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Based on a series of interviews with industry specialists, Med-Tech News explores how DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) could impact the future of healthcare, pharma, cure and the medical insurance industry. The concept of a DAO could easily be incorporated into existing and new organisations.
In the first of this series, Med-Tech speaks with Dr Jane Thomason about the impact of DAOs on the future of the healthcare insurance industry. Dr Thomason is interim chair of the World Metaverse Council and a thought leader in the field of Metaverse which is projected to reach US $13 trillion industry by 2030.
DAOs have the potential to help settle health insurance claims more quicly and at the same time, reduce fraud and cut downcosts. They are fully autonomous, transparent, community-led entities with no central authority. DAOs can be incorporated into existing health care organisations and will certainly disrupt the industry’s governance and management models, allowing stakeholders to influence how the organisations are run. This would be on the basis of the opportunity of equal participation as a member of the commuity with shared values and ideaology.
It is nearly like imaginging a health insurance DAO governed by patients for the common good of all stakeholders.
A healthcare DAO has no centralised authority and would be governed by all users that may include developers, patients and medical experts. Decisions are made collectively based on a transparent management model with decisions approved by community members. It is a collaboration in the metaverse that provides digital health solutions as a result of inclusive decision making.
There is growing interest in the health insurance sector about the potential of blockchain-driven approaches to improve health insurance payments, systems and management in the future explains Dr Thomason. She adds that the healthcare payment process can be integrated with the blockchain process of using smart contracts across parties that enable automatic adjudication of claims and direct payment processes and reduce the number of intermediaries that exist today. This will lead to more streamlined transactions.
“Deploying a blockchain application that utilizes a smart contract and verifiable ledger of all service and payment activities could further reduce fraud and overpayment in health systems. Dr Jane Thomason, Interim Chair – World Metaverse Council
Blockchain has the potential also to be used for the automated validation of claims, adds Thomason. This will mostly likely increase the efficiency and security of the payment process. The software can store encrypted patient identifiers, health plan information and provider claims within a blockchain shared by payers and providers, enabling near real-time automatic claims processing, eligibility verification, and pre-authorization.
Facilitating claim settlement by reducing bureaucracy and introducing bill management will also reduce the risk of fraud and speed up payment. This could be achieved more efficiently by creating a consortia of health providers and insurers as part of a ‘permissioned’ chain. Thomason says that where health insurance systems are being scaled, there are obvious attractions in using a system with automated adjudication of claims, a reduced number of intermediaries and possibilities of reducing fraud which should be explored.
Dr Thomason concludes by pointing out that although DAOs could achieve the above, none of these applications need a DAO.
Dr Jane Thomason is the founder of a successful international development company valued at US $250 million and she is also the interim chair of the World Metaverse Council and a thought leader in the rapidly developing field of Metaverse, which is projected by Citi to be a $13 trillion industry by 2030. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of “Metaverse”, and “Frontiers in Blockchain” and has recently published an award winning book “Blockchain for Global Social Change.”
Dr Thomason has a book on Web 3.0 forthcoming “Advancements in the New World of Web 3: A Look Toward the Decentralized Future”. She frequently speaks at industry conferences and forum on the Metaverse and how this growing industry will impact on business and the economy. Dr Thomason is a “Top 20 Global Thought Leaders in Blockchain” and “Top 20 Global Thought Leaders in Crypto” and she is named as one of eight metaverse experts to follow and top 100 women in Web 3 and Metaverse. She featured in CNN Documentary “DeCoded” and CNN OpEd “The metaverse could be transformative, but its a legal and ethical minefield.”
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