There are two ways digital currency is impacting the health industry right now. First, health-care-related companies are creating their own tokens. These are typically integrated into a health and wellness rewards-based ecosystem for consumers to use. For example, users have fitness and wellness goals that are archived and verified through a means of devices, usually wearables. When you achieve your goals, you earn tokens. These tokens can then be used as digital currency within the company’s ecosystem to purchase products and services like personal training classes, fitness classes, wellness activities or other health-enhancing products and services.
Digital currency technology advances also are impacting the notion of community. Blockchain provides users with faster, safer access to contribute to, engage and connect with their community, whether they are coming together to create competitions, share videos or blogs, or inspire one another through achievements. As people continue to integrate and share their health stats, there is opportunity for closer integration with data collection and synergy with insurance companies. However, in contrast to the current paradigm in which the provider owns and can monetize the data (think, Facebook or Google), blockchain will empower users to determine whether they sell their data or maintain anonymity.
Here are some examples of digital currency’s inroads into health, wellness and sports:
- Lympo is a health and wellness ecosystem with a wallet that rewards users with Lympo tokens for sharing and achieving their health goals. They are headquartered in Lithuania and have recently signed a multiyear partnership with the Dallas Mavericks to promote health and fitness tech. This fall, the Mavericks will be one of the first NBA teams to accept cryptocurrencies for tickets and merchandise. This video showcases how Lympo is integrating and executing its platform with users.
- Sweatcoin is another rewards-based ecosystem whose technology is integrated with your phone’s accelerometer and GPS location. This provides verification of how many steps you have taken, which then is converted into Sweatcoins. An example on the Sweatcoin site equates every 1,000 steps to .95 Sweatcoins. Sweatcoin has teamed up with name brands like Apple and PayPal to provide users with goods, services and experiences to “purchase” with Sweatcoins, or you can volunteer your coins to the charities Sweatcoin has partnered with all over the world.
- Dyno is an ICO that has created the first blockchain-based marketplace for performance and metabolic data provided by users (athletes) via any fitness tracker device and made available to universities, companies and other institutions that want to use the data for purposes such as research or product development. Users receive Dyno tokens. Dyno also makes devices and has partnered with Red Bull athletes, who wear the DYNOSTICS device (much like an oxygen mask) and are able to use the resulting fitness and metabolic test data to help them improve their performance.
Although we might still be in the “dial-up” phase of blockchain technology, the relatively fast adoption of mobile payment processing might make the idea of digital currency one that’s easy for us to embrace. And companies around the world will be ready to help us spend it.
Video credit: lucadp, Adobe Stock
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