There has been a great deal of media attention regarding the U.S. healthcare system and its continuing struggles post-Obamacare.
Saddled with soaring costs, inconsistencies in medical care and patient access barriers, consumers face major obstacles when seeking quality, affordable health services.
Healthcare is a highly regulated and complex business, which makes identifying viable solutions challenging. Moreover, insurance companies and other industry players often pursue their own interests to the detriment of the individual patient. The average, everyday consumer therefore has little or no sway in terms of personal accountability or “skin in the game” in regard to managing their own health.
One solution that continues to be bantered about involves a free-market model, one that relieves consumers of unnecessary administrative burdens so that they have the freedom to make better choices in terms of their care and the costs associated with it.
At the epicenter of this theme is a blockchain-centric project that aims to reshape the healthcare landscape for both health service providers and individuals utilizing a free-market, self-directed approach. Universal Health Coin (UHC), as it is known, is a public benefit corporation in the throes of launching an anonymous, token-based healthcare system that employs blockchain technology to arbitrage, decentralize, fund and provision the fair payment of health services worldwide.
UHC hopes to achieve this by leveraging artificial intelligence across a distributed network, capitalizing on the explosive growth trajectory of cryptocurrency as a store of value. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will be used to create a direct personal and financial relationship between a UHC consumer and their health service provider.
By doing this, UHC eliminates third-party intermediaries who bog down the healthcare delivery process, wasting critical dollars that could be redirected to more effective medical options. A trusted personal relationship between doctor and patient using machine learning and artificial intelligence is therefore established via the UHC.
Here’s a brief synopsis of how this model will work: A UHC wallet is created and funded through monthly contributions by the healthcare consumer for payments of future health services. The wallet and value of the coins will be tied to the price of the cryptocurrency NEO.
UHC calculates cash payments by employing a distributed ledger system tied to proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence embedded within. So, when a patient seeks care, it is validated as a Health Care Event (HCE) before being converted onto the NEO blockchain in real-time to pay health service providers through the use of smart contracts. This, in turn, covers the health expenses of those using UHC.
Health service providers are then paid at a negotiated cash price that’s built into a blockchain smart contract.
Despite its promise, UHC would be a massive undertaking amid a highly complex and convoluted healthcare environment replete with silos, disconnections and massive interoperability challenges. Nevertheless, this project deserves a deep look as an option for repurposing the prevailing health system model that’s highly restrictive and needs to be reinvented for the future.
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