– Healthcare blockchain is gaining ground as IT service providers and health service providers' organizations seek technology to decentralize data exchange to provide better data protection. Understanding the standards of health blockchain used in health care is the key to developing an effective method for data exchange.
The success of blockchain health care depends on a standardized approach so that data can be exchanged without problems between organizations. Workflow coordination is an important part of the intention with the blockchain, so coordinated development with related healthcare organizations and IT vendors will help the industry as a whole to develop a standard for secure data exchange.
Hyperledger was the first health IT project to add healthcare organizations to its collaborative project. Change Healthcare was the first supplier of health information products to join the project, followed by Ehave and CareiQ.
"Blockchain is a promising and exciting technology for secure online transactions," Change Healthcare CTO Aaron Symanski said in a statement. "But it's critical that healthcare leaders are the pioneers of innovation to help bring the blockchain from its first implementations to tomorrow's IT solutions."
The blockchain in health care is being built from the ground up and many organizations have their hands in the development of technology with the intent to produce a standard for better data exchange. This open source collaboration from a standard such as Hyperledger can give health organizations a similar starting point for the development of blockchain technology.
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The executive director of Hyperledger, Brian Behlendorf, believes that the blockchain can be developed by exploiting the community of health standards including FHIR and HL7.
While standards are under development, organizations that are interested in the use of health blockchain should consider participating in technology development through open source communities.
"Many of the health IT organizations I've met in the past have realized that they're basically a technology company and can not sit around and wait for IT vendors to provide them with perfect solutions," Behlendorf said. HITInfrastructure.com. "They need to be more proactive in understanding where emerging technologies impact on their industry and set aside a small part of the money they spend on developing capacity and expertise."
Hyperledger has health organizations involved in blockchain development, including Kaiser Permanente and Change Healthcare. These health organizations are heavily involved in understanding what they need to do to fully support a health blockchain solution.
Being involved in the development process will also help organizations prepare for how the blockchain solution will impact their IT infrastructure.
READ MORE: Blockchain, decentralized options for HIT infrastructure
"These things take time, especially if an entity is suggesting that blockchain can be a system that replaces a system of records that they could otherwise use for managing patient records," he continued. "There will be an obstacle in reaching some organizations like Epic or Cerner to adopt blockchain technology, they believe that control over that data is essential and that their image of integration is sharing records with other clinics that are also running software because Epic to Epic or Cerner to Cerner is not a difficult thing to do. "
Health organizations are in the middle of understanding how to better manage the health blockchain and HIMSS has developed a working group that releases information to advisory organizations on how to adopt the blockchain approach. The HIMSS Blockchain working group is a valuable resource because it gives developers the ability to access thought leadership and best practices and even share their ideas and experiences by developing health care blockchains.
Last August, the working group was tasked to examine how the prevalence of application programming interfaces (APIs) gains access to data and how blockchain affects health data security. The working group has developed cases of using the potential of blockchain in the health sector in recent months, finding out where in health care it can be realistically used.
"As the activities have matured and the working group has expanded incrementally to better represent the many categories of health workers, the working group has and will continue to conduct iterative reviews and align our goals to refine the strategy. Short-term HIMSS for blockchain and distributed ledger technology and provide our members with the resources they need to evaluate the application of this technology in healthcare, "wrote the working group members.
The group has even published a structured structure of levels that organizations can follow as organizations can develop as they develop their health blockchain strategy and plan long-term success.
Source: HIMSS Healthcare Blockchain Workgroup
Although the technology is still new, developers do not have to rely on trial and error to build their blockchain solution. By understanding the frameworks that are used as Hyperledger and Ethereum and by joining support groups to give and receive advice, the health of the health sector as a whole faces blockchain much more quickly.