Web3 x Healthcare: Intro & Context

Web3 x Healthcare: Intro & Context

Written by
Esha Bora
Date published
September 21, 2022

A common American experience: nearly fainting at the sight of your medical bills.

Healthcare in the USA is considered "broken" due to its inefficiency and high costs.

Here's how web3 may revolutionize current healthcare systems all over the world, especially America's. ūüĎá

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1/ High healthcare (HC) costs can be attributed to the overall lack of standardization in the system.

- Costs and billing

- Medical record systems

- Lack of transparency

These are all examples of ways American healthcare is inconsistent.

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2/ The medical coding and billing system is how patient visits are translated to a billable medical service.This entire process is lengthy and subjective due to this multi-step process involving the physician, medical coder, insurance company, hospital, etc.

3/ Moreover, there is no standardization in medical record maintenance. Though a lot of healthcare facilities use electronic health/medical record systems like Epic, transferability is not efficient which slows down cooperation between healthcare providers.

4/ From a patient's perspective, the lack of standardization results in difficulties with:

- Changing healthcare providers/getting second opinions

- Accessing your own medical records- Understanding medical expenses

These tasks should be much simpler than they currently are.

5/ Attempts to decrease healthcare costs through policies to minimize unnecessary use of high-end medical tech are not too effective because they are hard to enforce.

Thus, many believe in the need for a structural revolution within healthcare.

6/ Web3 technologies provide novel methods of immutable data storage and identity-bound tokens may be a step towards this overarching paradigm shift needed in healthcare.

7/ Healthcare x web3 is still very young, and there has been a lot of justified pessimism regarding the term "healthcare on the blockchain" because of issues with privacy, the risk of individual data ownership, and difficulty with implementation.

8/ However, as web3 tech grows and becomes easier to integrate with existing health infrastructure, web3 ideologies like transparency, trustlessness, immutability, and accountability could be transformational for healthcare.

9/ Here are some examples of early web3 healthcare companies:

@patientory is working to increase patient involvement & accountability in their personal health through individual data ownership

@ChronicledInc aims to decrease administrative costs and increase health cooperation

10/ @NebulaGenomics is empowering people by enabling individuals to own their own genetic data

@Encrypgen allows people to monetize from their data, breaking the trend of large corporations making money off of health data

And this is just the beginning of web3 x HC solutions.

11/ Healthcare is known to be an industry where change comes the slowest given the direct impact on people's lives if something were to go wrong.

Due to compliance issues, people may even refrain from building in the space even though there is tons of room for experimentation.

12/ Acceptance of these new, unique solutions will most likely be gradual in the healthcare industry. However, the sooner there is cooperation between builders and health professionals, the easier it will be to scope out types of solutions that fit best.

13/ Web3 x HC will introduce many new opportunities and debates.

For example, individual health data ownership could be very risky in some cases but also financially beneficial in terms of personal data monetization.

14/ Or, soul-bound tokens could be an interesting way health care workers are encouraged to create and maintain strong patient-physician relationships.

This can help to improve employee retention and hospital image - both issues which plague American healthcare today.

15/ These various solutions may seem trivial, but they eventually add up. Small impactful changes could improve employee conditions, patient trust, and allow health professionals to focus on the actual medical aspect of healthcare rather than administrative issues.

16/ Efficiency in healthcare will ultimately allow for reduced costs and greater healthcare accessibility for a larger population.

It's crucial to remember that a change like this will take a lot of creativity, time, and perseverance.

17/ In summary: Healthcare, especially in America, needs a structural revolution.Web3 ideologies like immutability and accountability can contribute to making healthcare less expensive and more reliable.

Web3 x HC has immense potential but is still highly unventured.

18/ In later threads, I'll be diving deeper into specific web3 x healthcare solutions like data privacy and supply chain. In the meanwhile, DMs are open - I'd love any discussion and input on the topic!