The Barter Economy


A medical center in Maine, USA, has commenced a program aimed to provide medical care to uninsured patients. The Portland Hour Exchange Program is designed as a complement to Medicaid, and the initiative lets patients pay for medical services with ‘time dollars’, which they can earn through completing chores. Instead of paying an expensive fee or contributing to their insurance plan, low-income patients enrolled in the program can do various odd jobs for the practitioner, ranging from mowing the lawns to doing cleaning. Two hours of chores gives uninsured patients access to one visit to a doctor.


John Scully speaks:

The big difference now is that if you look at the social web, the consumer is no longer wowed by technology. It’s all about magic, and the magic can be Facebook, Twitter, the ability to find anything anywhere on Google. We’re at an era where technology is an invisible enabler to magic. So the real quest is if we can take the challenge of getting healthy people to focus on lifestyles that will keep them healthy and make it feel like a magical experience, and that’s why gamification is probably a piece of the solution. (Fast Company)