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Non-Fungible Token (NFT): A Paradigm for innovative healthcare system

Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been gaining traction recently with art and entertainment acting as the pioneer sectors responsible for popularizing NFTs.

NFTs are digital collectibles encoded on a blockchain for creating a unique digital watermark signifying ownership of the digital rights to an asset. Relatable to a digital passport with an asset, NFTs allow for trust and authenticity to be established in an uncommon way.

Artists and Entertainers have been using NFTs for quite a while in auction sales and a potpourri of other user cases for instance, auction house Christie, auctioned off the First Purely digital NFT based work of art ever offered by a major auction house, featuring the digital artist Beeple (aka Mike Winklemann). In this case, the buyer received the artwork file containing a digital signature from the artist and all important details such as; time of creation and record of prior sales.

Jack Dorsey, the Founder of Twitter also sold his first ever tweet to a Malaysian business man for $2.9 million. Obviously a very huge amount and apparently sounding insanely expensive.

A lot of other use cases for NFTs exists but a salient aspect which will be emphasized here is the integration of NFT in healthcare.

NFTs are meant to be scarce thus, creating a culture of agreement and they are likened to a internet scarce commodity with value, allowing innovative digital goods to come onboard.

Healthcare data is a serious bottleneck and issue of concern in diverse parts of the world especially regions with epileptic data storage and retrieval systems. Replacement of data for different patients in a hospital can trigger escalation of diseases as patients who may require adequate attention from a terminal illness may be shunned due to data breach or errors and possibly mistake for another illness.

Integration of NFT in health data will ensure a staunch control of it, widespread benefits to all and sundry and possibility of resell in the quest for economic use which entails auction and resell.

In fact, blood donation organizations already encourage the use of NFTs for blood donations. Blood donors are marked with a specific token that can then be followed through the system. The donation can then be followed from transport to the hospital, into a blood bank, and into its eventual recipient. Blood can then be registered by its NFT into a digital “blood bank” where the need for particular blood types can be tracked by a blockchain system and delivered to where it is most needed

In pharmaceutical industry for instance, NFTs would serve as a solution for verification of digitized health services, authentication of credentials and protection of intellectual property thus improving transparency and eliminating human error.

Manufacturers of drugs can use NFTs to track sales and delivery of drugs and confirm for authenticity, properly disseminate drugs to vendors for retail or wholesale sales with no iota of error this, improving pharmaceutical services.

Prescription orders could also be connected to an NFT, easily tying them back to whoever wrote them and preventing forged prescriptions.

Recently, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and national hospital chain HCA Healthcare Inc. HCA struck a deal to develop healthcare algorithms using patient records, the latest foray by a tech giant into the $3 trillion healthcare sector. The data is spun off from patients in real-time, whereas, the use of NFTs would enable these patients to track how their data is being used. An NFT would not only mark off the data as belonging to that particular person as a form of identification but also guaranteed ownership, which will enable the patient to be able to access it and track where it goes, even being able to provide the owner of the data with residual income. This can also be applied to other research initiatives that intend to use patient generated data.

Despite these risks, many healthcare organizations still don’t have a comprehensive patient identity management strategy in place. Identity truly is the backbone of healthcare’s digital transformation and identity management demands enterprise-level thought, strategy and solutions. Inaccurate or incomplete patient information poses serious, even fatal, risks to patients, while patient identity management can have multiple impacts across an organization both financial and reputational.

Conclusively, amid all of these advantages mentioned, it is safe to conclude that NFTs are not only reserved exclusively for artwork and entertainment but can be applied to so many other sectors with the amazing opportunity for patients to control their data and a futuristic view of earning from health data too.


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