Diabetes is one of the biggest challenges in health care today. Due to changing diet and lifestyle patterns, more and more people are contracting this disease. In addition, the personal and public costs of the disease are growing rapidly. Fortunately, a company called Healthcoin has emerged to fight this disease using a combination of incentives and technology to influence the choice people make. They hope to prevent new diabetes cases and reduce the symptoms of current patients. Blockchain is a powerful new technology (used in the revolutionary Bitcoin monetary system), that creates an unbreakable mathematical string to store and exchange information. Healthcoin has taken advantage of this technology to create a system that aims to radically reduce the effects of diabetes.
The cost of diabetes is simply exploding. According to one study, the global cost of the disease exceeds $827 billion dollars and 3.7 million lives annually. As the average age of Americans and people around the world gradually increases, more diabetes cases are expected as people become more sedative. That will increase continue to increase costs. One study estimates that a quarter of all adults in America will have diabetes by 2050.
Personal costs of diabetes are also huge. The monthly costs of insulin ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Additionally, individuals with diabetes find that they are more likely to face other injuries ranging from cardiovascular issues to blood problems to constant nagging lower body injuries. All of these issues cause more use of the health care system which means more out of pocket expenses as well as a higher overall insurance bill.
However, Healthcoin has a revolutionary incentive system that tracks all of a person’s lifestyle choices. As they continue to make good choice, they submit biomarkers (like heart rate, weight, sugar level etc.) to a database run on the blockchain. Healthcoin’s algorithm then calculates the change or improvement in the health of the individual. Based on their improvement, they earn a certain amount of Healthcoins. Healthcoins can be used to decrease insurance costs, recognize achievement and demonstrate improvement with health care providers, friends and family alike.
The key to the innovation is that the results of the progress are stored on the blockchain. The user and Healthcoin have complete control over who has access to the information. That means that the key personnel including doctors, family, insurers and the individual patient will have access in an unbreakable database. The patient may also elect to share the information with friends, an employer, the government or public health organization using the information for research. The data can be uploaded, stored and shared from anywhere in the world but is also completely secure using the blockchain technology.
The incentive structure of the Healthcoin system also creates a strong impetus for the patient to make the right choices to improve their health. Those include exercising, eating right, increased everyday activity and better mental health. With the Healthcoin system, these choices are immediately reflected in biomarkers which are tracked closely. Improvement over time leads to a reduction of medical costs as well as a reduction in the costs the insurer will bill. Patients seeking to reduce their medical costs would be wise to make the healthy choices that reduce the symptoms of diabetes and are reflected in their biomarkers.
Healthcoin’s revolutionary solution and technology are continuing to gain traction. While the firm is still small, its progress may help to tackle the serious problem of diabetes.