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Tech.Thoughts: Leveraging Web3 to create accessible Global Healthcare

By James Norman

Global healthcare can be very complicated, and depending on where you live, how much money you have, and even who you work for, can impact the care you receive. It’s commonplace to have mergers, acquisitions, and large-scale contract awards that add complexity to companies that are already siloed and generate access to data unknowingly by the patient. These structures are hard for patients to navigate as well receive personalized care. At the center of this is data. Who has access to patient data and how it’s leveraged to create a cohesive patient journey is the key to providing expectational, differentiated experiences. Technology innovation through Web3 is transforming how healthcare organizations will determine who gets access, how it’s utilized in the care journey, and create global accessibility to care where it hasn’t existed previously. 

Healthcare organizations around the world today are built to centralize data* gathered across all aspects of care. This allows for a view into areas like patient demographic data, care facilities, treatment plans, and clinical trials. Centralizing data makes health companies more efficient, provide better care, and oftentimes profitable. Many of these organizations have matured to leverage technical advancements to continue to collect data in new, more personal ways like connected devices, genetic testing, laboratory tests, AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning) and much more.

* Data in this context is referencing HIPPA compliant care data that has been authorized by a patient and provided to a care facility. 

While having a centralized, cohesive view into aggregate data is a good thing for driving innovation and product development, it can be difficult in day-to-day practice with individualized patient data. Both, healthcare organizations and patients, have their own struggles when it comes to accessing and managing their electronic medical record (EMR). For example, when you begin seeing a new Doctor and your medical history is sitting with the old provider, how simple is it for the providers to exchange your EMR data? Can they exchange all or some of it? How long will that take, and what if my condition is urgent?  

Enter in Web3 and the underpinning blockchain technology that fundamentally changes the landscape for data and its collection. Web3 makes both aggerate as well as individualized data easier to access by leveraging blockchain based tokens. Its highly secure and will only be available to those that are provided access to your data – making that new doctor switch seamless. 

Web3 also offers a big step forward in creating accessibility in healthcare on a global scale. This Web3 approach to individualized data empowers the patient to seek the care they need, wherever it may be. The care is now at the patients’ fingertips with virtual physician visits, mail order prescription services, options to use benefits from government or private health plans, and simplified payment done at your approval with zero latency. This approach can be life changing for folks in remote communities that may not have specialists available nearby. 

Secure, token-based patient data also brings a renewed focus on best practices in healthcare and simplifies how patients, and their families, can interact with their personalized health plans. As mentioned above, individuals now have the option for where to seek out care, but it also can have a profound impact on how care plans are advanced and recommended by providers. Examples include:

  • Connecting patients and their families with similar healthcare needs
  • Multigenerational caregivers can easily leverage and care for their family members
  • Physicians can offer second opinions on diagnosis
  • Providers can collaborate on care management

The blockchain technology powering Web3 has become more common in highly regulated industries, like financial services, and allows companies of all sizes to invest in solutions that bring more transparency and accuracy. As Web3 enables us to innovate the way we approach and architect our solutions, it will extend to logical use cases for healthcare. 

Web3 technology adoption in healthcare will be transformational and have significant impacts. This includes improving data management as a foundational building block to move beyond today’s organizational EMR silos to interoperable, patient-owned, immutable records at a global scale. It will also streamline the ability of health providers to put a patient-first approach to tailoring their care plans. Ultimately, it will put healthcare companies’ focus on people and their care first, no matter where they are across the globe. 


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