CONNECTED HEALTH CONFERENCE • Boston, MA • October 25-27, 2017
By Samir Damani, Founder and CEO, Minthealth
Imagine if you had to get a credit check every time you made a purchase. It wouldn’t matter what you were buying: gasoline, a shirt, a bag of groceries. Each transaction would have to be called in. This cumbersome approach would increase costs, lengthen wait times and make every shopping experience miserable.
That’s our healthcare system in a nutshell. Because medical records are not portable – and most importantly, not controlled by patients – the pace of care is slowed dramatically. Records are faxed, images are burned to CDs and transported by hand, expensive tests are repeated.
While electronic health records (EHRs) have smoothed over some of these bumps, they are not interoperable. An EHR system in Phoenix can’t talk to a different system in San Diego. In fact, two distinct EHRs in the same town can’t even talk to each other.
The solution is blockchain, the secure information technology that underlies Bitcoin and other crypto currencies. Blockchain technology is poised to transform healthcare, allowing patient data to move seamlessly between patients, providers, health systems and others.
Blockchain is a decentralized, digital record that offers security, oversight, permissioned access to data, ease of use and auditability. Rather than having a single data repository, as is common with cloud computing, information is distributed over thousands of computer nodes, and the records are constantly being audited against each other. This distributed information model makes blockchain virtually impossible to hack.
This technology opens an incredible array of opportunities. Patients can have unhindered access and seamless movement of their own, self-sovereign medical records. Their information would no longer be siloed in one health care system’s EHR. If there’s an emergency, they simply share their cryptographic key with clinicians or readily send records. Every individual controls their own data.
But it’s more than just controlling and sharing information. Our current approach to healthcare is epistrophic – episodic visits to physicians to receive care for catastrophic conditions. Chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer account for 90 percent of total healthcare costs, and most risk factors for these conditions including obesity, hypertension, sedentary behaviors, and poor nutrition aren’t being managed.
In essence, we aren’t giving patients the tools to manage their risks for developing and suffering from chronic conditions. Blockchain’s data liquidity combined with digital incentives enables a more holistic approach to care.
Patients can now be incentivized via digital incentive tokens to be the CEO of their own health. Diet, exercise and medication compliance are just a few examples. Blockchain provides a platform to combine financial incentives, data control, social support, and gamification to help patients embrace healthier lifestyles.
Participants can now set up and share their health data through mini-social networks with friends, family, physicians, insurance providers and others to encourage positive behaviors. They can also securely share data with hospitals and drug companies to support clinical trials.
On October 26th and 27th at the Connected Health Conference, our new company called Minthealth, will be speaking about how we’ll use blockchain technology, and our native token incentive, vidamints, to give patients power and control over their data, their healthcare and their health outcomes. By giving people the ability to create their own care network, we put all health-related inputs into one easy-to-use app, unifying the medical marketplace to benefit patients.
The time has come to move away from the paternalism that has dominated medicine and give people the power and motivation to manage their own care.