Prevention Saves Money. Here is How
What if I told you the majority of your healthcare costs can be avoided? Would you believe me? What if that required commitment and change in your behaviour? Would you still do it? Regardless of your answers, saving huge sums of money on healthcare is very realistic and completely doable, whether you are rich, poor, or somewhere in the middle. It is accomplished through a simple and likely familiar take on medicine that is growing ever more popular in the modern world.
This new direction in medicine is called prevention or prophylaxis and is nothing new in reality.Within it, however,lies great potential to free your pockets of unnecessary expenses, which you can put to much better (and interesting) use. In general, this field of medicine consists of measures taken against the occurrence of diseases, mainly through lifestyle choices and timely examinations. Let’s take a look at the facts…
Drawing the Bottom Line
With every passing year there are millions of people who leave this beautiful world, due to causes that are 100% preventable. According to a 2004 study, by Mokdad, Marks, Stroup, et al. close to half of all deaths within the United States in the year 2000 were caused by avoidable behaviours. 400 000 of those were because of sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits.
The picture is even worse, when we look at dentistry with a total of $442 billion spent on dental-related issues, based on the 2015 study from Galloway, Mossey & Marcenes. Naturally, almost all of these are completely preventable through proper nutrition and routine dental visits, considering that the most significant offender – tooth decay, affects 90% of the population, according to another study by the Australian Dental Association.
This means that not only are we creating perfectly avoidable situations for visiting everyone’s least favourite medical professional, but we are wasting incredibly excessive sums by doing so. Is this really necessary? No, of course not. However, walking the extra mile in taking care of our teeth requires commitment to change our behaviour. For most of us, the extra effort required to achieve this can be quite the pain indeed, but fortunately technology can come to our aid in this case…
Using Technology to Foster Prevention
We are all too familiar with the plethora of behaviour management apps and techniques available on the market. When it comes to taking care of our oral health, though, that is often not the case. This is where the Dentacoin Foundation comes to rescue with its own unique set of blockchain-based tools with that exact mission in mind – fostering preventive dentistry and building healthy habits for its users.
One of the core offerings of the foundation is its Dentacare mobile app that comes in two version aimed for both adults and children. The adult version, Dentacare – Health Training, is exactly as the name suggests – a health trainer app that stimulates users to commit to healthy dental habits in a 3-month gamified journey.
The way it accomplishes this is via a custom-tailored set of reminders, notifications, voice navigation and tutorials. For additional stimulus users are rewarded with the Foundation’s Dentacoin digital currency for maintaining the routine, which can be freely spent on treatments, consumables and traded within the partner network.
On the other hand, the child version – Dentacare: Jaws of Battle, takes the gamification features to the next level. As it is aimed at children, it is developed in the form of a dental-themed collectible trading card game. The game implicitly teaches children vital oral health concepts, as each card mimics the real-world effects of its corresponding topic. This comes in addition to the game’s overall goal of protecting your own teeth at all costs, lest you lose the game altogether.
With the apps already taking care of healthy habit building on the patient side, the Foundation has another key concept up its sleeve – Dentacoin Assurance. It takes the other perspective to foster preventive medicine, by entitling patients to life-long preventive care, in exchange for affordable monthly premiums paid directly to the treating dentist.
The way this works is by having the patient and dentist agree on certain preventive measures that the patient needs to commit to, thus guiding them along the path of prevention and reducing the necessity for invasive measures in the long run. In the end it’s a win-win for both, as the dentist earns a steady flow of passive income, while the patient can, for the bigger part, forget about traumatizing memories at the practice.
New Paradigm in Dentistry
Armed with these tools, the Dentacoin Foundation aims to tackle the costly age-old mindset of drill & fill and replace it with a sustainable preventive approach. Naturally, this will not be an easy task but disrupting the outdated practices of the industry is something that we can all benefit from. Whether it is economically or emotionally, less trips to the dentist will certainly bring tears of joy to many.
Now with the help of contemporary technology this is all possible without significant effort required on anyone’s end. The question that remains though is… In what ways can technology save us from other healthcare woes? We are yet to see, as more and more companies set off to tackle these issues. Regardless, the future looks very bright for our healthcare woes, for the industry, and most of all – for our pockets!
Also published on Medium.