Today hundreds of millions of people still lack access to basic health records and medical professionals to adequate tools and technologies that support the health needs of their patients.
At a time of unprecedented global health challenges, access to secure, relevant, and reliable data has become key to optimising the delivery of healthcare, and the management of national and global emergencies and health priorities.
This narrative is taking a new turn as Immunify.Life is putting healthcare records on blockchain so that users can own their data.
With Immunify, users can turn up to hospitals, present data from their phones while also monetizing it as the healthcare data is personalised and its storage backed by blockchain.
Users can also decide to share their data while appearing anonymous, and it doesn’t just end there as you will also be paid for it.
Blockbuild.africa had a chat with Immnuify life Africa Director, Dola Idowu who took us through what the blockchain-backed platform is recently doing
From last year till date, what has been the impact of Immunify.life?
We are starting our trial in Kenya soon. It’s going to be done in collaboration with Masinde Muliro University. I believe that the school is one of the most receptive universities in Kenya with advances in technology.
Secondly, we are using our technology in New Mexico to incentivize opioid addicts, and this is where the blockchain part comes into it.
We are incentivising drug addicts in New Mexico with our digital coin, IMM tokens. Once they come for their treatment and get confirmed, they will be paid in IMM tokens. We are also trying to work in Cameroun. Zambia and South Sudan.
When will you make entry into Nigeria?
I once mentioned on LinkedIn that we go anywhere we are accepted, and the good news is that I am the Director of Immunify’s Africa operation.
There will be no issues If I pick up my bag to enter Nigeria today, but what’s even more important is to have a reception in Nigeria. That’s why we are having this conversation, to do what is necessary so as to receive the required reception.
What must be in place to get the needed reception?
In building electronic health records on blockchain, we need Blockchain experts, developers, and healthcare professionals. It is a merging of the technical with the clinical, and this is what we are trying to bring together.
For instance, having this conversation with blockbuild.africa and talking to healthcare workers as well, that’s what we need. We love to speak with people who are motivated and know what they are doing, and that is the structure we are bringing together.
I myself have a background in healthcare anyway, I was a member of the UK’s Royal Army Medical Corps, then a Senior Cardiac Physiologist, so I understand that, when you get information, or you get medical information, it needs to move from point A to point B, for intervention to take place.
Now, the problem over time has been that people are not incentivised for doing their job properly and that’s what IMM token is going to correct.
For instance, if you are a doctor or nurse and you do your job properly, you document patient data properly on our platform, and you immediately get rewarded with IMM tokens.
Once you push the submit button, you get rewarded for doing what you know how to do, which I don’t believe happens anywhere in the world.
So how much of blockchain can be leveraged to actually solve healthcare challenges?
I will continue to reiterate, that it’s going to be bespoke, for instance, we can’t disregard that a lot of people still prefer fiat currency, thus we are also looking into helping them to convert our tokens into fiat money or data.
That’s why we are having a conversation with World Mobile, to help our users convert their tokens. However, what may apply in Lagos may not be applicable in other parts of Nigeria.
Immunify life will be finding out the different needs of people in their various localities, we will then engage with their leaders to see how our tokens might be converted to what they desire.
Any major partnerships?
As I said earlier, we are in collaboration with World Mobile, and we are currently in talks with World Health Organisation (WHO). A quick check on our website will show you a list of our partners.
We are also currently in talks with Commonwealth organizations, and to be honest, some of these organisations are interested in Nigeria and Africa, however, it has to be a case of implementation.
The question now is how do we make sure that we get it right? It doesn’t matter what part of Africa we go to, we need to make sure we get things done with no excuses.
Another quick look at Immunify website, you would see the institutions we are partnering with, these are credible organizations with repute.
How will Immunify ensure health inclusion in underserved areas?
Using Nigeria as an example, from auxiliary nurses to the local government chairman, we are ready to work with anyone, who is willing and ready to use blockchain technology to help people because that’s important.
Like, I use this analogy oftentimes, If you have your healthcare records on your phone, and you’re traveling from one city to the other, if you have any allergic reaction, all you need is to simply present your data from your mobile phone as there is no need for you to start answering time-wasting questions from health workers.
We will simply be working with the local health workers to execute what they know how to do. We would also ensure that money and resources coming from international organisations end up being used effectively by making sure it goes through to the patient and health workers.
Part of your mission states that “improving outcomes and enabling better investment decisions”, how are you doing this?
The reality is that there is never enough money to fix everything. In economics or health economics, what happens is, if, for instance, a local chemist or pharmacy, in the rural part of Nigeria uses the Immunify.life app.
Epidemiological studies from data gathered from the app can tell for a fact that people in that rural part are having a particular health challenge. This can help the government or NGOs target the affected population quickly.
This is basic health economics since you know that data of those rural people are being captured locally and organically while bearing in mind these people know what their health challenge is, moving forward, we can suggest rather than spend $10,000, in an urban centre like Lagos, push the same amount to the identified rural centre, get healthcare workers there, pay them properly, and get things sorted.
This is not rocket science, It’s all about the will and passion to execute it and there is no better place to start this in Africa, than in Nigeria, because we have the resources to pull it through and that is why I have been pushing it for nearly three years now.
What is the role of data in solving global health care challenges?
I don’t think I can quantify this in so many words. Having healthcare data is crucial and valuable
Some of these popular tokens all have implied values, but when you have your own healthcare data backing IMM tokens, you know you have something tangible that you can benefit from.
You can anonymously consent to let your data be used and you get rewarded for it.
Featured Image: Dola Idowu, Director of Implementation Africa, Immunify. Life
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