Inspiration

When a patient is prescribed a medication, they have to worry more about more than just purchasing the medication. Oftentimes, people will go to their doctor, who will write a prescription for them, and they will get to the pharmacy and it will not be covered under their insurance. This means the prescription drug is not on the formulary for the patient's insurance company. Usually in these situations, the physician has to fill out paperwork for the insurance company, also known as prior authorization, in order for the insurance company to approve covered payment for the medication, or to switch to a medication that is covered under the patient's insurance. By having a platform where physicians can search an insurance company's plan for covered medications, we are able to reduce the amount of time it takes for a patient to receive their care.

What it does

InsureMe is a web application that allows physicians to check if a patient's prescription is covered by their insurance plan before prescribing it.

How we built it

The application was built using Blockstack and JavaScript. Blockstack is a decentralized computing network and app ecosystem that puts users in control of their identity and data. We used Blockstack to enforce patient-physician confidentiality according to HIPAA and for confirmation of transaction between the prescriber and pharmacy. Since Blockstack enforces blockchain, we are able to implement an immutable record of data that is unalterable by all parties involved.

Challenges we ran into

As novices in terms of coding in JavaScript, our team struggled with the setbacks that occur with web development. As biomedical engineering majors with past computer science experience, we are accustomed to coding for mathematical modeling and robotics.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of ourselves for seeking a solution outside of our comfort zone. Neither of us is experienced in web development, so it was interesting to learn more about Blockstack and how we could implement it for our concept.

What we learned

We learned a great deal from our solution such as javascript, blockchain, encryption, and issues that face patients at the point of prescription. It was highly rewarding to work on a health-related solution to not only apply our computer science skills, but also contribute to a solution that can be utilized by anyone in health care.

What's next for InsureMe

In the future, we would implement a greater variety of insurance plan coverage checking. We would also like to explore web and pdf scraping to automate the search process associated with checking a prescription with a patient's plan.

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