By the end of the year, a groundbreaking five-year study will be launched on whether crypto incentives can improve the health of HIV / AIDS patients in Kenya.
On November 1, the blockchain-driven health ecosystem Immunify.Life and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) announced that they had received the necessary approval from the Ethics Committee and the National Committee to launch the study.
Together, they will conduct a five-year HIV / AIDS study that will begin before the end of 2021 in the Kakamega district of Kenya and then expand to the rest of the country.
MMUST will use Immunify.Life blockchain technology to collect and analyze patient data to help improve the outcomes of HIV treatment. An assessment will be made of whether patients had better treatment results if they were motivated by symbolic rewards for positive health behavior identified by project sponsors such as voluntary organizations and public agencies.
Immunify.Life CEO Guy Newing told Cointelegraph:
“The program we are testing will provide symbolic incentives to encourage outpatients to come to the clinic for treatment.”
Patients and doctors will be rewarded with the original ERC-20 IMM token from Immunify.Life. They could be offered, he added, “to complete a certain course of antibiotics for tuberculosis” and to stimulate “an AIDS patient who regularly returns to the clinic for examination and treatment.”
New said health professionals will also be rewarded for positive behaviors, such as “filling out consultation records correctly, ordering a certain number of TB tests or completing a medical education.”
A Non-Fungal Markers Health ID (NFT) is issued to each patient through a platform that collects key health data such as vaccination records. This data is then transferred to a digital register to provide medical remote monitoring and real-time data access for healthcare professionals.
The study sample size was 600 patients. Half will receive an incentive token, the other half will act as a control and will not receive a reward token. Patients will be monitored for six months and will receive active treatment and follow-up on a monthly basis.
The study will also track the effectiveness of paperless health tracking systems in countries with low socioeconomic status.
«Critical health data processing data can be collected in real time, time stamped and secured; it cannot be hacked or changed, Newing said. The platform will initially use a Layer 2 solution on Ethereum using Polygon, with long-term plans to connect to Cardano.
In addition to tokens offered by sponsors, patients will also benefit financially from the sale of anonymous medical data. Immunify.Life is currently holding a special round for strategic and institutional investors ahead of the DEX Initial Offering (IDO), scheduled for early 2022.
“Patients will be able to check their data and participate in financial rewards. The system is financed by fees imposed on organizations that finance and provide health services. ”
In addition to working with HIV in Kenya, Immunify.Life uses its blockchain technology in two other treatment areas: COVID-19 and opioid dependence.
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Kenya has an estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV, according to a UNAIDS report from 2020. Although 70% of these patients are on treatment, there are currently difficulties in tracking, accessing, programming and collecting data .
Many people with HIV cannot continue treatment. According to Immunify.Life, the number of patients with “relapse” in some regions can reach 40%. This includes pregnant women who can transmit the virus to their babies during childbirth.