With the recent developments, it’s no surprise that NFTs can be used to raise funds for medical purposes
NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, created using blockchain technology, first made a splash in the art world as a platform to buy and sell digital art backed by a digital contract. But could NFT digital contracts be useful in other marketplaces? A global, multidisciplinary team of scholars in ethics, law, and informatics led by bioethicists at Baylor College of Medicine wrote one of the first commentaries on how this new emerging technology could be repurposed for the healthcare industry.
When it comes to non-fungible tokens or the emerging form of digital certificate that certifies an asset as being one-of-a-kind, the world seems to be split into two camps: pro- and anti-NFT camps. Those belonging to the former camp tout it as a novel approach to finance and own digital media; while those against NFTs point to – among many other things- their devastating effects on the climate.
But beyond US$69.3 million-worth NFT art and relying on technology that consumes as much energy as a whole country, NFTs represent a unique potential in the digital health age: that of patients, rather than companies, owning their own digital healthcare data. With such a level of ownership, patients could leverage its advantage to monetize their data rather than have companies profit off them, as has been traditionally the case.
Given the novelty of NFTs, their untapped potential in healthcare might not be known, let alone what NFTs are and how they work. This article will walk you through the basics of NFTs, how they can further empower patients in the digital health age, as well as raise concerns pertinent to the technology.
Paying Medical Debt with NFTs? How?
Earlier this year, Dallas-based software developer Joshua Lapidus launched a project that was equal parts meme and charitable venture: Rainbow Rolls, an NFT collection consisting of anthropomorphic toilet paper rolls. By partnering with the non-profit org RIP Medical Debt, Lapidus hoped to take on one of the country’s most pressing problems.
Thankfully, the project was a hit. With the successful launch of his Rainbow Rolls project, Lapidus was able to raise enough funds to enable the non-profit to clear roughly US$7 million worth of medical debt for families across the U.S. He didn’t stop there, either. Through the Rainbow Rolls project, Lapidus was also later able to work with UkraineDAO and Unchainfund to aid in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Inspired to help others during her recovery from breast cancer, Alina Mehrle started Ameon, a skincare company that helps empower women who face similar circumstances. This new non-profit arm of the company is launching its first project, the Ameon Muse NFT collection on June 1. They’re partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help raise funds.
So how do NFTs play into this? For every US$100 tax-deductible donation made to Ameon Cares, donors will receive one of five Ameon Muse NFTs in return. These NFTs are digital personifications of the values Ameon holds most highly courage, kindness, curiosity, inclusivity, and creativity. On top of donations raised via the Ameon Cares project, the company has also pledged to donate US$10,000 annually to the BCRF into the foreseeable future.