There are quite a few healthcare startups that are already monetizing through blockchain. Dentistry is an ever growing healthcare segment. The newest tech buzz called blockchain and cryptos can improve dental practice and deal with the existing challenges.
Dental practice challenges under traditional system
The dynamics of dental marketplace is changing with a sharp decline in single practitioners and a significant increase in group and corporate entities. It will be interesting to learn how blockchain and cryptos can improve dental practice by addressing its existing challenges. The common challenges faced by dental practices are listed below:
1. Timely communication with patients:
Patients are mobile and have access to information at their fingertips. Still, staying connected to your patient base is a full-time job for a dentist or a dental clinic.
2. New patients’ engagement:
At a global level, providing a patient with proper, safe, and effective clinical care at affordable costs are high-priority issues. These challenges compete with each other in dentistry to gain the attention of control at hospitals, dental clinics, and dentists groups.
3. Retention of regular patients:
Dentistry is a branch where retention is more challenging as compared to general medicine. For example, a diabetic patient will frequently visit his/her practitioner even for regular checkups. The same cannot be the case with a patient who has once got done root canal.
4. Estimation of billing and production hours:
Increasing dental fees per hour definitely impacts bottom line but how to determine production hours accurately. This has been burning issue for the industry.
Over and above, common obstacles every dentist face can be:
- Patient accumulation and attrition
- Growing practice revenue in an ever-increasingly competitive environment
- Stay in line with technology advancements including equipment that requires monitoring and updating
Implementation and adoption of blockchain technology in dental practice
Of late, there has been a lot of noise on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. One group of people suspects that cryptocurrencies are a fraud. Whereas, others trust them to be the root cause of the next economic revolution. Bitcoin is the one who brought blockchain concept in the lime light. It is universally accepted statement that very soon the blockchain technology will change the way industries are operating. Though, the time factor of “very soon” is quite subjective and not yet precisely defined. However, that’s how it is. The potential of blockchain technology is going to disrupt the entire healthcare sector, including dentistry.
Simply stated, blockchain technology is a novel way to store, share and access information in an open virtual space. Blockchain technology enables it users to take a look at all transactions at the same time and in real time. In dentistry, for example, a dentist would know with whom his patient has dealt. In addition, it is highly impossible to hack the stored information as they aren’t concentrated in any single location.
How blockchain and cryptos can improve dental practice?
The power of blockchain and cryptos can improve dental practice through an innovative insurance-like model, numerous blockchain-based applications for patients, dentists, suppliers, medical representatives and an industry-specific cryptocurrency used as a means of payment between all market participants.
Let’s take an example of Dentacoin – a great model for blockchain-based global dental industry. To solve the couple of above mentioned issues, Philipp Grenzebach co-founded Dentacoin, an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency. It provides the foundation for “the world’s largest blockchain health network.” Here, a patient can earn Denta coins via incentivization of better dental care and regular checkups. It creates proactiveness in patients to take better care of their oral hygiene.
Other benefits include:
Trusted dental reviews
In all, blockchain is an essential technology in the trust economy. Further, it can ensure each and every review written by patients for the dentists. These reviews can also be verified previously by blockchain technology. So, trusted user-generated dental reviews is possible with the help of blockchain technology to improve overall dental practice.
Secured health database
Blockchain, as compared to ordinary encryption, provides a more secure way to safeguard data. The blockchain technology records digital records and events in a way that it restricts any sort of modification to the data until it reaches the recipient. Theoretically, this is by far the biggest benefit of blockchain. Plus, the entire health data of patients is safe though accessible when on blockchain platform. Patient data can be immensely secured and protected from breach threats.
Managed health database
The database of patients increases day by day. With this boost, the healthcare providers need to strongly manage health database on a regular basis. Failure to management of database (such as medi-claims, records, patient health information (PHI), data gathered from IoT) can lead to disasters. Processing and storing information can go haywire. And hence, the right treatment might not reach the right patient in the right time.
One of the blockchain approaches enables secure recording of data and secure sharing of information. Using proof of data integrity, it becomes easy for a user to verify details without involving middlemen. So, verification of PHI integrity, ensuring health database safety, proving clinical research integrity – all this is possible with blockchain.
Payment through cryptos
Blockchain supports digital payments. And, crypto transactions can be carried out smoothly and swiftly on blockchain. Hence, dentists no need to worry about their fees. The amounts can get credited in no time in their digital wallets. Other hand, incentivization of tokens intrigues patients to transact in cryptos.
Obviously, blockchain and cryptos can improve dental practice. Patients can get more involved and get more satisfaction from the transparent treatment. Also, dentists can take their dental practice to the next level, regardless of experience, location or labour capacity.