According to the American Dental Association, the average American pays $544 in out-of-pocket expenses annually for dental care. It turns out that the vast majority of dental expenses (90%) can be avoided with tri-annual checkups, regular cleanings and improved diet. However, 80% of the world’s population cannot afford good dental care and dentists have economic incentives to provide short-term procedures rather than promoting long term care reduction strategies.
To solve this problem, Philipp Grenzebach co-founded Dentacoin, an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency that provides the foundation for “the world’s largest blockchain health network.” In this system, the patient pays a small monthly fee to Dentacoin, and in exchange receives ongoing health and treatment “free of charge” from a participating dentist, while the dentists get payments as a form of ongoing basic income. The twist in this system is that the patient is incentivized to take better care of their teeth and improve their nutrition – which in turn brings down their need for care. Using an “aftercare” app also hosted by Dentacoin, the patient can earn Dentacoin tokens for proactive steps they take to improve their dental health. The result is that both the patient and the dentist are incentivised to improve long-term care. If successful in the long run, this model could provide a new paradigm for health care, instead of the usual procedure-based care common in many markets.
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