Companies are using blockchain-backed currencies to motivate users to share data, workout and stay sober.

10 digital health companies using cryptocurrency as incentives

By Laura Lovett
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Money is a motivator. Recently, digital health companies have starting to tap into blockchain-backed cryptocurrency as a way to motivate users to workout, take medication and stay sober. Most of the currencies can be cashed-in for goods like workout gear, or a paid service the platform offers like coaching. Other companies are also using the digital currency as an incentive for patients to release personal data. 

Read on for 10 companies using cryptocurrency to incentive users: 


Workout tools 

1) Lithuanian startup Lympo is a fitness-focused platform that rewards users for their healthy behaviors through its own cryptocurrency called LYM tokens. Users can cash in the token to purchase goods and services from the Lympo platform. The tokens can also be used on Lympo’s crowdfunding platform, which invests in data-driven companies. A fun fact about this fitness startup is that the former prime minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas, is the chair of the board. 

2) Sweatcoin is a free app that tracks users’ outdoor steps using their phones’ accelerometer and GPS locator. The steps are then translated into the currency, which can be used for goods, services and experiences that range from yoga classes to high-tech shoes, according to their webpage. Users can also donate the coins to a charity of their choice.

Its founders claim that it was the most downloaded app within the App Store's health and fitness category from September to January, and it appears investors have taken notice. The company recently landed $5.7 million in funding in January. 

3) GYMREWARDS is another app that rewards people for working out. This one employs wearables to track a participant's heart rate and estimated calories burned to "mine" for GYM currency. The tokens can be sent to a user’s EOS wallet and traded at “participating exchanges.” The starter plan is free but users can upgrade, which boosts their mining rate. 

Promoting healthy behavior 

4) Clinicoin lets users collect tokens as an incentive for its activity and health reward system, and for participating in research studies. Participants are able to exchange their Clinicoin tokens for items in the platform’s wellness marketplace. The app also lets users set goals and track their fitness. 

“So many of the solutions we provide are around behavioral changes, and the psychology around cryptocurrencies is around gamification. [We] can create leaderboards and components,” Noel Chandler, CEO and cofounder of Clinicoin, told MobiHealthNews last February. 

5) MintHealth, a platform which is best known for using blockchain to let patients access their health records, also has an incentive based system. The platform allows patients to use its digital currency called “vidamints,” which will exist within the MintHealth ecosystem. Funded by healthcare payers, the tokens are given to patients who engage in healthy behaviors. The vidamints themselves can be redeemed for healthcare discounts and used as a payment for care-related expenses. 

6) OncoPower, uses blockchain technology to help patients keep track of their medical data across providers. However, users can also earn cryptocurrency incentives, called Onco, in a health savings account-like wallet. The platform also enables smart-contracts between payers-providers, payers-patients and payer-pharmaceuticals. Patients are able to earn monetary rewards for adhering to their treatment regime, as well as for providing content and data. 

But its not just patients who can get the currency — providers can receive Onco by posting content, which is then reviewed and rated. The Oncos can then be used for services that have been voted on by the community. 

Sobriety 

7) Hayver was developed to help users tackle addiction. This service uses a combination of daily check-ins and randomized urine tests as well as an accountability network, which includes friends and family. All users, including people in the accountability network, are eligible for the coins.

“Hayver is the only app that provides a psychological deterrent through peer-to-peer accountability and random drug screen plus a psychological incentive with cryptocurrency rewards (The Duitcoin), not only for the member but to the accountability network as well,” Dr. John M. Copenhaver, Hayver cofounder and chief medical officer, wrote to MobiHealthNews in an email last February. 

8) Sobercoin was also developed to help people in recovery. People can get the sober coins by joining, referring friends and using the sobercoin app, which supports recovery. The coins can be traded in for online recovery coaching, adverting on sobercoin or training to become a coach. 

Data sharing 

9) Embleema compensates patients with cryptocurrency for sharing medical data. Patients are able to share medical records and trends from activity trackers. Patients are paid in Embleema tokens that give users access to the platform’s PatientTruth, which lets users share their data with their providers and researchers.

10)  HealthWizz lets users sell to their health records to researchers and pharma companies for tokens in return. The HealthWizz app has the ability to aggregate data from multiple different sources including EHRs, lab results, genetic data and wearable data. Users can get the platform's OmCoins for participating in different trials. 

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