- April 20, 2018
- Category: Business, Cryptocurrency
The medical community has been exploring the uses of the blockchain in recent months, as over 70 white papers were submitted by thought leaders in medicine, members of academia, and developers to a contest sponsored by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The topics ranged from patient finance to data storage and research, and an event, called The Blockchain Workshop in Health, was held by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and was attended by over 40,000 people.
A number of startups are forming with regard to the blockchain and medicine, and several of these center around fraud prevention in medical payments by using the blockchain. There are even talks to create systems that will prevent the administration of the wrong medicines, performing effective audits, and verifying the credentials of healthcare providers that live in other states.
Changing the Way Information is Shared
SimplyVital Health is a company that is coming out with a number of products that are predicted to change the face of the medical industry. One of their offerings, Health Nexus, aims to become a hub for medical information, even allowing patients to make money by selling their information to interested marketers. The service boasts a secure method of data storage that will also allow doctors to relay results to one another quickly and easily. Their goal is to link physicians, researchers, and patients together on a single system.
The apps Health Nexus is producing are reported to be decentralized, dependent on cryptography related to the blockchain system to keep messages secure, and it is reported to be a self-sustaining network. Providers will also be able to analyze collected information to reliably predict levels of financial risk.
In lieu of an initial coin offering, Health Nexus is distributing tokens, and these are meant to represent coins. This approach is one that is still evolving, but generally, tokens are can be used in a more versatile way than coins, as they are in a person’s physical possession. The release of these tokens give data immediate liquidity, and they can be traded and speculated on. Health Nexus intends to make its system available for other startups to build upon.
Other companies are getting in on the action using Ethereum and other blockchain technologies to meet needs in the medical community, and a major concern is HIPAA compliance. Companies like Health Nexus are choosing their miners carefully to make sure data stays secure, and they are providing multiple checkpoints before records can become a part of the blockchain.
Developers are taking care to meet the rules and regulations that exist in other countries and are working to make sure that data does not travel outside of approved networks. Critics of the introduction of blockchain technologies in the healthcare industry have fears that money will be untraceable and that providers will not have to disclose their earnings to governmental authorities, but federal agencies are currently working to make blockchain technology a viable system for the health sector.