The Backstory: Months ago, the Founder of Citizen Health, Brennen Hodge told me: “I am interviewing an awesome developer, but I am not sure if he is going to choose to work with us. He has other offers.” And then he showed me his resume. The coding language and skill set behind him was lines long. It was like looking at someone who could speak to anyone on the planet, fluently. I just knew this guy was special. I recall telling him, with raised eyebrows, “This guy has ninja coding skills. What’s it going to take to get him here?” Thankfully, it just took our project; the chance to build a comprehensive health app, driven by data in the promise that it would help people have structured insight to their health. And here we are, months later, teeming with anticipation, that the app we have built will do this and more. This app is the first step in many, for people to visualize their health, and act upon their health. Humantiv is something radically different, because it is not just going to collect data and tell you about what you have done, it will tell you, how to improve and assist your health. The data is compiled into health events, which gives you more knowledge than just numbers.
The following is my conversation with Nabyl. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Nabyl, how long has the Humantiv App been in development?
“We have been in development since last February. I have been working, really, as a team of one to build the backend of the Humantiv App. We opted to outsource for graphic design. It’s been a top-down approach that has included using open-source API’s and building free software converted from Github. The Human API is a great tool for wearable code and hGraph for visualizing health. But we needed to get more from these sources, so I had to build out some components and I opted to place what I built back onto Github.”
So you essentially placed some of Humantiv’s coding back onto Github?
“Yes, I wanted to share what I had created. So far over 266 developers have opted to use React Native Package for Human API and over 200 for hGraph. I think if we are true to what we want to accomplish, with Citizen Health, we share what we build and we work to improve health software for developers. It makes me wonder how and where this code is being used. That’s pretty cool.”
You have gotten the Humantiv App to its final stages, what are you presently finishing up?
“Right now, I am working with both wearable and non-wearable software. We want your wearable to be a primary source of tracking your health. But we do want everyone to be able to participate, even if they don’t have a wearable. So I have been looking into making Humantiv accessible for everyone.”
That’s important, that everyone has the same access to this technology?
“Yes, because everyone should be able to participate with us, regardless of if they have a tracker of not. The Proof of Health Algorithm we are building is designed to help everybody have more knowledge of their health. What are they doing that is affecting their health? Are they getting enough sleep? Maybe they need to add a little more exercise to their routine? Maybe they need to drink less alcohol to feel better? This app attempts to show events that help you make better decisions about your health.”
You have been working with the Proof of Health Algorithm and then connecting that to the blockchain. What is the Proof of Health Algorithm?
“Imagine you can summarize your health down to a score. A score that increases with a healthy lifestyle and decreases when you slack on your healthy routines. Imagine now, that you get paid whenever your score is high. This is what we are trying to introduce: an algorithm that quantifies your healthy lifestyle, encourages you to improve it, and pays you to stay healthy. Our incentive token, the Medit is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. It can be redeemed or exchanged within our network. You get rewarded Medit for staying healthy.”
What’s been the most surprising aspect of this project?
“I think the most surprising aspect of this project has been the need to just give back to the community. It’s been amazing to build and work with this project, but now it’s like, let’s give back. We are at a point where we have this data debate, who owns it, and what should we do with it. We should lead. And how we lead is by gaining our users trust. We are serious about your data, being your data. We are serious about open source. We want to be that organization that people trust in, because what we do is different. What we do is lead.”
So we are gearing up to launch a beta test of Humantiv. What can users expect?
“We begin with looking at user engagement and their experiences using the app. Their feedback is helpful to us shaping this platform. We want to provide value to them. Again, we are taking data and making it into events. Maybe you need to get more sleep or your heart rate is low. But we want to be able to correlate those events for you. What happened to cause this? Can we prevent it from reoccurring or leading to poor health? The best part is you get real-time feedback, you get summaries and monthly reports to show you profiles of your events and health. This is going to be helpful if you share it with your doctor. It helps to paint a larger picture of you and what your health looks like. Personalized medicine to me, is a big deal. People have different vitals, different “normals”. Well what is “normal” for you? By continuously tracking metrics, you find out what that normal looks like. But if you get sick, or something is off for you, we have a better picture of finding out why.”
What are you looking forward to as a developer? What are you curious about with getting initial reporting back?
“I am most looking forward to segmenting our users. Even in a test group, we can find out things like what regions of the country have picked this up. Then we can find out how to cater to their needs and make improvements. The idea is to engage with this app daily, while you are living your life and going about your daily activity, you are earning Medit. So this app is running in the background, working for you. And then of course to see the analytics of how users are using this app. What features do they like? How are they using it? How are they benefitting from it?”
Where can users and developers go to give feedback or learn more about Citizen Health, Humantiv or being a part of the community?
“The idea of Citizen Health is a peer to peer health system. Engagement with our team of innovators and the community is our future. The Citizen Health Forum, is where you can find us. We will have developer channels, discussions, features and news- it is a way to interact, get involved, give us feedback and be involved with us. There already is activity happening in this space, and I am excited for it to grow. As we expand, we are going to need more talent, and we would like to engage those that know, like and interact with our community.”
When will the first version of Humativ be ready to use?
“I am working to get a final version to the team, in the next week. We are looking at having a beta test ready near the beginning of July. We are really close to beginning to test this. This is just the beginning and I am pleased to see the Humantiv App evolve. There is so much more it will be able to do. Health, wellness, precision medicine, AI, connecting doctors, connecting people- it’s going to be a whole new network. A network of health.”