My Newborn Mako and How to Easily Keep Health Records Over a Lifetime

In recent news, Ha and I welcomed our son Mako in July. Ha and Mako are doing well now, but over the last year as doctors were asking me about my health history, I realized that I really didn’t know mine. From moving to different cities across various continents, whenever there was an offer to get a shot or vaccine, I would just do it because I could never remember. I’m not even sure how I can export old records or ask for them from the different healthcare systems I’ve been in. Legally, I am entitled to these records, but it’s a big gap to getting them.

Doctors have asked me about certain conditions and issues from my past, and I’ll usually just shrug and say, “I don’t…know really.”

Now that I have Mako, I don’t want the same thing to happen to him. It’s a bit scary to realize how little I know about my own history. Thus, I’ve been working with Bitmark on their mobile app Bitmark Health – it’s an aggregator of health data. Right now, it works with importing Apple Health Kit and scans of Physical Documents, and we want to expand the feature and data support so that anyone around the world can have complete historical records for themselves, children, and family members for recordkeeping, research, and sharing with medical professionals.

Basically, no one should feel as helpless as me.

What was important to me, coming from my background as a social networking (see: Facebook / Cambridge Analytics) entrepreneur, was that Bitmark didn’t have access to your data. In Bitmark Health, the data is all stored on the user’s phone, and Bitmark digitally fingerprints this data and records your ownership as a property title on its public blockchain. None of your personal information (health records, identification information) is recorded in the blockchain.

(In case you’re not familiar with blockchain or have just heard of it from Bitcoin, Bitmark’s blockchain isn’t managed or controlled by any single entity, like a government or company. Anyone can contribute to maintaining it, and a good blockchain is incredibly resilient to hacks and changes. Unlike Wikipedia, in which anyone can make changes to records, only you can make changes or legal transfers to your health records. You also don’t need to sign up for Bitmark – your account is stored on your phone via private keys)

Right now, we’re in Beta on Apple iOS (iPhone). If this seems interesting to you, I’d love to get you in on the Beta (or on the list for the Android version) – we appreciate any feedback (what works well, what doesn’t, what features you personally need to make it useful). If you know anyone who would be interested, I’d love to talk to them about our work too – please share!

Just click on our sign up link here, and we’ll get everything ready.

I’ll leave you with a photo of teaching Mako to love broccoli (as I do) below.

I appreciate it,

Michael

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My Facebook at Work Launch Analysis – September 2015

As with my Minecraft post, I do have an ego-driven need to see my insights proven correct. (Don’t worry, I know I am often wrong) Below is a slide deck I put together in an interview with Facebook for Facebook at Work (now called Workplace) in September 2015.

After 1+ years and only thousands of paying users and questions about what how the site should be used, however, perhaps my Slide 5 was onto something.

Facebook claims it has already signed up “thousands” of paying subscribers to Workplace Premium, spokeswoman Vanessa Chan told CNBC. Facebook’s name recognition and user familiarity could be a major asset that should help it muscle into the marketplace. But the social media site needs to overcome the perception that the site is a productivity killer at work and convince employers that staffers will be using the tool for work, not social purposes.

Silicon Valley Business Journal – April 2017.

Me Talking about Vietnam and the Social Media Scene on the Xpansion Podcast

Recently, I had the honor of talking to the Xpansion Podcast with Fiona Huang and Justin Taillole about my experiences leading social networking startups in Vietnam – I spent over 7 years there, learning, grinding, and enjoying my time in a rapidly growing 3rd world country.

Listen above and I would love to hear your comments!

Here’s the official Xpansion description for the episode:

Vietnam, the 3rd most populated country (93.95 million) in Southeast Asia. With a population average age of 28.5 years old, young Vietnamese are crazy about social media. Without a doubt, people there are heavy Facebook users. Before Facebook went viral in Asia though, Cyworld had been the social media that gained most tractions in Asia. Originating from Korea, Cyworld was founded in 1997. After acquired by SKTA, a Korean telecom company, Cyworld aggressively expanded to Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan amongst others.

If you are curious about how social media was ran in Vietnam, do not miss out on this episode of Xpansion. We’ve invited Michael Nguyen, the COO of then Cyworld Vietnam. Michael is born and raised in the U.S. by Vietnamese immigrant parents, went back to Vietnam in his mid-twenties and set up Cyworld’s operations. He successfully grew the user base to 4 million. During his stay in Vietnam, he founded Mimo and FriendsPlus. Mimo is a microblogging social network similar to Twitter and later a popular dating app, which Michael successfully exited.

In this episode, Michael shares his story of running social media companies in Vietnam. From his experiences, you will learn:

  1. The cultural differences between the young professionals of Vietnam and the U.S.
  2. How social media in Vietnam used to be monetized differently.
  3. How national-owned telecom companies in Vietnam affects startup survival.
  4. Why managing government relationships is a big deal in Vietnam.
  5. What are some challenges Vietnamese startups are facing.