#DiedSuddenly and #Unvaccinated were trending this last week on twitter. Where people stand and how they feel about the topic is irrelevant to this article. What is relevant, is the question of freedom? As trust erodes in government recommendations, regulations, and mandates following Covid-19, one logical step is freedom of healthcare.
Healthcare in America is bogged down by rules, initiatives, and a herd mentality that, in the eyes of some, failed the people. Many are questioning the roles that politicians have in their healthcare but 34.8% of Americans have publicly funded health insurance. Others have health insurance that is private and typically bound to employment. Freedom seems to be something the public needs to give up in order to have adequate health insurance.
So what does Web3 and blockchain technology have to do with healthcare?
A quick look at Web2 and healthcare provides a background. Web2 healthcare tech led to platforms that connect patients with doctors, telehealth programs, nutritional forums, and fitness education. Still, these became educational tools and while immensely helpful, they did not necessarily give control of healthcare decisions back to the people. In fact, many doctors cringe when patients come in with a list of health problems found on google.
Another downside of Web2 and healthcare is the tracking. Nothing is anonymous online. Try googling a medical problem and Facebook will show you ten cures in ads next time you log in.
Web3 and Decentralization
Web3 is meant to be built on decentralization. Centralized platforms have shown us that is not always the case, but the fundamentals still exist. Healthcare is one of those industries that should not have a centralized government agency calling the shots. Healthcare decisions are personal and require a professional and a patient, not a politician or a village.
Blockchain technology and Web3 is open-source. What that means to the general public, is the people that participate in a platform can decide to participate or opt out. In the real world, if a person opts out of healthcare they are forced to pay cash. The cost of healthcare makes this a prohibitive choice.
If Web3 took over healthcare, options could potentially abound. Options are what drive the competitive nature in industries – and centralized involvement seems to only seek to limit our options. Blockchain uses distributed ledgers, which provides an unchangeable record. Since health records are a crucial part of healthcare, the application possibilities are endless.
The potential to give people the power of holding their health records in the palm of their hand opens them up to options that did not exist before. Not only could it limit access from outsiders trying to access your information, but it makes your health history portable providing the freedom to switch healthcare providers at whim.
Not only does record control pass to the patient, but the freedom of choice could pass to the patient as well. What if control of healthcare access was taken away from employers and government officials and given back to the people? Quality of care could potentially increase, and quality of life could take on a whole new meaning. Decentralization does not just apply to money. There are many industries that could use a healthy dose of it. And healthcare may just be one of them.
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