Dr. Jason Cross (Ph.D., J.D.) is a specialist in global health innovation law, policy and business strategy. He is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the healthtech company Rymedi. Rymedi provides a blockchain-based digital workflow and data automation platform for health care and health research. Labs, diagnostic and device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers use Rymedi to test, treat and monitor patients with the highest quality data infrastructure to improve multiparty care and outcomes measurement.
At Rymedi, Jason leads efforts to align product design, use case R&D and commercialization. He directs strategy aimed at integrating Quality Management System (QMS) automation in health processes with Real-World Evidence (RWE) generation that open opportunities for varieties of data reuse to support health R&D and business model innovations expanding access to care. Jason also oversees regulatory and legal affairs, as well as partnerships.
Jason is Chair of the Intellectual Property Subgroup of the IEEE Blockchain in Healthcare and Life Sciences Standards Association Working Group. He is also Senior Advisor to the Web3 DeSci (Decentralized Science) company Crowd Funded Cures and Co-Founder of its for-profit subsidiary Public Goods Pharma, leveraging DeSci tools and partnerships to run clinical trials on off-patent generic medicines for new indications and expand affordable treatment access. Jason is also Senior Advisor to Med Aditus International, a non-profit leveraging continuous manufacturing and blockchain technology innovations to improve the production of high-quality medicines in Africa.
Prior to Rymedi, Jason was a professor of global health innovation and entrepreneurship law, policy, and business at Duke University. At Duke, he was Founder and Director of the Innovation & Technology Policy Lab (ITPLab), a collaborative innovation think tank and venture incubator. He led research, consulting and venture incubation on novel finance, intellectual property, collaboration strategies and trade policy for enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of innovations across global health, energy, education and smart infrastructure. Under Jason’s leadership, the ITPLab incubated and spun out several lasting initiatives. One project became the Open Source Pedagogy, Research and Innovation program at Duke, teaching and supporting open source principles and methodologies in the design and scaling of innovations. Another is the Global Healthcare Innovation Alliance Accelerator, which is now a leading contributor of collaborative innovation and access to medicine licensing in the pharmaceutical sector.
As faculty, Jason co-created and taught the Duke Access to Medicines Law & Policy graduate course that convened global faculty and graduate students from law, medicine, business, public policy, engineering and the sciences and humanities to cover the fundamentals of global access to medicines issues and discuss recent developments. He also taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Global Health Law & Ethics, Genomics Law & Ethics, Science & Technology Policy, and Innovation & Intellectual Property Law, Policy & Business Strategy.
Jason was Chief Innovation Officer for the Foundation for Commercializing Innovation, where he led programs to support technology commercialization with innovative business models and intellectual property licensing to expand global access to products and participation in follow-on innovation. He also co-founded and was Executive Chairman for Agraria Technologies, an early company in the blockchain space focused on blockchain technology for social and environmental impact.
When an academic, Jason always worked with one foot in the academy and the other in global health innovation. He worked for a public housing community clinic to improve organizational performance and expand the reach of services. Jason co-founded and served as Vice President of the Minga Foundation, an NGO founded in Ecuador that pioneers community partnership models to support locally-driven health system strengthening across Latin America and Africa. With the Minga Foundation, he helped establish one of the first mobile technology health solutions in the 2000s in a partnership with Nokia called Saludcom – pioneering a cellular phone application to support community health worker coordination with regional clinics across a rural Ecuadorean health system. He helped launch the Project Access referral system for coordinating pro-bono specialist care for the uninsured in Durham, North Carolina. And he advised in the founding of an early telemedicine service.
As a policy consultant, Jason has extensive experience working with governments, industry and nonprofits to create and strengthen inclusive innovation systems: from biopharmaceutical legal reform and trade policy in Central America, open education business models and telecom policy in Southern Africa, and mHealth technology in emerging markets, to intellectual property and global development negotiations at the WTO, WIPO and WHO. Notably, as legal advisor to the Minister of Health of El Salvador, Jason helped write a medicine law that improved medicine quality and improved medicine access, bringing the average price of medicines down 62% across the country. He also advised the Salvadoran government on trade agreement negotiations and development of Central American and Caribbean pooled procurement system for medicines. Jason served on the Board of Directors of the Onom Foundation, Mongolia’s leading health NGO, and served as an advisor to the African Academy of Sciences design of an Open Science Data Platform for African health science.
Jason earned his Ph.D. in the Anthropology of Economics and Governance from Duke University, as well as a J.D. focused on intellectual property and innovation law. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Science & Technology Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, as well as the postdoctoral Institute for Global Law & Policy Workshop Program for Junior Faculty at Harvard Law School. Jason earned an M.A. (and passed Ph.D. exams) in the History & Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and his B.A. in biological anthropology, history and philosophy from the Pennsylvania State University.