Dentistry Meets Blockchain
Disclaimer: I am not advocating this Cryptocurrency in any way, nor can I offer financial advice as I have no professional qualification; this is simply a whitepaper summary whereby I break down the core concepts and aims of the currency so that investors are more easily able to make their own decisions. Facts and figures taken from the whitepaper have not been independently verified. Any questions regarding further details should be addressed towards the Dentacoin team themselves
The first thing I always like to do in my articles is define what the Cryptocurrency specifically aims to do and then I move on to the problems that they’re solving, before covering exactly how they will solve those problems through their plan.
With Dentacoin though, there are several different stages and unique elements to their plan so I can’t define it very easily without covering the details. That’s why I will cover those details shortly but for now I would say this:
Sounds a little vague, right?
I agree but, as I say, it’s difficult to really describe the goals in a concise way and I always like to cover the problem being solved first as this is fundamentally important for every Cryptocurrency or business.
After all, if they’re not solving a real problem, nobody will buy the tokens. So, without further ado, let’s cover the current problems…
What Are The Problems?
The whitepaper revolves around the central problem the team believe they have identified in the current Dental system. This is all about how Dentists are focused on curing patient issues, whereas they should be focused on prevention.
The reason for the existence of this issue is pretty obvious; in most countries, dentists are paid for the operations that they carry out in order to fix existing issues that patients are suffering from.
As a result, there is no incentive for doctors to assist with prevention. In fact, there is arguably an incentive for doctors to not help with prevention and thus be able to sell a greater number of operations to these patients further down the line. Let me explain with an example quickly:
Let’s say you have 2 patients; Bill and John.
Bill goes to dentist 1. He is treated in a highly respected way and is educated about the importance of prevention methods and, as a result, he regularly cleans his teeth etc.
When he returns to the dentist, he has no cavities or other problems. As there are no issues for the doctor to rectify, Bill is simply charged the small fee for his check-up. Dentist 1 has made little money… in his terms at least.
John goes to dentist 2. Dentist 2 doesn’t educate him about prevention methods at all. Therefore, over the next few months, John may carry out the obvious methods of teeth maintenance e.g. brushing but he may not understand the importance of extra methods such as flossing.
When John returns to his dentist a few months later, he has developed problems as a result of not properly maintaining his gums. Dentist 2 tells John that he desperately needs an operation. Obviously, this would freak him and the decision to pay seems somewhat obvious.
Dentist 2 carries out the operation on John and charges him a very high fee for it. Dentist 2 has just made far more money than Dentist 1.
It’s a sad state of affairs but you can clearly see that there is actually a significant economic advantage for dentists to not educate their clients.
Now I would never lodge this accusation against an individual dentist; it goes against their hippocratic oath and is simply morally wrong. However, out of the millions of dentists worldwide, I expect that there will be a group who do exactly this.
Further, there will be another group who aren’t actively avoiding telling patients about prevention methods but are simply not explaining to patients as strongly as they should about the importance of prevention.
Issues such as this are most likely to relatively infrequent in well-developed countries where medical-related practices are somewhat monitored. In poorer countries though, this could well be a real issue.
Right, so I’ve explained the main problem that the Dentacoin team is attempting to solve. There are a couple of smaller problems also but I think it makes more sense for the flow of the article to cover those throughout the course of the article as they fit more aptly that way.
Let’s move onto the Dentacoin plan…
What’s The Plan?
Essentially, there are 4 elements of Dentacoin’s long-term vision:
1. Trusted Review Platform
2. Aftercare Mobile App and Educational Website
3. Dental Insurance Concept
4. Healthcare Database
Let’s take a look at each one now…
1. Trusted Review Platform
In today’s world, reviews are increasing in prevalence at an incredible rate. Not only that, the importance of them is growing rapidly too.
The easiest way to understand this is to think of Amazon; would you buy a product off Amazon that has zero reviews?
Well, I’ve actually just launched my first product on there recently (in the past 2 weeks) and I can tell you for a fact that very few people want to buy without reviews and this is because reviews are social proof; when someone or something has hundreds of rave reviews, it’s pretty clear that the person/product is great. The opposite can also be said when there are many negative reviews.
Dentacoin plan to tap into this increasing importance of social proof by establishing a review-based system whereby patients can rate their dentists.
The benefit of hosting this on a blockchain is mostly that everyone has access to all reviews and they can never be deleted. As such, there is no workaround for dentists to get great reviews by removing the negative ones.
This also ties into another problem that Dentacoin are solving. Earlier, I mentioned the examples of Bill and John. I described about how John wasn’t educated about prevention properly and he ultimately ended up having to pay expensive medical bills as a result.
In that example, dentist 1 was very professional and would have relatively few patients requiring operations, whereas dentist 2 was much worse at his job and thus his patients would require far more operations.
While it is hard for the average person to review the work of a dentist, with a trusted review system, over time it should hopefully become clear which dentists are carrying out more operations than others.
This doesn’t necessarily correlate to which dentist is better or worse but it does at least provide an incentive for dentists to avoid being known as the one who is constantly operating on patients.
2. Aftercare Mobile App and Educational Website
The process here is called Answer-Learn-Earn.
Patients of dentists who are subscribed to the Dentacoin business model will have access to an app and website which will ask them questions on how to prevent various teeth-related issues.
When a patient gets the answer correct, they will earn a small quantity of Dentacoin. The repetition of this process should, in theory, help patients develop healthier habits. Whether knowledge translates into action is another question but there should be a correlation at least.
3. Dental Insurance Concept
Dentacoin will create a smart contract that will exist linking patients to their dentists. The purpose of the contract is to align the goals of patients and dentists and it will work like so:
- Both the patient and dentist will agree to the main interest – maintaining healthy teeth and overall hygiene
- In order to do so, patients will be expected to carry out certain measures e.g. brushing twice a day and scheduling regular dental check-ups
- These measures will be explained and detailed in Dentacoin’s aftercare app and on their website
- Dentists will then restore the patient’s teeth at the expense of the themselves
- If both the patient and dentist carry out their side of the agreement, monetary rewards will be issues – in the form of Dentacoin – to both parties
- The idea is that, by aligning the incentives of both dentist and patient, they should both carry out their side of the agreement more effectively
As I stated in the disclaimer at the top, this article is a whitepaper summary. The above information is just that and if you would like more information, I would suggest heading to the Dentacoin website contacting the team directly as they are better placed to field extra questions than myself.
4. Healthcare Database
For those who don’t know, the blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin and 99.99% of other Cryptocurrencies) consists of a permanent ledger whereby information can easily be accessed.
Dentacoin plan to use this to create a database whereby healthcare information is stored in a way which is very easy for dentists to access and transfer to each other.
As such, data loss issues shouldn’t be a concern.
In the UK (and I believe in all countries), medical data is 100% private such that only the doctor and patient have access to the information. In their whitepaper, Dentacoin don’t actually reference this.
However, it is perfectly possible to create a privacy-focused blockchain that would, in theory, allow for privacy issues to be avoided. With the wealth of experience their team carries in the healthcare industry, I would be shocked if this point hasn’t already been addressed though.
So now that I’ve summarised the attempted plan of the team, let’s move on to the token purpose
What’s The Token Purpose?
The token has 2 purposes:
- The token can be used as means of paying for dental care as dentists can pay their employees or suppliers through this method
- The token can be viewed as a financial investment that could gain value over time
It is not discussed in their whitepaper (I assume this has happened since they published it) but the Dentacoin team has informed investors of how they have signed up their first dental clinic to their plan; SWISS Dentaprime, located in Varna, Bulgaria.
A quote from this source also states that “The clinic’s management is eager to implement soon the mobile Dentacare app as well (which is planned to be launched in Beta version [around] the end of September”.
A second example is in London’s F3T Dental Clinic which have begun using Dentacoin as a payment method and a clients reward program. They also plan to switch to the Trusted Review Platform and the Dentacare app upon launch.
The final and most significant example occurred in July 2017 when Dentacoin bought the real, existing dental clinic; Dentaprime International Plc. London. This transaction costs $90 million and was paid for entirely in DCN tokens.
The implication of this is described in the following quote: “Even before the ICO, the DCN was given a high, real value by professionals of the M&A field”.
In their whitepaper, Dentacoin state how they will buy back DCN tokens with 50% of all profits gained throughout the previous financial year.
These profits include interests from assets, profits of the clinics bought by the Foundation and any other return on investment.
This is actually very significant; some people may read this summary and love the idea, while some will hate it – this is the nature of Cryptocurrencies.
However, the fact that Dentacoin will buy back tokens with 50% of profits should cause the value of tokens to increase (ignoring all other factors) BUT only if they make enough profits to buy significant tokens.
As they own an existing dental clinic and will commit 50% of the profits from this (and other sources), you would hope that there should be significant enough yearly profits from the clinic to potentially make the buyback program a success.
However, I am in my 20s fresh out of uni with no experience of the yearly profits expected from a dental clinic. Please do your own research or feel free to contact the team with any questions if you would like more details.
Dentacoin have sold 1% of tokens in their pre-sale and will sell a further 3% in their ICO. Over the next couple of decades, the team will be slowly releasing extra tokens in order to supply the system (e.g. app and website rewards for users). The rate at which this occurs can be seen above.
As you can see from the pictures above, the team consists of 20 individuals (including advisors) which is a large number in comparison with the majority of Cryptocurrencies at ICO stage.
Many of them have impressive backgrounds and you would expect them to be highly competent at implementing their future plans.
Usually, in the roadmap section I either summarise it if the information isn’t presented very clearly in the whitepaper or I take screenshots if it is and include those. In this case, the roadmap in the whitepaper looks far more visually appealing than any way I could write it so I’ve chosen to include the screenshots below on this occasion.
The token sale will begin on October 1st, during which they will attempt to sell 240,000,000,000 DCN tokens at a price of 0.00011723 USD per DCN token or 8,530 DCN per $1 if you prefer to read this way around.
There will also be 2nd token sale occurring on October 1st 2018 (1 year later). At this point though, there aren’t many details. I have included the screenshot below so you can gauge for yourself.
What Will They Do With The Funds?
The funds will be used in the following manner:
I hope you guys have enjoyed the article and learnt a thing or two