No doubt, blockchain technology is an excellent tool for tracking data amongst other things. This is why one of the top five hospitals in the United States, Massachusetts General Hospital, has decided to explore blockchain technology. In a bid to use blockchain technology to manage patient data more efficiently, the MGH had entered into partnership with a Korean-based blockchain company, MediBloc.
Massachusetts General Hospital And MediBloc
The director of the Laboratory of Computation and medical Imaging, Synho Do, during an interview with CoinDesk, said that blockchain technology can be leveraged in the medical field. In his words:
“Cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain technology can be effective applied in the medical industry in different ways. Its uses can range from storing health information to performing accurate medical image analysis.”
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When he was asked about the hospital’s partnership with Do, he said:
“By collaborating with Medibloc, our goal is to explore the benefits of blockchain technology using it to provide secure solutions for integrating AI applications and exchanging health information. It can also make the day-to-day workflow more efficient.
One of the major issues facing the healthcare sector is that patient data is required by different entities. On one hard, you have the hospitals, research labs, and pharmaceutical companies. On the other hand, you have insurance companies, corporate organizations, etc. The challenge here is that each body keeps a format of the data that cannot be shared with the other. Blockchain technology can eliminate this problem.
The founder of Medibloc, Allen Wookyun Kho said that information transfer is a key problem in the health care sector. In his words:
“On a daily basis, people who go to hospitals fill out a lot of information. This part isn’t difficult. However, transferring this information from hospital to hospital isn’t easy.”
According to Kho, MediBloc isn’t just creating a blockchain that will be used to store and share health related data, the company is also working on a tool that will convert already existing data into a universal format.
While many startups have been entering into partnerships with other institutions, this is the first time such a big player in the medical industry has decided to explore blockchain technology. The hospital is the 4th best in the United States. By exploring blockchain technology, MGH may have paved a way for other hospitals to start considering exploring the technology.
According to MediBloc, there are other blockchain-based applications that will be debuted in 2019. One of such applications is now in the beta testing stage with about 300 users. This application allows patient to sell information about their prescriptions and symptoms to MediBloc. MediBloc, in turn, will analysis the data and sell the result to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Little by little, blockchain technology is gaining an appeal in the medical industry. It’s only a matter of time until every industry realizes that blockchain technology is the future.