Blockchain: Ethicoin arrives, the token that pays for medical care to those in need

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75 years have passed since health was recognized as a fundamental human right, yet today in Italy more than 4 million people have had to forgo medical care for economic reasons. To these, we must add about 32.8 million citizens who in 2020 saw medical visits, examinations or health interventions postponed or canceled, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. What is not dormant, however, is the caring spirit from below, which has led thousands of donors to support a widespread health need, often surpassing worldly doubts and mistrust. solidarity.

What is Ethicare

The Ethicare team, the first fundraising platform based on blockchain technology, whose goal is to finance health services for those who cannot afford them, is now looking for another way. “The Ethicare project is driven by the desire to give people back control of their decisions – explains Giuseppe Lorusso, co-founder of the startup based in Puglia, in the province of Bari – and does not imply the need to trust a intermediary, whether an individual or an NGO, thanks to the decentralized system which transparently regulates relations between the parties ”. Ethics and disintermediation are therefore the watchwords of the initiative, which combine with the technological potential of the blockchain, a register distributed over several nodes of a network, on which changes must receive specific consent.

Once upon a time there was the “Bank of Visits”

The idea for Ethicare arose from the experience of Banca delle Visite, in which the same team applied the concept of “hanging coffee” to healthcare. The objective was to collect medical visits to give them to those who needed them, to put the applicant in contact with the health structure and to cover the costs of the visit or the service. The success of the initiative has, however, led to the observation of a certain mistrust on the part of donors with regard to intermediate realities, which we have tried to overcome with the creation of territorial offices intended to bring benefactors and beneficiaries closer together. The next step, however, came in 2017 thanks to the potential introduced by Ethereum, the digital platform that enabled something previously impossible: to create software that was stored and executed within the blockchain.

“This type of software, called smart-contract, has several unique characteristics,” explains Michele Pisicoli, founder and developer of the Ethicare project. “It is accessible to everyone, it is transparent and unchanging. Anyone can run it and be sure the software will do exactly what it was designed to do. It is a concept that goes beyond automation and creates the basis for building systems with autonomous governance ”. The application of this technology has therefore made it possible to eclipse the intermediation of both people and proprietary systems, making the parties involved capable of self-management thanks to a consensus algorithm.

The Dapp Mechanism

Ethicare is therefore a DApp, or a cross-platform web application capable of interacting directly with the Binance Smart Chain blockchain. But who are the actors in this virtuous process of health support and how is the donation improved? On the one hand, there are those who need a medical examination, who register the request by entering their data and references to their history. The privacy of these people is guaranteed and doctors or establishments can consult the list of requests. If the treatment request is relevant to the specialization – and can be provided logistically and geographically – the doctor has the right to “activate” the collection by indicating the cost of the service. At this point, donors all over the world can contribute financially and the donations are handled by a smart contract. If the sample is successful within the time limit, the doctor or establishment can provide the service to the applicant, but it is only after the latter’s agreement that the fees are paid. Otherwise, funds are automatically returned to donors.


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