A doctor in South Korea has developed a new telemedicine app that uses blockchain technology to securely connect patients with doctors irrespective of their location.
The app, called MDsquare, was co-founded in 2016 by Dr Paul Oh, a career dentist who owns three clinics in Seoul, and Robert Hwang, a global ICT expert with more than 20 years of experience. They envisioned their service to increase the quality and accessibility of healthcare services around the world by utilising the power of blockchain.
The global telemedicine venture company aims to connect patients to medical specialists anywhere in the world, with integrated translation services when needed. Interpreters will be available for English, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian language support, with more Asian languages to follow.
According to Dr Oh, their app can bring peace of mind to families traveling abroad, and also allows patients to meet with experts in rare diseases, without the added burden of airfare. He believes it can also help address extremely high medical costs in some countries.
“When diagnoses are confined to the hospital, it’s inconvenient for the doctors and the patients. Doctors end up feeling stuck putting such long hours in at their office, and patients frequently break appointments because they can’t reach the clinic in time,” said Dr Oh.
“With MDsquare, doctors and patients can be connected on their own terms,” continued Dr Oh.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain platform, MDsquare uses smart contracts that allow patients to make one payment that automatically gets split up and paid out to all involved caregivers and support staff: the doctor, the interpreter when necessary, and if the physician requests lifestyle data be shared from a fitness wearable, the IoT device manufacturer.
Furthermore, being on the blockchain allows encrypted medical files to be shared securely, and even enables the patient to optionally sell anonymised medical data directly to medical research companies.
To protect patients and doctors against the fluctuations of the volatile crypto marketplace, all payments for MDsquare services will be made with MD Points (MDP), a secondary non-crypto token which will be purchasable for a set USD rate from the MDsquare website or in-app. Customers will be able to purchase MDP with fiat or TMED, and also exchange it for TMED at the going rate.
The MDP tokens will be up for public sale in late July and will later become available on cryptocurrency exchanges.