The healthcare industry is expected to become the largest sector of the world economy in the not too distant future. Its astounding growth is being driven not only by new innovation but also by increased spending in countries where people could not afford proper healthcare previously. As per a recent report by Deloitte, the global healthcare industry is expected to touch a massive $8.7 trillion by 2020 itself.
In addition to increased spending, the other key trends in healthcare have been things like medical tourism, technology adoption and automation (especially in record-keeping) and concerns around data security. There are a number of startups which are looking to address these specific concerns and have chosen the ICO route to secure the necessary resources as well as generate awareness about their exciting new projects.
Although cryptocurrency or FinTech projects have seen a lot of ICO action in the past, healthcare ICO's are finally catching up and there have been some very interesting offerings of late. Here, we look at 10 of the most innovative or promising ICOs disrupting the massive healthcare industry.
Bowhead is creating some truly remarkable possibilities in its field.
They have a working point-of-care device which can take blood and saliva samples and provide results about nutrient or hormonal imbalances directly as well as forward that data to your chosen healthcare professional.
The device can even dispense supplements based on your specific needs and the results of your test.
It seems that the potential applications and possibilities of this are truly limitless and not far from the realm of science fiction.
MedCredits uses the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts technology to offer patients a way to seek medical advice or second opinions from doctors over a digital platform.
Their first mobile-based application is called Hippocrates which connects end users with dermatologists who can perform quick diagnoses based on personal information that users provide, including pictures taken on a Smartphone.
In the near future, they plan to release similar platforms for mental health services, internal medicine and so on.
The team behind Doc.ai wants to combine the developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence, natural language processing, and medical diagnosis to create a conversational medical AI.
They are developing tools such as the “Selfie2BMI” which estimates your Body Mass Index from just a selfie that you take on your camera phone.
Then there are tools which can give you insights about your blood test results based on hundreds of parameters or help you understand the results of your genetic tests or even help you with family planning!
Etheal is more ambitious than a single application – it aims to create an entire ecosystem of healthcare-related applications – a sort of operating system for the medical care industry.
Right now, their team is working to migrate their healthcare service comparison website to the blockchain.
Eventually, there will be apps for everything – from the rapidly growing medical tourism industry to Pharma surveys, AI chatbots and dozens of others that developers can build on the Etheal backbone.
The medical services industry relies on efficient and secure record keeping for all patients.
These records need to be immutable and easily accessible by relevant stakeholders including the patients, doctors, insurance providers, laboratories, pharmacists and so on.
This is where Medicalchain comes in with a blockchain based method to secure and deliver patient health records. You get industry-leading security as well as ease of access.
The team behind Solve.Care intends to create the premier healthcare co-ordination tool.
This includes everything from setting medical appointments, finding drugs at the lowest cost across pharmacies, use a personal healthcare wallet, quickly and securely accessing health records and so on.
They also intend to create an application marketplace where developers can build and launch new health related tools on their platform.
MediBond is not only targeting healthcare providers with its platform but also pharmaceutical companies and health insurance providers.
Their business model is all about securing the interactions between hospitals, insurance companies and pharmacies with regards to prescriptions and other issues.
They plan on implementing a block-chain based 3-way sign off to tackle the problem of frequent claim backs and eliminate redundant processes.
Hearthy is all about affordable healthcare. The plan is reduce costs by eliminating the middleman and giving users direct and reliable access to their own Personal Health Records.
Users then have full control over these records and can choose to transfer it from one healthcare provider to another while retaining full control.
They even want to go a step further and provide the best service providers (as rated by the users), reduced fees to access the ecosystem.
The company already has some demo apps on their website for both patients and doctors.
Patientory (a patient inventory if you will) is a leading startup in the field of providing healthcare services over a digital platform.
They want to serve as a bridge and connect disparate Electronic Medical Records via a single seamless platform.
In addition to this, the platform also offers a way for healthcare providers to share or rent computing power, data centers etc. using the Ethereum blockchain and save on their own IT costs.
As the name implies, the developers behind Healthureum want to use an Ethereum based blockchain and smart contract technology to deliver healthcare products and services.
Their platform will incentivize doctors to offer second opinions or provide referrals and also to laboratories and clinics to perform tests for Healthureum users.
They also intend to create a global marketplace – which means that people would be able to access the best medical advice without having to travel or pay high exchange rates.