Health Blocks aims to disrupt the global healthcare system with healthy living DApp
“We've set out to fight against global healthcare inequality and drive a historic leap in the expansion of our healthy lifespan by enabling people to earn while living a healthy lifestyle:" Health Blocks Founder and CEO Rosanne Warmerdam
Technology is advancing at lightning speed. Many —60%, according to a study— agree it is moving at a pace that makes it very difficult to keep up with, while others say it’s progressed so fast governments worldwide don’t understand it enough to regulate it without stifling innovation.
Let’s take fitness gadgets, for example. These are evolving so quickly that this year we could expect to see rings by Oura embedded with sensors that track metrics such as body temperature to predict menstruation cycles accurately. Another tech startup, Movano, has unveiled a similar gadget that sows together data about your heart rate, temperature, and other measures to notify you of potential chronic illnesses.
Apple, Samsung, and other major global and extremely wealthy corporations are also at the forefront of these health gadget innovations. Still, the issue here is that all these smart devices are connected to centralized entities that unscrupulously collect and profit from people’s sensitive health data.
However, Health Blocks, a Dutch startup led by healthcare experts, has set out to resolve this issue. It’s about to launch a first-of-its-kind DApp on the IoTeX blockchain platform that will take this sensitive data from the hands of centralized corporations and return it to its individual owner. Health Blocks will also empower people to live healthier, own their health data and use it how they see fit, including for profit.
“More importantly, we’ve set out to fight against global healthcare inequality and drive a historic leap in the expansion of our healthy lifespan by enabling people to earn while living a healthy lifestyle,” said Health Blocks Founder and CEO Rosanne Warmerdam.
“We are currently in talks with institutions, governments, and big sports brands. We’ve found significant interest from them in participating in our life-changing health project that also focuses significantly on preventative care and is therefore poised to have a global economic impact,” Warmerdam added.
Health Blocks chose to build on IoTeX after meticulous research and due diligence. “It has unparalleled security, scalability, network speeds, and low transaction costs as well as an advanced technology that ensures the interoperability we need,” Warmerdam said.
The fact that without any public announcement over 4,000 people have signed up for the beta launch already is a significant indication of how successful Health Blocks is going to be and the demand there is for healthy lifestyle-enhancing DApps.
The future of healthcare: IoTeX
Nasdaq recently wrote an article entitled “5 Cryptos to Buy for the Future of Healthcare,” among which is IoTeX and for a good reason as it grew exponentially in 2021, setting the stage for even more significant growth in 2022.
“The healthcare industry is already looking to bridge … IoT platforms with their needs,” Nasdaq adds. “IoTeX, with its existing technology for remote monitoring, is a project that stands to help usher in this solution. And thanks to the coin’s price explosion in August 2021, IOTX has grown over 500%, and its market cap reached $1 billion. That makes IoTeX a top pick for this list of cryptos to buy.”
The Consensus Network currently leverages IoTeX’s blockchain technology in healthcare. It is building a cutting-edge health network for the US Navy that will, among a broad number of uses, help monitor the medical condition of its 700,000 sailors and marines in real-time, Cointelegraph reported.
The value of global health data
The amount of data the world population generates is staggering and difficult to put into perspective. Statista estimated that in 2021 globally, we generated and used 74 zettabytes of data, up from 59ZB in 2020 and 51ZB in 2019, to get an idea of how that number is growing annually. Each person, on average, uses and generates a combined total of 1.7MB per second, 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. That is according to a Techjury report on the daily data per person in 2020.
What is the value of that data, and how much of it do we control as individuals? The straight answer is zero, although Health Blocks, IoTeX, and many other blockchain projects will change that via Web3.
In 2017, during a World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, top Indian government official Arvind Gupta posed a similar question after mentioning that back then, global data generated an economic value of around $3 trillion: “Who owns and has the intellectual property rights on that data?”, he so poignantly asked.
The answer is Big Tech: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Even when we think we’re not generating data, we are because Big Tech and other tech firms are spying on us 24/7. They are gathering tons of data they sell for profit. That is why after you talk with your wife or family about a trip to Barbados, as you access your phone or the Internet via your laptop or desktop computer, you get bombarded with travel advertisements. If you happen to mention you want to purchase a new pair of shoes, you “coincidentally” start receiving footwear ads, and so on.
Another good question to ask yourself: How much is that data worth? A McKinsey 2018 report estimates that by 2030, data-fueled applications of AI could generate $13 trillion in value. A different McKinsey report forecasts the machine economy at $12.6 trillion by the start of the next decade with over 100 billion smart devices connected to the web worldwide.
There are currently no two reports that agree on today’s value of global health data. However, Jing Sun, IoTeX’s Head of Investment and Ecosystem, quoted a 36-page 2019 Earnest Young (EY) report that says the UK’s global data alone is worth about $10 billion.
“What is appalling is that the National Health System (NHS) was at one point prepared to hand over that personal health data for free to Amazon without the consent of its rightful owners,” said Sun.
“IoTeX has since 2017 been developing the technology, the infrastructure, and the network of developers to ensure people get back control over their data, not only their health information but all their data. Also, control over their smart devices and the value they generate,” she added.
Sun referred back to the EY study because it points out that each DNA sample is worth nearly $2,000. It combines genomic and phenotypic data from patient records, estimated to cost approximately $1,400 and $7,000 per individual file.
While it’s practically impossible to put a price tag on how much Big Tech and Big Pharma profit from people’s data, people themselves consider that to them, it’s worth an average of $100 a month, according to a survey by Group Solver.
Why Health Blocks will succeed
“Health Blocks proposes a unique live-to-earn model to incentivize people to be healthier while monetizing from their data and the value their devices create,” Warmerdam said.
For decades, international health experts have spoken of preventative care, but nobody anywhere has implemented any strategies.
Warmerdam pointed out that the Health Blocks DApp will disrupt this area by shifting the opportunity for preventative care from governments and medical institutions to individuals.
“Preventative health doesn’t happen in a hospital or doctor’s office, it’s embedded in our daily life and the choices that we make on a daily basis,” said Warmerdam. “As individuals, we can take measures into our hands assisted by smart devices with cutting-edge sensors and decentralized applications that give us control of our health data and give back to us the power to decide how to monetize our personal information.”
How does it work?
“We help people on their journey to discover the value of a healthy lifestyle and health data. With Health Blocks, they will be able to save their health data in one secure place, work on their personal health goals, earn money with their data and, if they want to, contribute to global health research. All this in a privacy-preserving way,” said Warmerdam.
“There will also be activity pools to incentivize people to get active and work on their health and contribute to a good cause. For example, a lifestyle brand like Nike, Adidas, or Patagonia can put up an activity pool of running 10 miles and set a reward for completing the challenge,” she explained. “These pools could also function for environmental causes such as The Ocean Cleanup whereby Health Blocks users completing the activity get rewarded with tokens or a non-fungible token (NFT) that have a monetary value.”
Warmerdam continued explaining. Users will monetize their consumer health data in line with IoTeX’s MachineFi vision by connecting their smart devices such as phones, wearables, smart scales, smart blood glucose monitors, and other intelligent devices gadgets to the MachineFi portal.
“All the data they generate can be contributed in exchange for tokens into the healthcare system. That is a true game-changer,” she said. “With this data, we can move towards personalized care focused on prevention and contribute to a historical leap in health life expectancy.”
Another compelling use case is compiling that data digitally and storing it securely on the IoTeX blockchain. Then, share it with general practitioners so they get a better understanding of your health, she concluded.
Health Blocks is a proper MachineFi driver and one to keep an eye on as more and more genuinely disrupting blockchain projects build their decentralized applications on IoTeX, one of the highest-ranking protocols in terms of security and one of the fastest-growing in the blockchain industry.