A technology firm specialising in Blockchain based tools for data management security has received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop secure medical records. The sum of the grant has not been released but will be used to develop the technology particularly in the developing world where medical records accessible by smartphone lend themselves to blockchain.
Austin-based Factom, uses blockchain to build globally-distributed records that can be accessed from any location with biometric verification.
The healthcare sector innovators are starting to take notice of blockchain’s capacity for supporting enormous sets of data and transactions – a capability which could support the industry’s growth of widespread, complex IT systems.
This autumn, Consultancy Deloitte released a report making the case for blockchain as an agent for improving efficiency and patient outcomes in healthcare.
“While it is not a panacea, this new, rapidly evolving field provides fertile ground for experimentation, investment, and proof-of-concept testing,” the report said. “Blockchain technology has the potential to transform health care, placing the patient at the centre of the health care ecosystem and increasing the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data. “
See Also: Bitcoin Technology for Healthcare?
In particular, blockchain holds potential for the Precision Medicine Initiative, Patient Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.
Specifically the technology holds promise due to its shared, fixed record of peer-to-peer transactions and its dependency on existing and established cryptographic techniques. These features make it both secure and actionable said the report.
Factom works by creating medical records around a patient then making them secure through the Factom blockchain. The company claims that the blockchain solution is both practical and affordable.
"Our goal with this new partnership is to demonstrate how global identity and record-keeping as a public utility is possible," Peter Kirby, CEO and Co-Founder of Factom. "We hope to show how individuals can manage important, private records like medical records using very simple tools and a lot of backend cryptography. My belief is that the blockchain will be used more and more over time for these aims."
Image Credit: Bitcoin