Healthcare in major need of disruption

If Bitcoin taught us anything it’s that any industry can be disrupted in the blink of an eye from places one might not suspect.  There are tons of industries ripe for disruption but we’re going to focus on one in particular: Healthcare. 


Healthcare varies from country to country but I can tell you that in the US it’s very archaic.  And it’s ironic, because foreigners will travel here to have surgeries and other major medical procedures done.  When you walk into a doctors office in USA, the most high tech thing you see is the security cameras and sometimes fancy door locks.  They will hand you paper, pen, and a hard board to fill out paperwork on! 


You only have to do this once, but anyway it’s ridiculous.  You would think that in today’s day and age there would be an automated solution for this.  Well, at least one company is working on building a Blockchain solution for the Healthcare industry, and it’s called Medilot. 


Some of the niches that Blockchain fills seem to be so obvious no one thought of it before.  However, there is always a prime mover – a first.  Let me tell you more ridiculous things about the medical system in USA.  If you move to another state – you have to FAX or MAIL your medical records to the new state!  There is no electronic format for exchanging records.  I know, it’s ridiculous.  You can’t make this up.  And what’s really ridiculous, you have to fill out a paper power of attorney to allow the doctor’s office to mail records to the new doctor, because it’s private information.  In the actual doctors offices you can see shelves upon shelves of these paper records.  Often I wonder if future generations will house these papers in museums as relics of how humans lived during this time.


In any event, while waiting in the office I always envision a day when you can scan your data via Blockchain powered system by phone app and immediately and securely transfer your confidential medical records to the new office.  Not only there are huge efficiencies that are captured but it’s more secure as well.  Like with any new technology the question is going to be “Why didn’t we do this before?” 


Well the answer is control by the status quo.  Anytime a new technology disrupts a market the establishment that controls any industry can be threatened.  In other words, there is no financial incentive for Big Pharma or Big Healthcare to change the current paper pushing system, just like the banks have no incentive to have Crypto overtake fiat currencies as a new form of medium.  So this is the answer to many ‘conspiracy theories’ that claim big industry attempts to ruin startup disruptive enterprises.  It can be true but generally the answer to this is that there is a common motive between the entrenched industries and its participants.  In the case of healthcare, there is a bureaucracy that manages mountains of papers between insurance companies, doctors’ offices, testing facilities, and other participants down the chain. 


There are many parts to the entire business flow of the Healthcare industry and an electronic solution could provide a solution to them all. Already, reports have started to surface about the cracks in existing Healthcare model, such as LabCorp providing false tests under the auspices of being a ‘certified’ company.


The reason for this can only be one – there simply aren’t enough startups trying to disrupt this industry, until now.  One thing we can credit Bitcoin for is that it woke up the world to the real possibility of change.  Disruption happens naturally but with Blockchain it seems that the pace of disruption has been accelerated.  The ride sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft, Grab, and others have shown how the taxi industry was ripe for disruption.  Next down the line we are seeing We Work, Knotel, and others disrupting the traditional hotel and office rent concept.


Many of these innovative disruptors will fail, or be bought by other companies.  No one knows which company will be the “Microsoft” of these industries.  But one thing is clear – all of these companies are changing the way we work and live, and are having a substantial impact on life on Planet Earth, for the better.