• Mădălin Margan

OncoChain mission: revolutionizing cancer care delivery using Blockchain technologies

Current problems for patients

Today, in the era of internet and instant data transfers, the health system data management is beginning to look outdated. Patients face numerous healthcare providers, from hospitals, clinics, general practitioners and specialists to diagnostic clinics and private practitioners. The more providers a patient meets, the more their medical data becomes scattered. This consists one of the biggest problems for patients, managing and sharing their medical records.

There are several countries that have functioning national systems that help exchange patient records, but they are few and vulnerable to hackers. Even if the country has electronic systems that can manage the data, most of the time they differ from hospital to hospital and from city to city. This makes handling patient data almost impossible.

The healthcare system has a fragmented construction. While sometimes this may be beneficial from an economic and social point of view, it often leaves patients confused. From diagnosis to treatment, a patient may see multiple practitioners within different hospitals and clinics. When dealing with cancer and oncological patients, having the right diagnosis and starting the best and latest treatment as soon as possible makes all the difference.

Even in the best medical health system patients can feel that they don’t get the support and access they need or deserve. Patients who benefit from a private healthcare system must pay serious sums of money to get access to the care they need, and even then, the huge numbers of caregivers makes taking a decision difficult. On the other hand, being part of a national healthcare systems means almost free services, but with the downside of waiting in line or not being able to choose your caregiver.

Another fear that oncological patients share is the limited access to specialists and the right medical care. As doctors are evolving into more and more complex sub-specialties, it can be difficult to have the availability of the right expertise. Different countries struggle with lack of certain practitioners which on one hand may affect the patient’s prognosis and on the other hand puts a huge strain on a medical system that already has huge costs.

Healthcare is expensive, and while in most countries the state covers most of the expenses, it may not be the case worldwide. Patients are left with huge debts while trying to cover for their medical bills.

In oncology, the key is prevention and early detection; this makes screening programs vital in ensuring a stable, cost-efficient healthcare system. Current screening programs are limited and only a few western developed countries have implemented successful programs. In developing countries, screening programs are often left on a second plan, as healthcare providers try to stretch the already thin budget. This in return has serious consequences as patients are often diagnosed with late-stage cancer when the treatment options are limited.

Another problem patients face, especially in oncology, is the struggle to find reliable information. The internet and the word „cancer” usually is a dangerous combination that scares and creates real problems for patients. Most of the time, valuable and useful medical information get lost in social media content. Getting the latest information in oncology can be particularly difficult due to the constant evolution and development of data.

Facts about cancer and cancer economics

• Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015.

• Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.

• One cancer patient, worldwide, dies from this disease every 30 seconds.

• 8.2 million people die from cancer = 13 % of total deaths worldwide

• Every day 27,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer and this number is constantly growing

• Researchers now estimate cancer cases in the poorest countries could rise 90 % by 2030

• Researchers predict an increase in new cancer cases worldwide from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030

• Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.

• The economic impact of cancer is significant and is increasing.

• Not only does cancer take an enormous toll on the health of patients and survivors — it also has a tremendous financial impact.

• In 2014 cancer patients paid nearly $4 billion out-of-pocket for cancer treatments.

• Cancer also represents a significant proportion of total U.S. health care spending.

• $87.8 billion was spent in 2014 in the U.S. on cancer-related health care

• By 2020, 50 % of global healthcare expenditures — about $4 trillion — will be spent on three leading causes of death: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

The United States healthcare market was $3.2 T in 2016 according to CMS annual healthcare expenditure data.

OncoChain solutions for patients

Exclusive ownership of patient’s medical data and records — security through transparency

Trustworthy and filtered cancer-related information given by qualified personnel medical support 24/7 — digital platform where patient-to-doctor link ensures the best expertise regardless of boundaries

Access to prevention and screening programs that aim to prevent and detect early onset of oncological diseases

Prioritized access to care in OncoChain centers — international approved hospitals and clinics.

After prompt confirmation of the diagnosis by an independent consortium of doctors (and AI, in future), the patient is evaluated and prescribed an appropriate treatment plan, personalised for his type of cancer.

The transparency and accessibility of OncoChain opens incredible opportunities for private, corporate, and charitable organisations to offer critical illness insurance to patients.

Approved clinics on the OncoChain platform will have the ability to read patient’s full medical records and fill in data or useful information each time the patient is consulted by a doctor, new test or procedures are performed and new drugs are prescribed and administred.

OncoChain platform will provide the users with accurate information of who has access to their medical data, the time of access and the particular types of data that can be accessed.

OncoChain will also be of tremendous social importance, expecially in low and medium income countries, with enormous potential to change the quality of life for millions of people who suffer from cancer all over the world.

OncoChain solutions for hospitals:

Data overflow management — eliminating centralized systems will result in a reduced overall cost

Security — reduced risk of patient information leakage or hacking attacks

Easily accessible medical records — collective patient data regardless of the medical provider

Facilitating medical research — OncoChain aids the interaction and data exchange between patients and researchers. Patients can grant access to their data and medical records anonymously for researching purposes.

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