In an interview published by Disruptor Daily, Donika Kraeva—marketing manager at Dentacoin Foundation, a company that is using blockchain to revolutionize the healthcare sector—revealed that blockchain can effectively resolve the challenges faced worldwide in the field of digital dentistry. She said that technology can not only enhance patient engagement and improve efficiency and alternative payments, but also improve preventive dentistry by both dentists and patients.
And indeed, the potential of blockchain to disrupt dental healthcare even goes beyond the benefits underlined by Kraeva. Let’s have a look at the various ways in which it can be applied as a solution to problems and challenges faced by dentists all over the world.
4 Blockchain Solutions to Combat the Problems in the Dental Industry
A Decentralized and Efficiently Managed Database of Patient Records:
Efficient handling of patient records is a problem faced by almost every institution which provides dental healthcare services. The data generated is massive and requires special care so that any error does not occur due to mismanagement. This poses a huge strain on dentists and if perchance, a record gets lost or mixed up, the consequences are of an unforeseen gravity. Furthermore, most of the records are placed with centralized authority in the hospital to which patients do not have any kind of access.
All of this can be resolved with the help of blockchain. Its capacity to manage large amounts of data without any single point of failure can lead to efficient and easy handling of dental records in which the possibility of error does not exist. Moreover, blockchain is a decentralized ledger, which means that even patients can have easy access to their own records.
Dental insurance can be a really frustrating process for dentists as well as for the patients. The reason behind this is the involvement of a large number of intermediaries and middlemen. Since about two-thirds of the Americans have dental insurance, this is not a problem of a small magnitude. Blockchain, by its virtue of being a distributed ledger, can solve this frustration and inefficiency to a great extent by eliminating middlemen and hence making dental insurance beneficial and not burdensome.
According to an article published by Harvard Blockchain Club, getting professional help for dental health issues is a “matter of dollars and cents.” The article highlighted that since modern dental practice requires huge amounts of investments, treatment is so expensive that hardly a few can avail it without insurance. Almost 80% of the world’s population cannot afford dental healthcare because of the high amounts of money involved. A big reason behind this—as highlighted in the article—is that the global dental market is highly fragmented: dentists work independently and are unable to provide a cost-effective treatment because of the number of middlemen involved by way of tariffs, settlements, and as already mentioned, insurance.
This problem of high-cost generation can be solved by blockchain through a two-fold solution of eliminating middlemen and bringing the global dental community together. As a consequence, the “fragmentation” in the industry would be resolved and both doctors and patients would be able to work together to improve dental healthcare around the world.
And last, but not the least, are the problems associated with advertising. While this is not a problem solely associated with the dental industry, it is nevertheless important because it creates a huge cost burden on the dentists, and as a consequence, on the patients. Utilizing blockchain’s general potential to transform the advertising sector, dentistry can be made less expensive for both dentists and patients.
Expanse: A Noble Beginning for a Noble Cause
Recently, Dentacoin Foundation released three tools of blockchain for the betterment of the dental industry. These tools not only collect feedback and market research data but also engage users in healthy oral habits. Yet, a lot still needs to be accomplished to implement blockchain solutions fully into the sector. This can only be done through new startups whose foundations lie in innovative ideas.
Expanse—which is based on Ethereum and allows you to create dApps for blockchain-based solutions for practical problems—provides you the right platform to begin and work for the noble cause of making dentistry affordable and efficient for all.