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Healthcare

Healthcare is a fundamental human good because it affects our opportunity to pursue life goals, reduces our pain and suffering, helps prevent premature loss of life, and provides information needed to plan for our lives. Society has an obligation to make access to an adequate level of care available to all its members, regardless of ability to pay.

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Healthcare

Healthcare technology has come a long way over the last century, but there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to issues such as the management of patients and medical research information. From rewarding patients for getting regular checkups to facilitating data collection and retrieval, Analog can help medical professionals save lives.

Problems

  • As individuals age or encounter increasing or more complex health issues, they may be faced with notable administrative challenges.
  • Given the importance of medical history in determining health outlook, this creates inefficiencies for both the insurer and individuals.
  • Researchers may be able to gain access to medical records on a specific disease, but may lack either timing information on this data or other potentially pertinent inputs such as time-bound lifestyle factors.

Problem

Despite being a major global industry that touches all of our lives, healthcare is rife with inefficiencies relating to a lack of coordinated time-stamped data. These impact stakeholders as diverse as individuals, insurance providers, researchers and corporations.

Individuals

As individuals age or encounter increasing or more complex health issues, they may be faced with notable administrative challenges. These cover a wide range of topics, from scheduling of checkups, adherence to medication timings and access to a dated record of all vaccinations or other medical history. Where oversights are made, the costs to health, finances and convenience can be significant.

Insurance

Health insurance premiums are determined by actuarial estimates of the health of an individual. These estimates are typically inclusive of an algorithmic assessment of demographic data such as age, gender, location and family size, but usually do not take into account a detailed medical history of the individual. Given the importance of medical history in determining health outlook, this creates inefficiencies for both the insurer and individuals.

For example, healthy people will pay higher premiums than they potentially should do, as their costs are based on an assessment of the ‘average’ of their demographic. If they are more healthy than this average, they are effectively penalized and thus subsidize the less healthy. Furthermore, insurance companies lose out by offering insurance to individuals whose medical history may suggest very high medical costs in the future and who would be statistically loss-making.

Research

When medical researchers study the onset and progression of disease, they may make use of data correlations and other associations to draw conclusions into prognoses and risk/mitigating factors. It is common for academic access to medical data to be incomplete or limited. For example, researchers may be able to gain access to medical records on a specific disease, but may lack either timing information on this data or other potentially pertinent inputs such as time-bound lifestyle factors of the individuals whose data is being accessed. This places limitations on the scope of the statistical analysis available on accessed data sets, and therefore affects the breadth of conclusions or associations to research further.

Corporate

Legal disputes surrounding negative healthcare outcomes are relatively common. Assessments of culpability and liability need to take into account a holistic view of whether a medical protocol was sufficient and whether this protocol was followed correctly. In other words, an overview of who did what and when. Currently, the recording of certain actions may be incomplete or there may be disputes over which parties performed which action at what time.

Medical care often requires interconnected scheduling between disparate entities. For example, a certain test result may require follow-up from one or more specialists at other healthcare providers. If these follow-ups need to be booked manually, this could result in scheduling conflicts. Typically, healthcare companies would not be in sync regarding availability of appointments.

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Solutions

  • Individuals and healthcare providers could be incentivized through ANLOG rewards to opt in to the submission of medical records to the Timegraph.
  • Over time, the dynamic described above should result in many individuals' medical histories being bound to the Timegraph.
  • As more individuals submit their medical history to the Timegraph, they may also be incentivized to submit lifestyle data.

Solution

Individuals

Individuals and healthcare providers could be incentivized through ANLOG rewards to opt in to the submission of medical records to the Timegraph. Analog’s mobile API could then be utilized to compile a user-friendly interface from which an individual could access a timeline of upcoming medical obligations. Notifications could also be sent to the user’s phone or linked email address. These factors should significantly reduce the probability of missed appointments or medications. Furthermore, it could provide a collated medical history that would save time in the future should the individual ever need to access or review their records.

Insurance

Over time, the dynamic described above should result in many individual’s medical histories being bound to the Timegraph. Should these individuals elect to opt-in, the Timegraph could therefore be utilized to offer personalized health insurance premiums that take into account specific histories as opposed to generic demographic data. This offers immediate benefit to both the individual and insurance company on a case-by-case basis, and over the longer term would result in more accurate actuarial assumptions being employed by insurers.

It should be noted that the legalities of insurers requesting or accessing medical data differs notably by jurisdiction, and the feasibility of the above solution would be dependent both on location and sufficient individuals opting in to the scheme.

Research

As more individuals submit their medical history to the Timegraph, they may also be incentivized to submit lifestyle data such as sleep patterns, dietary intake, nutritional supplementation, frequency of social interactions, etc. The searchable nature of the Timegraph thus allows health researchers to compile medical databases with a more complete set of variables. This in turn facilitates more comprehensive regression analyses which may identify variables previously not considered or thought to be relevant. This has the likely outcome of deepening our understanding of both how certain diseases are interrelated and the risk and mitigating factors that may exist in our lifestyles.

Corporate

Given the prevalence of legal disputes and the financial ramifications of lawsuits, it is probable that healthcare providers could be incentivized to submit time-stamped data of all steps taken in a given medical procedure. This data could then be organized on-chain to serve as an objective record of who did what and when, thus providing reliable evidence of whether medical protocols were adequately followed in the event of a dispute. This would both reduce legal claims and ensure a just outcome where claims do arise.

Third-party and unconnected healthcare providers could be linked through Analog’s API to create a synchronized scheduling system. For example, if a diagnostic provider performed a test that necessitated a follow-up with a cardiologist, this test could be automatically submitted to the Timegraph. Once confirmed on-chain, the client could then view on the API a listing of all nearby cardiologists with availability, along with the functionality to book an appointment immediately.

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Education

Universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most cutting-edge research, and are places where tardiness is heavily frowned upon. In the fields of education and research, it’s paramount for people to show up on time. From exam dates and essay submissions to project and admission deadlines, Analog’s incentivized systems help the students of the world finally become the masters.

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Finance

Time is money, and businesses run most efficiently when people pay their bills on time. Analog enables the more seamless functioning of markets using time data from a decentralized, trustless network. Through smart contracts, Analog can even support financial applications to facilitate the creation of decentralized lending systems and incentivized staking and liquidity pools.

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Environment

In recent decades, the extent of civilizations’ impact on the environment has become both more prominent and better understood. With issues such as climate change, water quality and air pollution requiring global commitment to address, there has never been a greater need for a coordinating mechanism to focus our efforts. By improving accountablity, Analog can further our progress towards ambitious environmental goals.

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