Can This App That Lets You Sell Your Health Data Cut Your Health Costs?

Ben Schiller at FastCompany: “Americans could do with new ways to save on healthcare….

CoverUS, a startup, has one idea: monetizing our health-related data. Through a new blockchain-based data marketplace, it hopes to generate revenue that could effectively make insurance cheaper and perhaps even encourage us to become healthier, thus cutting the cost of the system overall.

It works like this: When you sign up, you download a digital wallet to your phone. Then you populate that wallet with data from an electronic health record (EHR), for which, starting in January 2018, system operators are legally obliged to offer an open API. At the same time, you can also allow wearables and other health trackers to automatically add data to the platform, and answer questions about your health and consumption habits.

A prototype of the app. [Screenshots: CoverUS]

Why bother? To create a richer picture of your health than is currently held by the EHR systems, health providers, and data brokerages that buy and sell data from doctors, clinics, pharmacies, and other sources. By collecting all our data in one place, CoverUS wants to give us more autonomy over who uses our personal information and who makes money from it….

CoverUS, which plans to launch in the first quarter of 2018, will pay for the data we gather in the form of a fixed-price cryptocurrency called CoverCoin. Users generate coins by signing up and then sharing their data. The startup then hopes users will be able to spend the coins on services that improve their health (like gym memberships) or deposit them in a health savings account where the coins can be exchanged for insurance plan savings. Sealey says it’s in discussions with several providers…(More)”.