MintHealth launches blockchain-driven mobile health records platform

By Dave Muoio
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MintHealth has announced the launch of its self-sovereign health record platform here at the Connected Health Conference in Boston. Powered by blockchain technology, the service allows patients to access their health records in real-time through a mobile or web app, and features a specialized digital currency as an incentive for preferred patient behaviors.

“Blockchain is a buzzword that’s catching a lot of attention, but is far from being hype,” Dr. Samir Damani, CEO of MintHealth, said at the conference. "The technology has the underpinning to transform the way we conduct business in every industry across the nation.”

Because the health record platform is built upon blockchain, any clinical and behavioral data in a patient’s record can fluidly be accessed by a healthcare provider should a patient allow them permission. After being assigned a unique global identifier for their account, the patient can view their own record at any time through an app.

“[Blockchain is] essentially a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network, and using this technology participants can confirm transactions without the need for a middleman or central certifying authority,” Damani explained. “Now, eight years later after the first blockchain was built off the bitcoin network, people are now applying procedures and processes beyond merely moving money.”

MintHealth may be healthcare focused, but Damani’s new platform isn’t totally shying away from its cryptocurrency inspiration. Sometime in December or January, he announced that a new digital currency called “vidamints” will launch within the MintHealth ecosystem. Funded by healthcare payers, the tokens are awarded to patients who engage in healthy behaviors. The vidamints themselves can be redeemed for healthcare discounts, used as a payment for care-related expenses, or according to a press release will eventually be used to vote on “important ecosystem data use policies.”

Damani hailded the new digital currency as a clear behavioral solution to easily preventable diseases. He hypothesized that the system will appeal most to the payers, whose reduction in care costs will outweigh the financing of the tokens.

“It will be the first token to be used by commercial health insurance and government payers where they will actually incentivize both providers and patients for healthy behaviors,” Damani said. “Eighty percent of heart disease, stroke, diabetes are preventable, and forty percent of all cancers. These are not diseases that are going to be fixed by antibiotics or vaccines, these are behavioral conditions that need to move patients from passive to empowered and proactive. The only way to do that is by giving them access to data. So, we need a platform to do it; a technology that can enable it, which is blockchain; and we need an incentive model that we can layer on top of it.”