Assessing Blockchain Potential in Healthcare

Project Management through the Colony dApp



Tony Luo ‘23 is a freshman majoring in Computer Science and possibly Statistics. Apart from being the head of Web Development with the NURJ, Tony is a part of the research team in NU Blockchain Group that focuses on the use-case of decentralized apps in clinical research. After graduation, Tony envisions himself working in the software industry or pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Outside of research, Tony loves cooking and is a chef at Northwestern Culinary Arts Club – Cookology.



Rushmin Khazanchi is a rising senior majoring in Biology with minors in Economics and Data Science. Rushmin seeks to fully understand the drivers of healthcare, including business, clinical science, and technology. To that end, he has assisted with a healthcare economics research project at the Feinberg Buehler center, worked in healthcare systems and services at McKinsey & Company, and is currently interning with a machine learning lab at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. In the future, Rushmin hopes to go to medical school and delve into clinical medicine and research.



Gilberto Guadiana is a rising junior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in computer science. Since June 2019, Guadiana has been the president of Northwestern’s Blockchain Group. In the summer of 2020, Guadiana worked on researching blockchain solutions in supply chain management with his project mentor, Tan Gürpinar, from TU Dortmund University. Guadiana aims to continue exploring blockchain technology and the factors associated with the technology’s rising adoption.



Sung Won Lee is a rising junior majoring in Civil Engineering and also holds a seat at the Executive Team in NU Blockchain Group. His primary interests lie in cybersecurity, blockchain, and construction engineering. This year, Lee took up the role of Interim Project Manager and spearheaded the most recent research project of NU Blockchain Group. In collaboration with Abigail Sirus of IBM & special thanks to Tobias Hoppe of YourEncore, Lee is pleased to announce his team’s deliverable and hopes to apply his leadership experience in future projects.


Tony: So for me, I joined this NU Blockchain group last winter, and there’s a project team, basically like a research team. Our topic is application on blockchain in healthcare, and because I’ve never done something related to healthcare, I thought it would be fun and interesting. 

Sung:  It all began with my suspiciously charismatic president of the blockchain group. We’re just talking over dinner, and somebody says, “Hey, Sung, would you be interested in research initiatives?” So Tony, myself, and two others of our research group have been working together, and it’s been a fun, if not a bit delayed, project.

Sung: Well, I think it’s all about the beginning part of a research project. You think to yourself, you know, I’ve got this really big, broad topic that is healthcare. We can talk about pharmaceuticals, we can talk about the hospitals themselves, a couple of research firms. So we have to narrow down our focus, but at the same time, not exclude or discriminate against other important, fundamental issues. And above all, getting a project mentor, because I believe half of us, myself and Tony, are pretty inexperienced in research. So we needed to find someone with the patience to handle a bunch of young people who just won’t shut the heck up.

Sung: Well, I can certainly see why Northwestern encourages the students to participate in one research project or another. You know, I still got 10 brochures in my backpack. I think overall, it’s been a pretty enriching experience in that yes, there were hair pulling moments, and yes, there was a lot of paperwork involved. Lots of steps and very formalized to but despite all those things and challenges, I do think that everyone should try at least a little dip in the pool so to speak.