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Where Healthcare Stands with Implementing Blockchain

Samara Rosenfeld
MARCH 08, 2019

At HIMSS 2018, everyone was talking about the hype around blockchain. But was it just hype, or can the technology actually be implemented and benefit the healthcare industry?

While a lot of the HIMSS 2019 conversations moved away from blockchain, Inside Digital Health™ was able to talk to Ron Wince, CEO of Myndshft, a global cognitive computing company that helps organizations develop, deploy and operate Internet of Things solutions, to see where blockchain’s application in healthcare sits today.

At its biggest level, blockchain is a shared level that synchronizes across all of the parties that are working together.

The technology is made up of four components.

The first, a consensus algorithm, allows for governance of the parties to figure out how they’re going to work together. The next component is the ledger itself that allows everyone to see the different transactions. Another piece of the technology is smart contracts that automate tasks that happen within the blockchain. Smart contracts allow us to trigger events based on what shows up on the blockchain.

The final component, that Wince said is probably the most important, is the ability to share data encrypted that might not be written on the blockchain but is available to the blockchain participants.

Wince believes the early use of blockchain technology in healthcare is going to be around data interoperability and the ability to let people who do not trust each other to exchange data across parties.

Blockchain can also be used for physician credentialing management and provider directories, and the ledger component makes patient information easier to access.

Wince expects to see more commercial blockchain applications generating revenue in 2019.

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