The rapid development of blockchain technology is poised to disrupt just about every corner modern healthcare. Predictive health and PHI security use cases are utilizing distributed ledger technology to store vital patient information in a secure, traceable and transferable ways. However, innovators and entrepreneurs alike are also starting to test applications in specific provider specialties. One such area is dental care, lead by the visionary DentaCoin team.
Dentistry Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
A visit to the dentist can be a hit or miss experience depending on the effort put into personal care. From a young age, people tend to start visiting the dentist at regular intervals to stay on top of issues that would otherwise compound in severity rather quickly if left untreated or unattended. Although dental diagnostic technology and everyday tools of the trade have evolved significantly, advancements in informatics infrastructure on the backend and progress to stem trends such as gum disease haven’t had as much luck in advancing. Cryptocurrency in particular is a notable, low hanging fruit type opportunity for blockchain to get a foothold in the dentistry without really rewriting its IT infrastructure by way of enabling innovative payment methods. Still, dentistry is one of the lowest risk areas of health care since it is rarely a life threatening situation, albeit commonplace procedures that are more severe often require surgical precision, hence the requirement of medical school for dentists. The other side of the argument is that teeth can be kept healthy and strong with basic, habitual preventative care. This is a far cry from the amount of work it takes for the rest of the human body to stay healthy and happy. How does blockchain fit into all this? It’s an excellent incentivization mechanism that can be used to increase proper hygiene and thus prevent common, yet destructive chronic conditions from wreaking havoc.
Enter DentaCoin. The outfit has created a trusted blockchain platform that will support a community network for dentists and patients alike, which is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017. This community allows for constant feedback, education and a strong community between dentists and patients. The platform with is designed to facilitate with a low barrier for entry an information and improve oral care. It’s architected as a “decentralized, highly secure database of all patient health records” where “health data will be highly protected, updatable and accessible exclusively by patients or by dentists, upon a given permission”.
Additionally, DentaCoin has created a payment system with its new coin DCN token, which integrates cryptocurrency into the dentistry patient care model for the first time. Using DCN, patients can pay dentists directly for care, pay for medical insurance, pay for preventative care and purchase oral care products. Dentists benefit from participation immensely as well. Integrating with DCN will allow dentists and their practices to purchase standard industry equipment at a lower than average cost through the Dentacoin Trading platform.
DentaCoin also is positioned to democratize the dentistry industry by providing patient mediated data functionality for patients to take control of who sees their records as well as the opportunity to be rewarded with DCN if they allow their medical data (once scrubbed of identity) to contribute to the trend analysis tools offered to participating dentists. This type of secure, immutable data collectively overtime evolves into a highly targeted and intuitive population health asset, which in turn cuts down on diagnostics.
Even with all of these benefits, some dentists and patients might wonder why to make the switch to a new, untested system. DentaCoin provides an innovative and unexpectedly lucrative answer to this question. The company will provide a profit sharing opportunity to all of the holders of the DCN coin. In any financial year, the DentaCoin Foundation will use 50% of profits gained and invest them back into the community. That will increase the price of the coin and help any current holders of the currency. It ensures that value will rise over time as long as more people enter the network.
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