Those of us who closely follow IOTA and the various use cases that have been developed taking advantage of the new technology behind this DLT, know that one of the fields in which IOTA could help develop great solutions is eHealth.
That is why some of the community developers have decided to work devising projects that help improve certain aspects related to this area.
Such is the case of Dennis Schouten, member of the IOTA community and of the IEN (IOTA Evangelist Network), who founded Skaly together with Peter Willemsen and Stan Scharnigg. Today we are going to invest time in getting to know him and this new software that uses IOTA technology.
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Hi Dennis, can you tell us a little about you? What is your background?
I am Dennis Schouten and live in The Netherlands where I studied HR with a major in ICT. I held several management positions where I implemented different IT systems, ranging from SAP till registration management systems. Decided to start a company in 2011 tackling the indexing systems of resumes. After that became a freelancer and started to discover the world of blockchain.
You work in the area of computer software industry, you will be used to innovation, but how was it to discover the world of DLT’s in this new era of IoT?
I think innovation will be mankind’s biggest Achilles heel for the next century. Will we innovate to help mankind or will we innovate to destroy it? For myself it is all about innovating to achieve a better world for everyone and make life easier, connected and secure. For myself I did not start at IoT and discovered the true miracle behind it with IOTA. All that I knew before were the old dinosaurs like; BTC, LTC and Ethereum, all crypto based solutions build on mining and fees. After I discovered IOTA in the spring of 2017, I was immediately intrigued how IOTA wanted to change the world and set up a base protocol for the IoT industry. Started to read the white paper (which was to technical and some point) I began to interact on slack with other likeminded people.
What were your first thoughts when you found out about IOTA?
My first thoughts were that this was an amazing project, the more I was reading and talking about it the more I got hooked on this new technology. Yes, I knew what IoT was but never took it to serious before I encountered IOTA. In this space it is not about immediate mind-blowing talks that got me but more how IOTA evolved into something immense. Not immense as in supporters but the concept behind it, the industry that needed a better solution to streamline data, the industry CEO’s who came onboard and assisted IOTA to claim their rightful place within the IoT industry.
What do you think about blockchain technology?
Blockchain is here to stay. I think we should always look back and see how everything started in this space. Is blockchain a solution? Yes of course, some technologies are better integrated with blockchain then a DAG. But it all depends on innovation. Because the few who keeps innovating and showcase new projects within this new industry will be the winners.
It reminds me of two other moments that were disruptive to the world. First was the internet and second the mobile phone. These two industries changed our world fast but with a progressive pace. This will also be the case for IOTA and other innovative solutions within the blockchain/DLT industry. Whoever stands still will be eaten because we are evolving every day to that same future size the internet/mobile phone has become.
Many areas can be intervened by IOTA to optimize services, you decided to target the health area with your SKALY project, could you tell us about it?
Yes, it is true that there are numerous services in different industries that can be optimized by IOTA but how we eventually targeted the health industry was to recognize the potential within this industry. After reading an article about obesity percentages within the Middle East it struck me by lightning. I always look for global chances and here I saw an opportunity. Quickly I began to brainstorm for myself and after some hours I contacted Peter Willemsen and Stan Scharnigg, co-founders of SKALY and talked them through the idea I had and how we can implement IOTA within the health industry.
What problems do you aim to solve or improve?
We aim to be the global SaaS supplier within the Health industry where we want to improve the awareness of global health but also create new business models for insurers. Don’t forget that the insurers always have been relying on data that has been gathered in the past. Why not bring real time data and big data analytics to insurers?? That creates enormous value, sharing data should be rewarded and not just given for nothing. This is also one the business models implemented within SKALY, you deliver your data through an ID linked weighing scale within your home and get rewarded for it. This can be done by discounts on your health insurance package or earn points that can be swapped for other incentives like nutrition, fitness subscriptions, sportswear and all other packages you can name that want to interact with a new customer platform based on IOTA. We see it being done in the mobile industry for some years now where you can earn points and trade them for goodies, so why wouldn’t the insurance industry go the same direction. It was all waiting for the tamper proof solution and SKALY brings that to the table with IOTA based software solutions.
Also, by gathering real time data insurance companies can act with governments to ensure people are aware of their health. See domestic or regional shifts in health management. We all will benefit from it, also the future will have to be educated, we already see that sports, good nutrition and awareness are the important pillars for a healthy society. This all can be slingshot forward with SKALY where everybody can benefit on short and long terms.
How would SKALY work and to whom is it directed?
Our main client base will be mainly (health)insurers, but governments and even (health oriented) corporates would benefits from Skaly.
SKALY works as followed:
- Stand on your personal ID weighing scale (provided free by your insurance company for a 1-year contract for instance)
- The weighting scale identifies the person on the weighting scale.
- After identification, the scale will send through the tangle data from the scale to the insurers that implemented Skaly
- Data is collected and with BIG Data and AI rewards will be appointed to the client for submitting the data from their private weighting scale.
- Multiple profiles are possible on one weighing scale by using the hash code from IOTA to identify each person.
Let’s assume the following two clients:
Client 1: BMI of 18, low far percentage and thus a healthy weight.
Client 2: BMI of 34, high fat percentage and thus a unhealth weight.
The insurer receives these metrics and can decide to reward client 1 with (health) points which the client can use in their inhouse shop. As client 2 has an unhealthy weight the risks for causing more future claims is evident. In order to prevent this, the insurer can support this client by offering discount on local gym membership, tips and discount on healthy food (think about discount or free healthy food by partnering with supermarket chains). Thus, even if client 2 does not show healthy metrics, the insurer can interact with these client(groups) and try to stimulate them to change this by offering interesting (healthy) options. As soon as the client reaches a healthy weight, they will earn (more) points and then will receive a different reward.
Eventually insurers will be closer to their clients and through Skaly services lower their future claims.
Could you tell us who’s with you on this project?
SKALY project is founded by myself, Peter Willemsen and Stan Scharnigg. I worked before with Peter and Stan on ION (decentralized SKYPE). We are a solid team and each have their own unique set of skills. This compliments the SKALY project and gives it wings as we all believe in SKALY for 200 percent.
Are you working or do you have any other project related to IOTA or any DLT? If so, could you tell us about them?
I am engaged full time within the DLT industry. SKALY is now one of our main projects. And yes, we work on some other ground-breaking projects but we can’t reveal them at the moment. As mentioned before, IOTA can be used in multiple ways that most of us don’t even think about.
What is your opinion about all the work that the IOTA Foundation has been doing this last time?
The IF (IOTA Foundation) is doing a great job from my point of view. Bringing in the people who are authorities within their own field of expertise is something that I have not seen before in a DLT or blockchain company. It all started very chaotic or should I say organized chaos, yes that is the best to call it. I have seen a lot of development and the community within the IF is very passionate. And in this industry, we need passion, we need the people that bring in new ideas and create concepts, bring networks to the IF, discuss topics and help each other out. Because without the synergy between all people involved with IOTA you have nothing.
What are your expectations about the evolution of IOTA protocol for the next few years?
Like I said before, we are just scratching the surface with IOTA. I see so much opportunities for everyone in this space. As long as we are evolving and giving space to everyone to interact with IOTA and our community is open sky will be the limit here.