Sunday, August 14

Can Token Rewards Improve Outcomes for HIV Patients in Africa?

A pioneering five-year study on whether crypto token incentives can improve health outcomes for HIV / AIDS patients will be launched in Kenya at the end of the year.

On November 1, blockchain-powered healthcare ecosystem Immunify.Life and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) announced that they had obtained the necessary approval from an ethics committee and national commission to launch the study.

Together they will carry out a five-year study on HIV / AIDS starting in late 2021 in Kenya’s Kakamega County region, before spreading to the rest of the country.

MMUST will use Immunify.Life’s blockchain technology to collect and analyze patient data to help improve HIV treatment outcomes. It will assess whether patients obtain better treatment outcomes if they are incentivized with token rewards for positive health behaviors identified by project sponsors, such as NGOs and government institutions.

Immunify.Life CEO Guy Newing told Cointelegraph:

“The program we are testing will offer token incentives to encourage absent patients to come to the clinic for treatment.”

Patients and physicians will be rewarded with native Immunify.Life ERC-20 IMM symbolic. He added that these could be offered to “complete a prescribed course of antibiotics for tuberculosis” and to incentivize “the HIV patient who returns regularly to the clinic for check-up and treatment.”

Newing said healthcare workers will also be rewarded for positive behaviors such as “correctly completing consultation logs, requesting a certain number of tests for tuberculosis, or completing medical education.”

Each patient using the platform is issued a non-fungible token (NFT) health ID that captures key medical data, such as vaccination records. This data is then transferred to a digital registry to enable remote medical monitoring and access to the data in real time for medical professionals.

The study sample size is 600 patients. Half will receive token rewards and half will act as controls and will not receive token rewards. Patients will be monitored for six months and will receive active treatment and follow-up on a monthly basis.

The study will also track the effectiveness of using paperless health care tracking systems in a low socioeconomic area.

Source: Immunize life

Newing said that “critical medical data treatment data can be captured in real time, time-stamped and secured; it cannot be hacked or modified. ”The platform will initially use a second layer solution on Ethereum using Polygon, with long-term plans to reach Cardano.

In addition to token rewards provided by sponsors, patients will also benefit financially from the sale of anonymous medical data. Immunify.Life is conducting a private round for strategic and institutional investors ahead of its initial DEX offering (IDO), which is scheduled for early 2022.

“Patients will be empowered to take control of their data and share the financial rewards. The system is funded by fees charged to organizations that finance and provide health care. “

In addition to working on HIV in Kenya, Immunify.Life is applying its blockchain technology in two other therapeutic areas, COVID-19 and opioid addiction.

Related: How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Healthcare

Kenya is home to around 1.5 million people with HIV according to the 2020 UNAIDS report. While 70% of these patients undergo treatment, there are difficulties around follow-up, access, program design and data collection.

Many people diagnosed with HIV cannot continue treatment. In some areas, the number of ‘inactive’ patients can be as high as 40%, according to Immunify.Life. This includes pregnant women, who can pass the virus to their child during childbirth.

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