On Dec. 12, the second-largest health insurance company in the United States announced plans to leverage blockchain technology to secure the medical data of all its 40 million members over the next three years.
The most unique quality of a blockchain is that once a piece of information is added to the distributed ledger, it cannot be altered. The information stored on a blockchain is absolutely secure and trustworthy in its entirety. In order for a change to be made in one block, changes must be made to all the subsequent blocks associated to the affected block.
Being synonymous with trust, blockchain has multiple applications in improving the current health care and insurance infrastructure.
Blockchain in health care
The health care industry possesses a multitude of opportunities for blockchain applications beyond medical records, such as verifying medical credentials for nurses and practitioners; providing visibility into medical trials; fighting counterfeits alongside the pharmaceutical supply chain; and facilitating aftermarket resale of drugs from wholesalers to new distributors.
Blockchain technology is not a silver bullet, but rather a powerful new tool to drive data integrity, interoperability and traceability. With increasing data storage centers and decreasing trust between patients, hospitals and supply chain partners, blockchain can make a real impact in the health care industry.
In the electronic health records industry, the field of blockchain competitors is vast and includes the likes of Medicalchain, MediBloc and Quras. Shigeki Kakutani, founder of Quras, believes that blockchain will play a critical role in the development of the industry:
“Not only can blockchain secure consumer medical data, but it can also be used to share medical data in a trusted way between various players vital to the healthcare industry, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, medical associations, government agencies, and patients themselves. Blockchain…