The founder and head of Philips Blockchain Lab is leaving the healthcare giant effective 1st August for new opportunities in the blockchain sector.

Arno Laeven, who led a 12-person internal team which investigated how blockchain tech could be applied to healthcare, said he will be departing for “new adventures” in the industry, but declined additional comment. Laeven was formerly global IT innovation lead, before founding the Philips Blockchain Lab in January.

Laeven will be succeeded by Patrick van Beers, senior director of digital platform solutions at Philips Research.

The announcement comes as blockchain leads at major banks are continuing to depart for entrepreneurial opportunities. Barclays blockchain lead Simon Taylor, for example, revealed he would be leaving the UK bank for a new venture fund, 11:FS, in June.

Soon after, blockchain leads at JPMorgan, State Street and BNP Paribas were found to be exiting their positions for new roles in the startup space.

Philips has been early among major healthcare firms in investigating blockchain’s potential, first announcing it would explore applications in October, before formally launching an Amsterdam-based R&D lab for the technology in March.

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