SMT Proposal - Decentralized Clinical Trials
This blog post is to inspire people to think out of the box about what SMTs can do, what Steem (and only Steem at this time) can leverage, and how Steem can grow it's ecosystem. This growth in the Steem ecosystem in my opinion requires that Steem as a community strategically embrace science. The community will have to choose whether to use it's voting pool to reward scientific endeavors or funky memes. One problem in most societies and in the world in general is the extremely high cost of healthcare. A major reason for this high cost is due to the high cost associated with developing new treatments such as drugs.
Using an oracle model similar to the one @Ned highlighted it will be possible to leverage SMTs to develop new anti-aging supplements. Unlike with drugs which require FDA approval the supplement industry is a lot less strict. This would allow for the familiar ICO crowd funding model to be utilized in the manner I will list below:
- Participants who volunteer to take part in the trial will receive tokens which represent a share in the profits from whatever drug or supplement is developed if the trial is successful. Just as with ICOs it should be expected that most trials will fail but if just one of these trials is a success then the participants could be well rewarded. In the case of failed trials then the world benefits from a better understanding of the science. All efforts should be taken to do trials which are of low risk to participants and a similar model is Lifespan.io. The problem with Lifespan.io is that it is a scam like model we a familiar with in Kickstarter where people "donate" in exchange for kudos. SMTs allow for much more than this.
- By Leveraging SMTs there can be legally binding securities offered to participants in the trial. In essence the participants do not buy the securities but instead earn them by participating in the trial. Those who are not brave enough to participate can take the lower risk route of buying them without having to participate. This would allow even so called "unsophisticated"/poor participants to have access to opportunity.
- Global trials allow for instant diversity and better data sets.
- Decentralized would mean that in order to buy the supplements which result from the trial the world would be required to buy the SMT token which would function like a coupon or voucher. This would give the token value provided that the supplement has some measurably beneficial effect in the studies.
- Marketing would be trivial because if any supplement works it will immediately go viral not only advertising the supplement but also Steem and crypto itself.
- Because established companies aren't necessarily going to lead here it would allow for innovation from smaller companies. Companies involved for example with making cannabis related supplements will be able to conduct randomized control trials via the blockchain.
- If SMTs can be securities then we would have the potential equivalent to a mini stock market on top of Steem. This could bring in trillions of funding via ICOs.
- If SMTs can be securities then SMTs can pay dividends (in theory) provided that this functionality is added. This can be accomplished by using the burn function to destroy tokens or it can be done by creation of new tokens according to some profitability metrics (profit sharing algorithm).
How to achieve this?
That is up to the Steem community to figure out. I would suggest that Steem leverage it's social capital by relying on relationship science. That is to say that there is a science to it and there are ways for the Steem community to leverage it's current relationships to form mutually beneficial deals with various supplement and drug companies. For instance many of the cannabis companies, many of the anti-aging researchers, many of the supplement developers and geneticists are on Steem. There are doctors on Steem who have accounts and who may be in a position to leverage their knowledge for the mutual benefit of themselves and Steem.