IBM doubles the blockchain to improve the security of personal health records

6 September 2018 10:00

IBM is positioning itself as a leader in blockchain technology? Indeed it is.

Since its creation in 1911, IBM's technology giant has been at the forefront of technology that changes the world. He helped the war effort in 1942 using his tabulator machine to monitor freight traffic. In the 60s he developed huge computers designed to help government entities and large companies keep track of wages, inventory and customer data. In 1981, the IBM personal computer debuted. Now it is focused on the transition of the promise of blockchain technology into real utility.

In February 2017, Big Blue collaborated with the Dubai government to study how blockchain technology can be used in the logistics sector. In August of this year, IBM was contacted by Australian authorities to help build a national blockchain platform to improve the efficiency of sharing legal documents. In July, the technology giant collaborated with Columbia University to create a blockchain research and training center.

According to recent announcements, IBM is now examining ways in which blockchain technology can help people take control of their health data.

According to a September 6 announcement on Businesswire IBM will provide human rights / technology company Hu-manity.co with its blockchain platform to serve as a basis for a global consensus book to help people " to claim property rights on their personal data ".

"IBM has long been committed to providing data management that supports our belief that data is your data," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Global Industries.

the new application, which was created on the IBM blockchain, will not actually store personal medical records, which will still be stored at a hospital or a medical clinic, but that the platform will allow users to define how their data personalities are shared, with whom and under what circumstances. Users of the app will also be given the opportunity to hire their medical data to researchers for a fair price.

The new app, called # My31 (which refers to the idea that personal data rights are the thirty-first human right), is currently only available on Android devices, but Hu- manity.co plans to launch soon a version for iPhone.

In addition to working with Hu- manity.co, IBM also worked with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to develop a Blockchain platform to track public health problems, such as the ongoing opioid epidemic, and improve the safety of personal medical records, according to a September 4 article in the technology magazine Fast Company . This new system, which was reportedly tested using simulated data, also has the potential to improve the effectiveness of the CDC data collection process.

According to article Fast Company the CDC already conducts surveys to gather information on patient visits from hospitals and doctors across the country on things like sleep problems, and how and why Doctors prescribe antibiotics and opiate analgesics.

Like the Hu- manity.co system, the CDC's new blockchain platform is not designed to store personal health data, but to track who is allowed access to that information. In this case, such information will be encrypted and stored in the IBM cloud system.

Researchers and providers of medical services will apparently be able to connect to the blockchain platform to update who has been granted access to certain types of data and only those who have been granted access will be able to obtain the encryption keys needed to unlock information from the IBM cloud system.

Although there is no specific timeline for the launch of the new CDC blockchain platform, Askari Rizvi, head of the technical services section of the CDC's Health Statistics Division, said the "one day" blockchain technology will help public health officials to gather more information from health service providers.

Whether these use cases for blockchain technology will really help people maintain ownership of their health data or improve the security of that data – it remains to be seen, but it is clear that IBM is positioning itself as a leader in this corner of the blockchain ecosystem.

Nathan Graham is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews. He lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and the dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technologies, guarantees writing and stories. He spends his time rafting on the American River, playing video games and writing.

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