Blockchain is said to be what healthcare needs to address numerous issues and concerns related to data storage, security and privacy, as well as sharing and exchange of information. With sophisticated encryption methods and decentralisation, advocates note, data cannot be more safe in the blockchain. Still, many healthcare organisations have expressed reservations about using the technology, more so those in Europe in light of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) implementation.

In line with its mission to promote adoption of innovative tech solutions, the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (ISTO) recently announced the creation of its newest member programme, Blockchain in Healthcare Global (BiHG). While not a standards development organisation, BiHG supports the promulgation of standards and certification within the blockchain healthcare ecosystem. BiHG aims to address the barriers to adoption of blockchain and converging innovations in healthcare and life sciences while advancing progress in scientific reproducibility, medical ethics, human rights and global inclusion, ISTO said in a statement. “As healthcare blockchain efforts mature around the world, there is a tremendous opportunity to benefit all healthcare stakeholders by aligning these efforts within the established framework of IEEE-ISTO to accelerate innovation, advance the commercial success of our members and improve health outcomes globally,” according to Heather Flannery, Blockchain in Healthcare Global chair.

BiHG supports the propagation of standards, develops certification programmes, and provides education on standards. It is also actively involved in the development of health policy with respect to technology standards. Initial BiHG activities include advocacy of how blockchain technologies can benefit healthcare. Through these activities, BiHG will highlight the importance of why industry should embrace blockchain standards. “Blockchain technologies have enormous potential in the healthcare space,” said Marco W. Migliaro, ISTO president and CEO. “ISTO is proud to welcome Blockchain in Healthcare Global to the ISTO Federation and partner with it in its mission to make blockchain more accessible and widely adopted.”

BiHG has established membership levels for companies and individuals, government and academic organisations, and non-profit alliances. Additional information on BiHG and how to join can be found at its website: Since its inception in 1999, ISTO has partnered with 50+ international industry groups providing the legal and operational frameworks and best practices required to accomplish technical missions quickly and cost-effectively.

Source: ISTO
Image credit: Pixabay

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