Healthereum – a New Incentive for Healthy Behaviors
When I was a kid, I used to get a lollipop for going to the doctors’ office. Nowadays, I get a copay. How would you like to return go the time of be rewarded for going to your appointments? And I’m not talking lollipops. The health care startup Healthereum is looking to utilize blockchain technology to do just that.
Healtherium Life Portfolio aka HELIOS is creating a rewards system for patients making appointments, finishing surveys, completing tasks, and so on. As a patient completes a task, they’re rewarded with digital tokens that can be traded back in to the provider. The provider is empowered to determine exactly what these tokens are worth. It reminds me a lot of the arcades where you win tickets that you can trade in for prizes. Except ideally these prizes are worth a lot more then the pencil eraser I’d usually wind up with.
You’d be totally forgiven if you were in a rush to dismiss Healthereum after hearing the words ‘blockchain’, ‘startup’, and ‘digital token’. However, the development team isn’t your run-of-the-mill garage hackers. Founded by experienced physicians and software engineers and advised by industry experts and executive business leaders, HELIOS brings a significant amount of expertise to the fore. This team behind Healtherium, has also developed a number of other extremely impressive products.
HELIOS is one of the latest examples in a trend towards incentivizing patient compliance and behavioral interventions. Research done into the behavioral science aspects of incentivizing care shows that it can often result in improved compliance. HELIOS looks exciting and it’ll be great to watch the development of the product to see how practices implement it.
In regards to of the larger field of incentivizing compliance, this writer has some concerns regarding the ethics of such systems. No one likes feeling manipulated or strong-armed into doing things. Such systems also need to consider issues of accessibility. A 20-something software engineer might know how to fully take advantage of something like a digital reward, but a retiree who doesn’t own a PC might have some trouble fully utilizing it and thus may be left out of savings. We absolutely don’t want to leave our vulnerable populations behind as we modernize care.
As Healthereum matures, we’ll continue to bring you news about how you can use it to save more at the doctors. In the meantime, check out our articles about how to save now. Like 8 simple ways you can make the most out of your next doctor’s visit!