Here is yet another study that shows that financial incentives don’t work as a way to improve health or lower payer health care costs, published yesterday on Bloomberg as “Workplace Wellness Programs Really Don’t Work”. Participants were offered incentives from $50 to $350 and … it didn’t make much difference. In fact, non-participants had lower costs.
So, MintHealth and similar ICO pitches are raising money in a crowded cohort (blockchain tokens + health data), in a category with a 20 year history of failure (consumer-targeted personal health records), on what the evidence seems to indicate is a false premise (that financial incentives in the form of something like ‘vitamint’ tokens will be an effective way for payers to motivate improved health and lower costs).
Behavioral motivation is important. We will all be better off when we can focus on finding truly effective ways to influence healthy behavior.
There will definitely be a role for open source blockchain communities in handling health data and personal data. It’s going to go deeper than just linking some personal health data into a mobile PHR. We will see truly distributed data management, big data management, with new architectures, and community design of the software and data structures. I am looking forward to getting involved in some of these more fundamental projects.