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In today’s world, data is everywhere. Our every move, search, message, and purchase, online and off, is tracked to make customized experiences easier to render whether on the go or at home. We’re used to being able to access information, products, and services with the tap of a button.
For all of the data we generate through purchases, mapping, mass transit, and other means, the volume of health data worldwide is expected to surpass the growth of big data overall: surging at a rate of [48% per year to 2.3 exabytes](https://cdn.ey.com/echannel/gl/en/issues/business-environment/2016megatrends/001-056_EY_Megatrends_report.pdf) (2.3 billion gigabytes) by 2020. Aging populations and globalization have set the healthcare industry on an unsustainable trajectory, in the United States and around the world. In the race to provide accessible care at an affordable cost with high quality, healthcare companies new and old alike are heavily dependent on data that can be shared and accessed as easily as our shipping preferences.
And yet, so much about the healthcare space remains opaque and inaccessible: costs and billing procedures are murky at best, data sharing is heavily regulated, but not monitored, and incentive structures between insurers, providers, manufacturers, and pharmaceuticals are misaligned with needs and wants of patients.
Web3 is uniquely positioned to reinvent how healthcare works from the ground up. Blockchain technology can offer more clarity into and accountability for rising costs, more transparency into motivations and actions of different actors in the space. Furthermore, it stands to provide patients with self-sovereign ownership of the most personal and impactful data they’ll ever create.
We are looking for entrepreneurs and builders to design new protocols and financial instruments that support the long-term, global health and wellness of patients, insurers, and medical providers. We leave it to you to design the bold new systems of the future, and offer the following provocations as a place to get started:
- How might we humanize healthcare through incentivization?
- Examples: Reimagine medical situations as positive things to know (i.e. someone caring for their mental health by seeing a therapist) instead of something to be hidden from others, structure medical costs to incentivize “down payments” in health without compromising data capture.
- How might we shed light on healthcare costs, capabilities, and offerings through radical transparency?
- Examples: Helping individual policyholders to evaluate different doctors, surgeons, and hospitals through transparent pricing and clear reputation systems, providing a clear picture of plans in action so policyholders can choose plans that fit their needs, eliminating or reimagining altogether the relationship between patient, healthcare provider, and insurer.
- How might we promote self-sovereignty of the truest nature of identity: health data?
- Examples: Ability to understand and control (including revocation of data) the use of sensitive data in medical studies (DNA, etc), develop a true health reputation for patients, medical providers, and insurers.