The healthcare industry is still surprisingly inefficient. Despite records being digitized, there’s still not a good way for various healthcare facilities to share patient information, and that means many times some very important information can get lost in transit.
This not only leads to some potentially dangerous diagnoses due to the fact that important care information is missing, but it also takes up a large chunk of time from medical professionals. Doctors and nurses only have so much time in the day, and when much of that time is taken up repeating useless paperwork, it takes away time they could be using to see their patients.
Another paint point for the industry is security. While it does not initially seem that security would be a big deal here like it would be in the financial sector, it is. Medical records contain a lot of private information, not to mention financial information in regards to insurance or payments. Many times information is not handled securely, creating concern for patients and medical facilities too, since they are subject to very strict regulations on the sharing of this data.
Data is the most valuable commodity of our time, and that’s no less true for health care than any other industry. While this is mostly thought of as something that only marketers and brands would want, that’s not exactly true.
A global database of health data could be useful for other cases such as for medical research where medical facilities could gain access to a plethora of new information about their treatments or the general ailments of patients which could be used to create new drugs.
A system such as this could create a sample size much larger than what would be possible in a private study, possibly unlocking important trends not seen before. Some blockchain projects will even allow for patients to sell their information to these companies, allowing them to monetize their health information for the first time in decentralized marketplaces.
On an individual level, a global data system could make it easier to transmit sensitive information securely on a patient basis where your medical records could follow you seamlessly to different facilities or care providers. This not only saves you and your doctor a lot of time, but it might also allow them to provide you better care.
Some blockchain-based applications are planning to implement data from wearable devices that would allow healthcare professionals to better track the everyday condition of their patients in ways not possible in an office setting. Computer algorithms can then help analyze this data to see patterns or trends that might lead to a faster diagnosis or even better treatments in general.
This interesting medical startup plans to bring free basic healthcare to anyone in the world. The only requirement is that they have a smartphone and download the Docademic app. While this seems too good to be true, it is true. Users of this application will be instantly connected with licensed medical professionals that give them advice or even a diagnosis through video chat. Why would medical professionals do this? It’s all about networking.
The team behind Docademic originally created another platform called DoctorDice. This was a social networking site for doctors that soon became the largest site of its kind in Latin America. This gives Docademic a really great resource in that they already have access to a huge database of medical professionals for their new service.
The platform has already been launched and is currently live in over 20 countries already. This application will also be used as a paid data hub where hospitals, researchers, doctors and even governments will be able to purchase information about the users of the Docademic application.
Lympo is the first platform to allow users to monetize their health data. This system is actually more like an incentive platform which provides users with rewards for exercising and improving their health.
Their system utilizes wearable devices that millions of people are already utilizing such as Fitbit to collect health data. This data can be stored on the blockchain, and then the application’s community can use their data later for various purposes such as improving their overall health.
This data can also be leveraged to your advantage through rewards. Brands and businesses can become sponsors and pose fitness challenges. Upon completing these health goals, users can be rewarded with Lympo tokens, which they can spend in the marketplace for various goods or services such as time with personal trainers, fitness equipment, clothing and food.
The Lympo platform can also be used as a loyalty program for local gyms, and users can receive personalized fitness and diet advice based on their tracked data.
Prescription drug fraud is surprisingly prevalent, and fake drugs kill somewhere around a million people every year. Farmatrust have proposed a supply chain tracking system specifically for the pharmaceuticals industry to prevent the movement of these dangerous counterfeit drugs. By utilizing technology that can easily be plugged into legacy systems already in place by these industries, they will allow for these drugs to be transparently tracked from the manufacturer all the way to the consumer.
In fact, anyone can use the blockchain to publicly verify the legitimacy of the products they have received to eliminate any doubts and make it more difficult for counterfeit items to enter into the system.
This also creates another boon for pharmaceutical companies in that by utilizing the ledger and smart contracts, they can automate many of the regulatory headaches that come with the territory of their industry.
Farmatrust can automatically submit the proper regulatory paperwork, and it can even automatically submit payments to their partners within the supply chain. They also have planned “future proof upgrades” which include smart labeling, IOT devices and RFID tags for identifying products in the chain.
Medishares is a decentralized marketplace which allows for their users to create mutual aid insurance policies. They do this via trustless smart contracts. Not only can anyone purchase an insurance policy through the platform, but anyone can become an insurer as well.
They have a set of smart contract templates, and by using them you can offer your own insurance policies for a variety of things, including medical related issues. This allows for a free market distribution of insurance policies regardless of location, which can have beneficial effects on the price of these services for those seeking to be insured.
The Medishares platform is understandably worried about fraud within their system, so they’ve devised an interesting way to combat it. Any users who can find and prove fraud will be rewarded with tokens. This makes trying to commit fraud on the platform something that would give many pause, as there are many eyes watching them.
The low operation costs and high levels of personal freedom involved in this system present an interesting opportunity to reform the insurance industry, which has consistently raised premiums on consumers to suffocating levels for their care. Could a decentralized insurance market be in all of our futures?
Patientory will allow for patients to easily and safely store their private medical data. Their application can automatically connect with any electronic health records system so that patients and medical professionals can better communicate with each other. The application is also regulatory compliant. Doctors are subject to HIPPA standards when they share patient information, and Patientory makes it easy for them to comply with this.
Patients and their doctors will be able to access the same application. That means that doctors can get a better overall picture of a patient’s health and what kind of work their colleagues have done already. Blood tests, health data, allergy information, past procedures, medications and more will be available to them in a universal system.
Patientory plans to monetize itself with a number of products inside its own Software as a Service platform. The project will provide care professionals with machine learning that can be used to aid in patient diagnoses, and even cloud computing for decentralized health applications. In fact, Patientory has a lot of exciting things on their roadmap investors may want to check out.
In closing, the blockchain and the medical industry seem to be a match made in heaven. Every day new startups emerge with exciting new ideas that can help us better manage our health by utilizing new technologies, and as an investor, it would be in your best interest to do a little research here.
While there are many great projects in the healthcare sector, it’s important to spend time learning about them before making any investments. You should also keep in mind that some of these projects could be years away from a marketable product, and you may need to be prepared to hold on to your investment for a long time before seeing a return.