This is an opinion editorial by Vishvas Garg, a Ph.D. in pharmacoeconomics, epidemiology, pharmaceutical policy and outcomes research from the University of New Mexico.
In a previous article, I introduced an idea of a new Bitcoin-enabled healthcare system. In this article, I discuss the details of my proposal by using a case example of the private insurance market in the United States. First, I describe the unmet needs in this private insurance market. Then, I discuss the idea of a new bitcoin-enabled, patient-centric health plan structured as a public good and a new electronic health-record system where patients own their data. The Bitcoin network creates an opportunity for patient-centric healthcare.
Patient’s Taking Back Their Data
Of the total data generated in the world, 30% is in healthcare. This data, including the patient’s own medical records, is owned by institutions. This healthcare data sit in silos in disparate health systems, making it difficult to access even by researchers for advancing research and development efforts in healthcare. In any patient-centric healthcare system, patients will own their data.
A Bitcoin-enabled innovative solution can deliver high-quality, equitable, patient-centric healthcare in an affordable manner to millions of Americans.
Satoshi Nakamoto wrote in the Bitcoin white paper, “Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments.”
Insurance providers are financial institutions as well. I believe we can build a new integrated healthcare system that can deliver high-quality, equitable, patient-centric healthcare in an affordable manner.
The purpose of this Bitcoin-based innovative solution should be health empowerment.
We can start building this new system by developing a new electronic health-record (EHR) system based in Web5 and a Bitcoin-enabled health insurance product.
A New EHR System
Healthcare is the practice of data-driven science. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes the factors that influence health into: genetics, behavior, environmental and physical influences, medical care and social.
A traditional EHR contains patients’ medical information such as administrative and billing data, patient demographics, medical histories, medications, labs, etc. Most of this information is only a part of the factors that influence health.
Instead, a new EHR system can be designed to capture data on all factors that influence health. For instance, data can be captured via the healthcare providers, patients, caregivers, wearable devices, travel and food apps. Health can be entered by various parties including the patients, caregivers, wearable devices and the various types of apps such as for diet, weight management, travel, women’s health, etc.
This EHR system will be based in Web5, which is a decentralized web platform that uses bitcoin to revolutionize the commerce of the internet. Within Web5, the decentralized identifiers (DIDs) built on Bitcoin (e.g., via ION) can empower the patients to own their digital identity and secure their own data. The decentralized web nodes…