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5 blockchain developments in 2018

Blockchain has moved from the hype mostly in 2017 to early technological developments, concept demonstrations and pilot projects in the last 12 months.

Deloitte, in a late-summer report, predicted a break from the technology of the distributed ledger that nearly 75% of the survey respondents see as a compelling business case for DLT.

So it is not surprising that the main technology vendors are embracing Blockchain. Here are five of these moves made in 2018.

Walmart has filed a blockchain patent. This is still in its nascent stages, but the distribution giant has pledged to protect a method for accessing EHR data via DLT in a patent originally filed on December 14, 2016 which was made public in 2018. Exactly what will come out of it remains to be seen naturally, but the first reports suggest an RFID scanner accompanied by a wearable device that allows rescuers to access the medical data of an unconscious patient.

Change Healthcare has made corporate blockchain technology available. With an eye on both hospitals and payers, the supplier injected its Intelligent Healthcare Network with the open source blockchain tool Hyper Ledger Fabric 1.0 to bring transparency and efficiency for better audibility, traceability and reliability. Later in the year, it also changes put its blockchain technology on the Amazon Web Services cloud to allow users to track claims and remittances.

Amazon made a blockchain move in its own right. The company announced blockchain models, with early versions for finance and health care, which provided users with pre-set frameworks for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric to make it easier to create blockchain projects and networks with technology open source.

The CDC enrolled IBM and Intel in blockchain pilot projects to combat opioid epidemics. By performing multiple tests of DLT, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with IBM on a health surveillance system for public health agencies to probe physicians on prescription practices within their patient populations and the CDC is working with Intel and others on a project to distribute blockchain to more effectively track how the pills are distributed and move from point to point.

Gartner cautioned to wait too long to start. The analysts' house said that hospitals and other organizations that ignore the blockchain run the risk of falling behind while their rivals take steps to put technology to work. Gartner also stressed that blockchain is neither simple nor simple as it will force hospitals to decentralize business processes and models.

Twitter: @SullyHIT
Send an email to the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com

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