the site full time, and since then we’ve seen 2.5 million visits from Hungary and Brazil. Three months into our intense development of the site, we began evaluating whether blockchain could make our product better.

In the last four years, we’ve spent working in the healthcare market, we’ve realized that there are significant trust issues both with general care, and more prominently with medical tourism locations and providers. Imagine a situation where you happen to be abroad when you need to find a doctor you can trust, or you’re at home, looking for more affordable care abroad. We see a much bigger potential for Hungary’s $300 million dental tourism industry, where patients from all over Western Europe are already travelling there to get affordable and high-quality dental care. Bigger medical tourism hubs in the world, like Thailand, generate up to $4.7 billion dollars every year, while some countries even specialize in a specific procedure. For example, a lot of patients from the Persian Gulf go to South Korea to get transplant surgeries. In every case, establishing trust is a huge challenge, which blockchain’s  trust and incentivization technology are perfectly poised to solve.

We are going to put medical reviews on the blockchain because we believe it’s unfair that doctor listing sites have the power to delete the online reputation of a medical professional that deletes their membership. We also believe that current monthly fees of up to $300 are exorbitant.

2. Who are the founders and key team members?

Dr Mihaly Kertesz, COO

Miami Ad School New York alumni and Golden Effie Awards winner (the Oscar of Advertising Effectiveness). 10 years of experience in the world of veterinary medicine and clinical research.
Wanted to improve more than one life at a time, so he moved from healthcare to working as CMO on meaningful projects.
When he realized the impact he can create through advertisement is limited, he through about how he could use his interdisciplinary skill and experience to improve 1B people’s lives by improving healthcare.
Regularly lectures in the biggest economics and communications universities in Budapest (Corvinus University and Metropolitan University) and a frequent speaker at marketing and communications conferences.

Viktor Tabori, CTO

Cyberpunk, hacker, polymath. At the age of 16, he wrote and designed his first turned-based strategy online game played by thousands of fans, which featured an ingame dynamic stock-market, and a complex Sybil-attack defense modul.
Viktor was a core organizer of Hacktivity, the biggest IT Security Convention in CEE region, when it was just getting started.
He was the tech lead on the full-refactoring and conversion-rate optimization of CEE accommodation service Szallas.hu’s  codebase, which resulted in a 2259% increase in revenue between 2009 and 2013, and ultimately won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award in CEE region twice.
Advocate of Empowerment, impatient against injustice in Healthcare.

Michael Terpin, Advisor

Michael Terpin is founder and CEO of Transform Group International, whose divisions include Transform PR, a global public relations firm that has served more than 200 clients in the blockchain field and helped launch 65 ICO’s, including Augur, Ethereum, Gnosis, Qtum and WAX; CoinAgenda, an event series for cryptocurrency investors, and Transform Strategies, the company’s advisory division.
His path is a logical evolution from his investing experience in the blockchain space since early 2013, when he co-founded BitAngels.

David Orban, Advisor

Serial entrepreneur for 20 years, book author, venture capitalist and avid blockchain investor living in the USA, Milan and London.
David is creating a vision and analytical tools to allow individuals, enterprises and the society at large to deal positively with the unstoppable transformation to a world based on decentralized exponential technologies that are disrupting the traditional centralized and hierarchical functions of governments and corporations.

3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?

MK: Let’s say someone is convinced that they should come to Hungary to get dental treatment, based on the fact that they will enjoy a 50% discount on everything including travel cost and also enjoy a nice holiday and specialized, high-quality treatment. The way it stands right now, it’s still a major headache for them to find a trusted provider. Currently, there are two options: either ask friends and family for recommendations (which isn’t scalable), or search online where you will find the paid advertisements of companies with the deepest pockets, missing the providers that give you the best value for your money.

That’s why we’re building the “Booking.com of healthcare”, to help those searching for trusted, high-quality medical treatment for the best price, in any country. Our main user group is anyone who needs elective care, currently a $100BN medical tourism market, according to Visa and Oxford Economics.

4. What is your solution to this problem?

MK: Expanding our current centralized solution, which already serves 2.5M visits each year in Brazil and Hungary, thereby clearing the path to tap into the medical tourism market. Also, integrating blockchain and incentivizing users to write honest reviews to keep our database growing and transparent.

5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?

MK: Thanks to advancements in medicine, the average lifespan is increasing and so to is the entire healthcare sector. Healthcare is a 7 trillion dollar industry, with medical tourism making up $100BN, and growing 25% each year (
https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/global/partner-with-us/documents/global-travel-and-tourism-insights-by-visa.pdf). Patient mediators (the middlemen within medical tourism) are currently asking for as high as 30% in commission, but their work is only warranted because transparency is currently missing.

6. What’s the future of your industry?

MK: We are aware of 60 health ICOs to date, and this huge number is not surprising. There are so many problems within the $7.6 trillion healthcare industry. As a cardiologist from Palo Alto Medical Foundation told us: “Healthcare needs blockchain the most from all industries.”

In the future we will see that:

Prediction #1: Personal health records will be accessible globally on blockchain.

Prediction #2: Healthcare will be more transparent.

Prediction #3: Prices will drop, because the middlemen will be eliminated thanks to blockchain technology.

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