The government of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) have joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA).
The EEA is an effort to develop commercial applications for Ethereum. It is not clear what Andhra Pradesh; where Hyderabad is located, will do with Ethereum or the alliance. The state government joined the alliance in July along with several corporations including MasterCard.
There were 150 organizations ranging from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) to the State of Illinois participating in the alliance in July, Coindesk reported. The alliance has been successful in attracting companies ranging from startups to monster banks like JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) to its efforts.
Blockchain Healthcare Record Announced
A blockchain-based healthcare record storage solution that can be accessed via an app is being tested.
A company called MintHealth is conducting a beta test of a personal health record built in blockchain, a press release indicates. The records will be stored in MintHealth’s decentralized platform, which will be available globally.
Patients will be able to access the records via an app. Healthcare providers have access via a “companion clinical tool.” The basis of the system is what MintHealth calls a “Self-sovereign Health Record.”
If all goes as planned a patient would have a set of medical records that any healthcare provider with internet connectivity would be able to access. That would help providers save money by getting rid of all the paper, and filing cabinets.
An ICO Token for Better Health
The app will use gamification technology and incentives called Vidamints (VIDA) to reward people that monitor their vital signs and do things like lose weight. The Vidaments are apparently an initial cryptocurrency offering.
The Vidamints can be used to pay medical and pharmacy bills, or offset health-insurance premiums and copays, the press release claims. It sounds as if MintHealth wants to integrate the system with health-insurance companies and providers.
Here is what Vidamints are supposed to according to MintHealth’s website:
- Awareness: interactive design to raise consciousness, evangelize and educate the patient
- Social Support: active ecosystem to underpin social network interactions that have been empirically shown to facilitate favorable behavior modification for chronic diseases
- Gamification: fun and engaging user experience to enhance favorable health behaviors and sustain long-term patient engagement.
- Vidamints: financial incentives to drive healthy behaviors in the form of tokens that are managed and adjudicated through the blockchain.
Blockchain for All joins Medicare for All
Such a system would be an ideal solution for a national health insurance plan such as Medicare or Britain’s National Health.
An obvious use for it would be to give every citizen a set of medical records that can be used nationwide. France already has a system in place nationwide as part of its national health insurance plan.
Another use would be to make it easier for healthcare providers and retailers to bill Medicare. They would be able to instantly bill Medicare for any claim. That would reduce paperwork and costs. One obvious saving would be to eliminate back office staff and file cabinets from clinics and to help independent pharmacies compete with Big Retail.
Blockchain can Help Healthcare Providers get Paid Faster
A tremendous advantage to blockchain-based billing would be to pay all Medicare and Medicaid payments within 24 or 48 hours. That would get many more providers and retailers to sign up for those systems because they would get paid in cash within one or two business days.
One big reason why many providers do not take Medicare and Medicaid; is that it can take those systems months to pay claims. That can put a clinic or hospital in a serious bind; because vendors, utilities, landlords, mortgage companies, tax collectors, and other creditors are not willing to wait for their pay.
Instant blockchain-chain payment mechanisms; such as the Ethereum Raiden network are now under development. Adding such a solution to something like MintHealth can make it the building block of an effective and low-cost Medicare for All system.
Such a system would be more humane than our current mess because providers would not have to focus on billing, payment or paperwork. More importantly, patients would not have to worry about payment, or paperwork when they got sick or injured. All they would have to do is swipe a card or touch an app to get the healthcare they needed.
MintHealth is far from a pipe dream, its’ CEO & Director Dr. Samir Damani founded MD Revolution. MD Revolution is the leading platform for Medicare’s chronic care management program. In his other job, Damani services as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine at the University of California’s San Diego School. He also practices cardiology at the Scripps Clinic.
The hope for MintHealth is that can reduce costs and give physicians and insurers a tool for battling the global pandemic of chronic. MintHealth’s website did not say what blockchain-operating system it is using, but the platform described sure sounds like the Hyperledger Project’s use of Ethereum.