Every now and again an exciting new technology comes along, a technology that promises to revolutionize something or some way of doing things. Bitcoin is one such technology. Bitcoin and the blockchain that created it have transformed the financial sector by creating a cryptocurrency and a way to track that currency for the purposes of conducting near instantaneous transactions around the world.
Another example of an exciting technology is regenerative medicine. This is a field of medicine that seeks to use things like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies to promote natural healing in order to avoid invasive surgery and other less attractive treatment options. So, what if we combined the two?
At the current time, health insurance plans do not cover PRP and stem cell treatments. That leaves patients paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. That is good for doctors who are able to eliminate the insurance company middleman; it’s bad for patients who may not have that kind of money lying around. But if they had some cryptocurrency, it could be a means of paying for treatment.
The Cryptocurrency Advantage
What’s most interesting about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is that their values fluctuate almost on a daily basis. Cryptocurrency is truly a supply-and-demand business. Indeed, more than one investor has purchased just a few Bitcoins only to have those coins appreciate by thousands of dollars each. What’s more, the world’s financial institutions are beginning to wake up to the reality that cryptocurrencies are probably here to stay.
The advantage of cryptocurrency as a payment method is that transactions take place without banks being involved. You purchase Bitcoin or some other digital currency by way of a broker the same way you might take U.S. dollars and purchase British pounds before traveling to London. The only difference is that cryptocurrency is stored in a digital wallet rather than on your person.
When it comes time to actually transact business, the transaction takes place through the blockchains computer network. The network takes the currency out of your digital wallet and transfers it to the recipient’s wallet via the internet. Once the blockchain has been updated to reflect that transaction, it is finalized and made permanent. It is relatively fast, relatively cheap, and very secure.
Bitcoin and Regenerative Medicine
Keeping the cost affordable is a big part of bringing regenerative medicine to the mass market. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are playing a role here. By taking insurance companies, hospitals, and other negative influences out of the healthcare equation, prices are kept in check by relying almost entirely on the relationship between provider and recipient. That sort of relationship is truly what market economics are all about.
Apex Biologix, a Utah company that supplies centrifuges and other regenerative medicine equipment to doctors and clinics, explains that the marriage between Bitcoin and regenerative medicine is a natural one. Both technologies are game-changers in their respective industries, and both are more likely to be used by people who are not afraid of bucking the system.
A practical example of how Bitcoin can improve regenerative medicine is observed via people from other countries coming to the U.S. to receive treatment. They can pay for their treatment before they leave home, using a cryptocurrency, eliminating the losses that would normally occur when converting funds from their own currency into U.S. dollars. This effectively makes treatment more affordable to them.
Cryptocurrency and regenerative medicine are taking their respective industries by storm. Now we are beginning to see the two technologies combined in the marketplace. It is exciting to imagine where this marriage will lead.