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Playful, decentralized data management systems

Published onDec 22, 2017
Playful, decentralized data management systems

MedRec is the combination of a social need with a technological enabler: a system that prioritizes patient agency, giving a transparent and accessible view of medical history. 

When someone sees a new doctor, or moves to a new city, why do they have to re-enter the same information every time, even for a routine checkup? They don’t have to - there is plenty of space for efficiency here, which software and services like “FollowMyHealth” and “PatientGetaway” are filling.

MedRec’s strength is not that it can streamline the above process (if the user wishes so) - that is secondary. Its main strength is that the user has complete ownership and agency over her data, compared to what is currently the case, where institutions, insurance companies and shadowy startups (of the “23 and me” type) have an upper hand.

The key processes at the heart of this project are these two: a distributed network and ability to control who has access to your information.

The following lines offer some ideas as to how to make the engagement with such an application or service a playful one.

What we don’t do well with medical data?

We are afraid of them. We are bored by them. We don’t give them enough attention - or maybe we give them too much attention. We only access them by proxy (the doctor). We have no clue who has looked at them. We don’t have a bulletproof way to say “I am sure that there is one person in the entire world that can see my data, and I know who that is”.

When does the relational nature of who can see our data matter? When would we want to let someone have our record (or a subset of it), or suspend their ability to do so?

The obvious response to the above is to create a desktop app that offers an overview of the network of granted authority, and focuses on providing and visualizing in a compelling way the medical record of the user.

But, who wants another “plot your health” app?

Here are some ideas for more playful implementations of whaot MedRec’s core ideas can materialize and interface with the end user.dRec can do:e

  • a personalized satirical (but not necessarily) short video clip that gets periodically delivered to the user via email, which features a recap of their health metrics for the past quarter, and the names of the doctors that have participated in the individual’s care

  • a VR environment of a “space” that shows the medical data as objects and how they have been changing in time

  • a VR space where the size and colors of the rooms correspond to your health metrics (so if you need to lose weight, the spaces are very constrained for example)

  • a desktop or mobile app that reveals your medical data as part of a game (ex: the Sudoku values are in reality your blood values)

  • web app or mobile app that tracks your movement and warns you when you are close to someone who is authorized to look at your data

  • a MedRec token - an object that the patient caries with them when they go to the doctor, and when it comes in close proximity to the doctor’s token, it syncs up and updates the blockchain.

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