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Healthcare: A trillion dollar opportunity for blockchain?

The global healthcare industry spends $8.8 trillion annually, $3.8 trillion of which is accounted for by the US.

Most healthcare activity is multi-party, complex, and expensive, leading to increased costs for all parties involved, extra administrative tasks, more fraud, and even surges in illnesses across populations due to avoidance of healthcare systems. A lack of trust in healthcare systems is another major issue pervading many countries across the globe.

Healthcare systems suffering from these symptoms are built with a silo mentality with only a small window through which patients and doctors are allowed to peer in. A systematically flawed system such as this requires the embracement of innovative technology to achieve cohesive coordination between all stakeholders involved in the provision of care, benefits administration, and payments services, leading to heightened levels of trust and improvement in the standard of care.

Complex data management and payment systems 

Information asymmetry is one of the root causes of many of the issues facing healthcare systems today. Healthcare providers’ disputes and frustrations are often caused by various prevalent issues with processes, most notably, data management, consent management, and compliance with administrative and clinical protocols.

The administrative burdens that are being placed on healthcare providers cannot continue to stand in the way of providing effective and efficient healthcare in the twenty-first century. Modern healthcare systems are missing something fundamental, which is the ability to establish and maintain a trusted relationship with key stakeholders. What is needed is a fundamental shift in the way how healthcare is approached.

Data management, consent management, and administrative management are essential to all healthcare transactions, and blockchain addresses each of these pertinent issues while also facilitating their automation.

Blockchain allows for the building of interoperability around the patient, which empowers patients to be self-sovereign, ensuring that all their medical data is decentralized and solely in the control of the patient. This is the paradigm shift that is required, especially if we are to improve the healthcare system. 

By utilizing digital currencies in healthcare, practitioners and hospital administrators can easily track and audit patient transactions on the ledger, creating a transparent and secure payment system. Even with blockchain technology, the healthcare industry will not achieve an equilibrium of efficiency by investing in the old paradigm. Instead, all key stakeholders, from healthcare providers and patients to insurers, must establish trusted relationships if a system is to achieve true efficiency. Blockchain can be utilized to establish trust between these parties, and ensure the future prosperity of the industry as a whole, with the patient right at the center.

Building trust between stakeholders 

Patient-centric care models are essential to the success of any healthcare system. Using a full stack blockchain platform, Solve.Care is fundamentally changing the way in which healthcare is administered, coordinated, and paid for. On this platform, different healthcare networks can be built to create a healthcare ecosystem to serve the various needs of patients.

Using Care.Protocol, a simple but powerful tool that enables anyone to easily and rapidly define and publish decentralized healthcare applications (dApps) that are interoperable, secure, and personalized on the platform, at 1/10th the cost compared to traditional systems.

Solve.Care ensures patients, doctors, and those who are responsible for managing the payment of healthcare can collaborate effectively along three core business pillars:

  1. Effective Coordination of Benefits – Enabling seamless interactions between stakeholders (patients, healthcare providers and insurers) regarding the eligibility of care, payment plans, and timely reimbursements.
  2. Effective Care Coordination – Minimizing administrative frictions surrounding care management, enabling interoperability and improving clinical outcomes.
  3. Effective Payment Coordination – Providing pricing transparency and immediate payments, and eliminating waste and overbilling, through the use of a programable digital token.

The future of healthcare is decentralized, autonomous, and tokenized

The incorporation of digital currencies and blockchain technology dramatically changes the way in which we engage with healthcare services, from consultation to payment of services and prescriptions. By incorporating blockchain technology, we will benefit from the enhanced transparency and security of transactions made within the healthcare system. It will improve the efficiency of the system for all stakeholders. But most importantly, the patient must at the center where we build interoperability. 

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that holds the power to establish relationships that are transparent in terms of the rules of the relationship, but private in terms of the content of the relationship. Blockchain technology minimizes the amount of trust required from any single actor in the system by distributing trust among different actors within the system, resulting in no single actor holding authority over transactions. Solve.Care has built a platform that utilizes blockchain’s functional and contextual capabilities, that anyone involved in the provision of healthcare can use.

SOLVE is Solve.Care’s utility token which tokenizes transaction costs and payments on the platform. By decentralizing and tokenizing all healthcare transactions, from identity, payments, consents, to interoperability, healthcare systems can reach full efficiency across care coordination, benefit coordination, and payment coordination.

Utilizing this technology can reduce healthcare costs in a number of ways, but it also makes the administrative, care delivery, and payment processes far more transparent. We can also eliminate many time-consuming processes and provide each party with the capacity to carry out the main functions of their role, providing a standard of care that is worthy of the price tag.

If the healthcare industry does not embrace the technological innovation that it so desperately requires, the provision of healthcare globally will become even more unsustainable. Now is the time to ensure that our industry steps up to the mark and secures its own future, before it’s too late. 

Guest post by Pradeep Goel from Solve.Care

Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care, has extensive expertise in blockchain, finance, technology and healthcare. He has been in the CEO, COO, CIO and CTO roles at various insurance, technology and healthcare companies over the last 30+ years. Pradeep was deeply involved in designing and building solutions for public programs such as Medicaid eligibility and enrollment, children health insurance program administration, Medicare claims, SNAP/TANF administration and payments, child Welfare program administration, and many others. Pradeep worked with the healthcare initiatives of the both the Bush and Obama administration to design and build several public program solutions under the Health Savings Act and Affordable Care Act.   Prior to founding Solve.Care, Pradeep built 4 healthcare IT companies and has been at the top of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, INC500/5000 fastest growing companies lists multiple times. Pradeep was included in the 100 most promising entrepreneurs globally, compiled by Goldman Sachs.

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