Blockchain is a type of database storing an immutable set of data, verifiable to anyone with access to it —through... and cryptocurrencies have been starring in the financial sector, but this isn’t their only possible utility. There are crypto projects for almost everything, and that includes the healthcare industry. Privacy, interconnected systems, higher security, and monetization are only some benefits that this technology can offer for doctors, medical providers, insurance companies, and patients.
This April 7 is World Health Day, which commemorates the first World Health Assembly by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. So, this is probably the perfect time to explore how blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies can also improve healthcare for everyone.
Spoiler: most of these platforms require the previous ownership of Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies, like Cosmos (ATOM), since they work with tokens built on these blockchains. Now, let’s check some interesting projects.
Launched in 2018, Medicalchain is building an entire blockchain ecosystem for clinics, doctors, and patients. They used the permissioned chain Hyperledger Fabric as an architecture to safeguard and share health data at different levels. The main goal is to provide the patients with a secure and practical way to store and share their medical records.
At the same time, the clinics, pharmaceuticals, researchers, and other healthcare institutions could have authorized access (by patients) to a reliable and complete medical history inside crypto. The application My Clinic is already available for institutions and individuals to arrange video medical consultations for free, and store and retrieve their personal history via Medicalchain.
In addition, they’re planning a health data marketplace. This space would enable the users “to negotiate commercial terms with third parties for alternative uses or applications of their personal health data. For example, putting forward their data to be used in medical research”.
Besides, a utility ERC-20 token dubbed MedToken (MTN) is meant to accompany the ecosystem and reward the users. Currently, MTN has a market capitalization of over $1.5 million, and a price of $0.004 per coin (CoinMarketCap).
MediBloc proposal is very similar to Medicalchain, but with different infrastructure and some additions. MediBloc offers its own Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain dubbed “Panacea”, which means “a remedy for all ills.” The patients can store and share their healthcare information through this crypto chain. Meanwhile, the institutions can become validators of Panacea and access reliable medical records.
They also offer the option to sell medical records and created their own token: the MediBloc coin (MED). With this coin, it’s possible to earn rewards in more MED by doing staking on Cosmos (ATOM). Likewise, everyone can participate in the Liquidity Pool on the Osmosis DEX with the pairs MED/ATOM and MED/OSMO to get rewards in OSMO once a day. MED has a market cap of over $246 million and it’s at $0.04 per coin.
Beyond all this, MediBloc partnered with KT’s Infectious Disease Research Consortium and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to release the app SHINE (Study of Health Information for Next Epidemic).
As they described, “SHINE provides users with information about the current status of infectious diseases and also helps identify infections by assessing conditions such as fever, headache, and cough”, with data voluntarily reported by users. The information is safely stored on the blockchain Panacea.
The goal of this platform is to provide a proper crypto infrastructure for the creation of tools and groups in the healthcare industry. Institutions and developers can build here their own “Care Cards”: applications inside the ecosystem to serve different needs. They also can create “Care Networks” to improve the access to healthcare, the administration, payments, and general outcomes in the industry.
For example, the “Non-emergency medical transportation” network is a partnership with Uber Health and Lyft to “book non-emergency medical transportation for medical appointments”. The users can pay with the native ERC-20 token of the platform, SOLVE. Other networks inside Solve Care include Global Telehealth Exchange, Provider Reward Network, and Diabetes Care Network.
As the name suggests, the networks are made for employees, payers, providers, and patients to connect and collaborate. For their part, the developers of Care Cards are rewarded in SOLVE for the use of these applications. Currently, SOLVE has a market cap of over $38 million and a price of $0.08 per token.
It’s exactly as it sounds and as they described themselves: “The Blockchain Solution for the Global Dental Industry”. The team released this project in 2017. Since then, they had developed several free apps for patients, dentists, and traders. These include DentaVox Paid Surveys, Dentacoin Trusted Reviews (about dentists), Dentacare Oral Health App, the game Dentacare: Jaws of Battle, Dentacoin Blog, and Dentacoin Assurance.
They’re also planning to release a Health Database. But, in the meantime, the patients can get rewards in the native token of the platform, Dentacoin (DCN), by using the free apps. For their part, the doctors can participate in the system by accepting DCN and improving their online promotion.
More recently, they also announced the possibility of staking DCN to get rewards through Optimism Network. At the time of writing, DCN has a market cap of over $6.5 million and a price of $0.00001 per token.
This section covers several proposals, including the aforementioned SHINE app by MediBloc. Last March, the app expanded its support to study COVID-19 symptoms from volunteers. It also allows the register of PCR tests and vaccines. This way, the users of the app “can check their risk for infectious diseases” and collaborate to mitigate them.
Another project around the virus is the Medoxie COVID-19 Digital Health Passport, developed by the Ethereum software company ConsenSys and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Available especially for Hong Kong since 2021, this application lets the users register all the personal data related to COVID-19, including symptoms, vaccines, test results, and daily temperature.
The patients can also give permission (or not) to access their data in order to be evaluated or to make international trips. All the data is safely stored on Ethereum. A very similar COVID-19 passport on blockchain was developed by the tech giant IBM: the Digital Health Pass. This one also registers personal data and vaccines for the virus, and it’s meant to be implemented as a security measure by companies and public institutions.
So, as we can see, we’ll have a future full of blockchain and tokens. And that also includes improving our healthcare system with crypto.
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