Breaking the Barriers - How Blockchain Can Make You Healthier and Richer
Is private and secure healthcare a crisis of modernity? The cost of seeing a doctor experiences significant increases yearly, baring many from realizing the benefits of modern medicine. In 1970, the expense per person for health care was $355, and in 2016 $10,348. A community burdened by rising cost, debt, and complicated methods of access to a doctor are today's healthcare consumers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted research claiming 40 million adults in America, one in five, are living without proper healthcare.
In 2017, the World Bank reported that half of the world’s population lacks essential health services and these numbers are growing. Approximately 100 million people have become impoverished under the burden of their directly funded medical expenses. As accessibility to medical professionals continues to decline, we see the most significant impact in the parts of the world where practices continue to use century old methods to track and treat patients.
The healthcare industry has notorious privacy, fraud and security challenges. As of 2018, 37 data breaches occurred among healthcare institutions. One involved Long Island-based Cohen, Bergman, Klepper, Romano MDs mis-configuring its online database, exposing the personally identifiable information of about 42,000 patients. Trade in anonymous medical data is allowed in the U.S., a $28 billion dollar industry. Prescription records, blood tests, doctor notes, hospital visits and insurance records get monetized. The healthcare information provided so far represents years of records for hundreds of millions of people.
The usage of mobile health apps and wearables is ever-growing with more than 55% of smart phone users upload health-related information on their phone. Health-related data is a valuable asset for both individuals and data-driven healthcare stakeholders. However, today's healthcare landscape does not offer the consumers who provided the data a method of capturing value for its usage. Businesses capitalize on rights to personal medical data without benefiting the consumers generating this data. Moreover, current system lacks the means to interconnect existing data and unlock its full potential for the benefit of all market players, losing an estimated $300 billion a year in data unavailability for marketing due to integration issues. Furthermore, siloed medical systems prevent needed records from getting to the people whom need it when they need it most.
The rise of various applications has not yet delivered on the promise of digital technology empowering individuals and resulting in better healthcare and a more connected health related market.