NFT In Healthcare
Using NFTs in healthcare settings will simplify the process of archiving patients’ data on a global scale and enable patients to control their data.
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs were first minted in 2014 and became especially popular in 2020. While cryptocurrencies are used as a form of money or digital asset, NFTs are intended to be the equivalent of a certificate of authenticity. They permit one to own a portion of a digital representation of a tangible asset.
NFT sales reached an estimated 3 billion in the first part of 2021 alone as everything from works of digital art, and music, to bits of video, were exchanged with NFTs.
The advantages of NFTs can be seen in the entertainment industry, and the same framework can be applied in the world of healthcare. Your health data, pharmaceutical drugs, and elements of the human composition such as blood can be represented by NFTs.
NFTs provides a unique opportunity for patients to control their health data rather than allowing firms to benefit from it, as has been the case in the past.
Key NFT Use-Cases in Healthcare
NFTs can be huge in the Healthcare industry. Here are a few of the multiple potential use-cases of NFTs:
1. Lifetime Medical Record
In the U.S. healthcare ecosystem, there has never been any technology to consolidate a person’s slew of medical records into a master document safely and efficiently share between the relevant caregivers. There was no solution for such record custody, updating, and maintenance, either.
It is notoriously difficult for operators and patients to access sensitive health data as it is scattered across platforms. In fact, over $1.2B clinical documents are produced in the US every year, yet 80% of that data is unstructured or locked away. Moreover, Americans spend over $750B every year on unnecessary or redundant treatments, many of which stem from misdiagnosis and poor data management.
NFTs can solve these problems by giving the power of medical records back to the patient and streamlining the healthcare experience. NFTs would enable primary care physicians to exchange real-time updates with other healthcare specialists, allowing for easier collaboration and more patient-centric care.
In addition, they could allow patients to access medical test results as soon as they’re available, along with access to their complicated (and many times disparate) medical histories instantly and easily, without having to spend time and energy explaining their history to doctor after doctor. All sensitive and critical information would exist in a patient’s medical “passport” that’s secure and accurate.
2. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
NFTs and blockchain can help in the battle against counterfeit pharmaceuticals by streamlining the authentication process. NFTs create digital footprints or a “token ID” that stays with an object for the duration of its existence. The uniqueness of each NFT is specifically defined by the information stored within the NFT’s metadata – pointing to valuable digital resources that are updated in real-time on the blockchain. NFTs create an immutable ledger record, reducing and potentially eliminating discrepancies and outright fraud.
In the case of pharmaceuticals, NFTs may safeguard and speed the tracking process, enabling the immediate identification of errors. Nowadays, several pharmaceutical companies use the MediLedger database to connect with trading partners and validate their products. MediLedger is a blockchain-based network that enables pharmaceutical companies to store product data in a single database that is available to all trading partners.
3. Blood Donations
NFTs can also be used for the tracking and management of blood donations. Blood donors are given a unique token that is then tracked throughout the system. From the time the blood is delivered to the hospital, via the blood bank, and to its intended recipient, NFTs can be an integral part of the tracking process. The blood is then recorded in a digital “blood bank” by its NFT, where the demand for specific blood types may be tracked via a blockchain system and distributed to where it is most required.
For example, BloodChain is a blockchain-based biological product tracing company that uses NFTs to minimize bottlenecks in the supply chain of biological products such as blood donations. Anybody can give blood through the BloodChain network as it is considered an “open social blood bank”. Individuals can safely register their blood types in a distributed blood bank that can satisfy supply and demand in real-time using BloodChain.
4. Fitness and Health Data
Wearables, at-home fitness equipment, and other health tracking devices gain popularity and widespread acceptance Many people question how to utilize health data efficiently while managing it safely. Seeing an opportunity, entrepreneurs are leveraging NFTs as a method to decentralize data collection, maximize access, and give patients back control of their health records.
For example, NFT minting firm Enjin recently partnered with digital health platform Health Hero to create a health tracking app Go! Where users can create a ‘Well-being NFT’ tokenizing Individual activity and wellness data collected from popular applications like Apple Health, Google Fit, and Fitbit, to make them more secure and traceable.
The growth of personal and health data is creating an immediate need to manage the data effectively, while also maintaining autonomy and security. The need to track and control medical and pharmaceutical devices is becoming increasingly vital as the globalization of healthcare continues to accelerate. All of these factors and more make an ideal environment for NFTs to solve such problems and improve patient experiences across the healthcare industry.
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