How the blockchain could remodel the health industry in 2019


Brian Kalis, managing director of digital health and innovation at the consulting firm and strategy Accenture, based in Dublin, Ireland, explains why he considers blockchain the next technology in the healthcare industry and how it can help ensure patient documentation.

The answers have been slightly modified for clarity and length.

Question: where is now the blockchain in the health sector and how will it develop in 2019?

Brian Kalis: Blockchain is the next hot technology to hit the healthcare market. Despite being an emerging technology in the industry, blockchain has the potential to help healthcare professionals and payers overcome traditional data silos, dramatically increase efficiency, maintain safe healthcare data and simplify patient access to medical data. Offering a reliable, continuous and secure information transfer, blockchain has the potential to remodel the healthcare industry in 2019.

Q: What do you think will be the most significant blockchain applications in the healthcare sector over the next five years?

BK: Blockchain technology still has plenty of room to grow. Therefore, its potential for health applications is boundless at this time. I suspect the most significant blockchain applications in the healthcare sector in the next five years will be:

Create safe and reliable service records: Ensure the safety of medical records created by health professionals and patients in a chain of electronic events, preserving the provenance and intrinsic integrity of these records.

Linking identities: Support strong identity verification by preserving an immutable record of the claimed identities of both patients and health professionals.

Patient consent registration: Empowering patients by recording consent decisions and patient directives in the protected health record.

Q: What do the blockbenches of blockchain hospitals and healthcare systems know today?

BK: Health organizations struggling with the management of a large network of partners can look to the blockchain to simplify the collection and reconciliation of different health and financial data. Blockchain provides the potential to connect these highly segmented data silos, adding a layer of trust through cryptographic evidence on the source of data. Health organizations should keep in mind that, despite the clamor surrounding blockchain technology, it is not a cure-all for what affects the health ecosystem, but rather an instrument in the health toolbox – one that might face some of the same challenges of current service models.

To attend the future Becker question and answer session, contact Jackie Drees at [email protected].

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