Source: iStock / Savushkin
Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care , a blockchain-powered platform for healthcare benefits administration and payments.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent growth of the decentralized finance (DeFi) market could be a game changer for the healthcare industry. Let’s explore several examples.
1. Medical devices
When it comes to financing and leasing medical devices, no one currently offers a global solution, not government agencies, banks or insurers. As healthcare systems around the world struggle to cope with the challenges inflicted and exacerbated as a result of COVID-19, it is clear that there is a real need to change the process around medical equipment leasing and financing.
Telehealth and virtual care are fast becoming the most attractive way to access health care, both as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing landscape of health care. Patient devices include gadgets like blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, oximeters, scales, and even thermometers. Distributing 4G medical devices for remote patient monitoring provides chronic disease patients with the equipment they need to monitor their health. This makes it easy to bring administrators, physicians, and patients together in an efficient and trust-minimized manner. By financing medical device leasing through decentralized solutions, we can deliver better patient outcomes and promote transparency.
Professional devices such as X-ray machines, CT scans, MRIs, and even specialized medical furniture are also needed. This is evident through the sustained growth of community clinics, remote diagnostic laboratories, and fully automated diagnostic centers, all of which must be funded. Identifying a device financing solution that is global and easily accessible to both physicians and patients can be accomplished using DeFi.
2. Greater variety of SMEs
Accessibility to finance acts as a major barrier to entry for many of the smaller players in the market. As in many other industries, professional equipment financing is available in abundance to larger equipment manufacturers, often due to economies of scale; however, the same opportunities are not offered to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This results in a diminishing participation of SMEs in the market, which reduces the variety for customers and generally weakens competition in the industry. Smaller manufacturers could offer revised financing options to their customers through decentralized financing, further reducing the bottom line for customers and increasing the availability of access to affordable sanitary equipment for customers and indeed facilities. sanitary.
While DeFi presents a huge market opportunity for healthcare solutions, little has been said to date of the integration of the two, despite the enormous potential for the healthcare industry. Right now, community service providers are in dire need of increased cash flow financing. First they have the need to serve the population, then they bill the government and wait for payment, which can take up to 180 days. In this way, they end up paying an exorbitant price if financing is available. Since traditional finance does not continually meet the needs of stakeholders within the healthcare industry, using decentralized finance to democratize healthcare will provide better outcomes for patients and promote transparency within the industry. There are more forms of user participation and they have more autonomy in projects. Users can participate by betting tokens and voting in the community vote.
The health insurance sector is controversial in many parts of the world and contributes greatly to inequality in access to care. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) using DeFi for healthcare have the potential to democratize healthcare by putting power in the hands of the community.
Basing health insurance practices on a DeFi model creates a new realm of possibilities within the healthcare industry that will benefit all stakeholders, from patients, physicians, governments, and care organizations. For example, physicians could create an asset pool to fund a malpractice insurance model specifically for their needs, or similarly, patients themselves could create a global insurance pool, cutting out the middlemen. In many cases, it is these intermediaries that generate high costs and delays in waiting times for treatment. So by basing health insurance on a DeFi model, we can make the health care that people need more affordable, accessible, and equal.
Applying DeFi across the healthcare industry will ultimately benefit patients, physicians, and care organizations. There is a lack of funding in the area of consumer and faculty medicine devices, medical research, and medical malpractice insurance, which collectively pose great challenges to the healthcare industry and result in poor patient care.
DAOs using DeFi for healthcare have the potential to democratize healthcare by putting the power in the hands of the community to select and fund deserving projects that create value for communities and generate sustainable returns in a highly transparent way. Their goal is to deliver innovative financing solutions for worthy healthcare projects, while improving healthcare access and effectiveness at a time when it’s needed more than ever.
5. Funding for research and drug discovery
DeFi offers a great opportunity when it comes to supporting drug discovery and research funding. Many diseases fall by the wayside when it comes to prescriptions and available research. In many cases, some diseases are so rare that research into potential treatments is considered uneconomical and companies cannot justify the cost. These diseases, called orphan diseases, can benefit from global and community funding through the same DAOs that use DeFi for the health care mentioned above. These DAOs can provide the families and loved ones of people affected by these orphan diseases the opportunity to participate in research funding and, more importantly, to make their own project proposals. Furthermore, not only research, but also funding for much-needed distribution of prescription drugs and vaccines can benefit from the DAOs themselves.
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