Using Blockchain to improve health access to unhoused people

1) Sustainability Problem (Safety and Health): Unhoused people (aka homeless) are part of a systematic cycle that hinders their safety and progress. Many displaced individuals lose their personal documents including birth certificates, licenses, social security card, etc. This makes it extremely difficult to rent, get a job, and receive medical attention.

2) Dell Medical School developing technology to improve access to health care for homeless population

  • The question posed by Dell Medical School is “How do you get more access to health care and social service resources for people experiencing homelessness in Austin?” In a study, the school found that 1/3 of people trying to get medical attention did not have documents to prove their identity.
  • Dr. Tim Mercer, director of the global health program at Dell, and his colleagues are trying to use Blockchain technology to create a system in which information and identity documents can be stored and used across different platforms and institutions.
  • The technology would store the data provided in one medical provider the information would be updated and stored so that if the person goes to another provider or tries to obtain human services their information is already available.
  • This blockchain system would help not only those experiencing homelessness, but also allow those trying to provide services to more efficiently do their job
  • This blockchain technology is being developed and is in it’s initial steps through student led research and testing.

3.) Stakeholders

  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Doctors/Nurses/etc.
  • Human Services providers
  • Health/Human Services office staff

4) Implementation Steps:

  1. Further research: testing and trying to perfect the blockchain further in every attempt to ensure the system speaks to each other but also is ethically ran
  2. Securing further funding via grants, investment, etc.
  3. Community involvement: Speaking with the populations that will be directly affected by the technology (i.e. stakeholders) and ensuring this meet their needs

5) https://makeasmartcity.com/2021/06/03/the-smart-windows-in-movies-are-here/

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