Is Blockchain-powered Medicine Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Source: iStock/Savushkin

Just about every major business area you care to name – from the financial sector to the food industry – seems to have invested big in fintech and decentralized technology. But many medical professionals still want to keep blockchain at arm’s length. Why is that?

“Healthcare professionals are naturally afraid to share data,” Dr Kho Woo-kyun, the co-founder of MediBloc, a South Korea-based healthcare data platform, tells, “But current healthcare trends are increasingly patient-centered. Patients are starting to gain more control in clinical environments, mainly because they now possess more knowledge than ever before. And that’s changing the way patients and medical professionals look at the way data is shared.”

Dr. Kho, as his title would suggest, is not your average South Korean blockchain guru. He is also a qualified dentist – as is fellow MediBloc co-founder Dr Lee Eun-sol. But neither Kho nor Lee are what one might expect: medics who turned their backs on clinical work to focus on technology.

In fact, says Kho, he studied computer science first, going on to work at Samsung for some three years before training to become a qualified dental surgeon. “I wanted to acquire both skillsets,” he explains.

And perhaps the ability to rub shoulders with both medical professionals and technical specialists has given Kho and Lee something of a headstart in this most nascent of blockchain niches.

Blockchain-powered medicine is still in its infancy, but MediBloc has already made a name for itself, both domestically and internationally – with partners such as Samsung, major South Korean hospitals and government bodies, as well as hospitals in China and the United States.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency may end up playing a wide variety of roles in the healthcare world of the future. But for now, tech initiatives seem to be centering on the way that data is gathered, shared and used – and tokenizing the whole…

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