Healthcare & Cryptocurrency: How Do They Work Together?

Cryptocurrency and Healthcare

Photo Attribution: VLADGRIN/Shutterstock.com

Mentioning cryptocurrency and healthcare in the same sentence might make some scratch their heads. They seem like two completely different entities without any relation to one another. However, there is a correlation between the two, as cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, can be used to make purchases or entice service within the healthcare industry. Like blockchain, cryptocurrency is not managed by a central authority, making its ease of use one of its most attractive benefits. 

Continue reading as we dive into the specifics of how cryptocurrency and healthcare work together. 

What is Healthcare Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a decentralized technology that lives on software platforms. It is digital tokens or cash used to simplify online transactions. Where there is talk of cryptocurrency, there is talk of blockchain. That is because blockchain technology is what facilitates cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrency is a large market - according to CoinMarketCap, there were over 11 thousand cryptos as of Q3 2021, with that number continuing to grow. 

Cryptocurrency is industry-specific, with some being specific to healthcare. In Q3, 2021, there were approximately 20 medical crypto variations available to purchase and spend. Stakeholders, like patients and providers, can make quick, secure, and borderless industry-related purchases. Cryptocurrency can also monetize items within the industry. For example, a manufacturer can monetize a drug, or a researcher can look to purchase PHI. Instead of dealing with cash, credit card, or wire transfers, cryptocurrency provides a more secure form of payment. 

How Does Blockchain Make This Possible?

Blockchain plays a vital role in the medical crypto field and the function of cryptocurrency in general. Even though they are two different technologies, they are still closely related. Initially, blockchain systems housed all cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchain is preferred because it is a decentralized technology. In other words, there is no middleman like a bank. These institutions often take a cut of proceeds per transaction, so bypassing them can mean more money for an end-user. Blockchain continues to be used to conduct cryptocurrency-related business like the transfer of funds and trade settlements. It provides users with transaction records as well as a secure and discreet pathway to conduct business.

How Can Patients, Providers and Others in the Field Use Medical Cryptocurrency?

We know cryptocurrency can be used to monetize items within healthcare and incentivize people to use services. We know that it can be used by a variety of stakeholders, but we may not know the exact purpose. Let's get a better idea of some simple scenarios below. 

Families of patients - Where accepted, this group can use cryptocurrency to book overnight stays near a medical facility and order additional services if they are not covered by insurance. This is helpful for patients who need family to securely manage aspects of care on their behalf

Pharmacy - A pharmacy can offer the option to pay for medication via cryptocurrency. It is an added layer of security for all parties at the till

Prospective patients - Looking to see a healthcare provider? Cryptocurrency could be used to pay for a consultation. It might also be used as a reward system for regularly attending appointments. For example, complete two yearly physicals, receive 20 medical cryptos towards your next appointment fee

Researchers - Those studying a particular area of healthcare might offer cryptocurrency in exchange for an individual's PHI. Therefore, medical crypto can be used as an incentive

Basically, any product or service that requires payment can be done via cryptocurrency. The more people within the healthcare industry that offer and use cryptocurrency, the more valuable medical crypto will become. 

Best Healthcare Cryptocurrency Companies 

Each healthcare cryptocurrency may not be equal to the next.  They can serve unique purposes based on the specific industry segment that they inhabit. Let's take a look at some of the top medical cryptocurrency denominations available in the market, and made possible by blockchain. 

Dentacoin - Dental care can be expensive, especially for those who do not have coverage. The cost can deter regular visits, and the lack of care can cause health issues later on. Dentacoin, a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, was created to support low and middle-class individuals with paying for dental service. Patients who undergo regularly scheduled appointments will earn "free coins" for use towards future service. Therefore it can be used to both pay for service and incentivize future service

EncrypGen - This cryptocurrency aims to make DNA available for research towards solutions for genetic diseases. People can supply DNA and get paid with EncrypGen. Concerned about your data? Not to worry, DNA is cleared of all personal identifiers and stored on a secure blockchain 

Clinicoin - Getting active and staying active is one of the best ways to remain healthy and avoid certain health complications. Clinicoin promotes physical activity through its app and offers tokens to users who log their activity. In exchange, Clinicoin shares the data collected with healthcare professionals and researchers

Solve - This one is straightforward. It is your prototypical cryptocurrency used to pay for the administration of healthcare. It also allows family members or providers to manage healthcare spending for those who cannot manage it on their own

MediBloc - This cryptocurrency is designed to promote the digitization of PHI. Paper is easily misplaced, and digitizing those records can ensure they remain safe and accessible. With MediBloc, a patient uploads PHI to a secure blockchain. Medical professionals and researchers can then purchase this data using cryptocurrency. So, patients get a secure location to store, view and share PHI, while those working in the healthcare field have a place to purchase useful data (without personal identifiers)

Bitcoin in Healthcare?  The Future of Medical Based Cryptocurrency

The medical cryptocurrency field continues to grow. Cryptocurrencies are often secure and offer benefits to most stakeholders, including patients and providers. They can be used to purchase services and medication or incentivize more regular visits to a healthcare provider. Researchers can also use cryptocurrency to purchase PHI to study solutions for illnesses. Medical crypto is not always a universal coin for all treatments and services related to healthcare. Most coins are only valid for certain market segments like dental care or even the promotion of physical activity. So, if you are interested in purchasing cryptocurrency to use in the field, be sure it meets your use case scenarios. 

Medical crypto is secure, effective, and becoming more widely available across all healthcare segments.

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