The short case for blockchain in health care | sponsored


Jacob A. Keteyian, a Harvard Master's Degree in Health Management, discusses the feasibility of a decentralized application based on the DigiByte blockchain for various cases in the health sector to integrate traditional processes.

This post has been paid to allow the publication of content generated by third parties. It was written for educational purposes.

The health sector is ready for change. Unfortunately, the innovation that exists in the health sector is fragmented; Startups are formed to deal with blocks of inefficiency in the system, but we are far from our dream of true interoperability. The case of blockchain technology in the health sector is stronger than ever, and a blockchain is ready for the challenge.

Interoperability, scalability and cost effectiveness

A decentralized application on the DigiByte blockchain would be shared among multiple providers and would be incredibly difficult to hack. DigiByte protects transactions on its blockchain with digital resources at incredibly low cost per transaction. In fact, "about 2,000 transactions on the DigiByte blockchain cost you around $ 0.01," says Josiah Spackman, an ambassador for the DigiByte Foundation. Consider every "transaction" in this case the passage of unique information on the patient's health; per patient, the cost of interoperability during a lifetime of care is actually zero.

Spackman also notes that scalability will be as important as cost effectiveness as networks continue to grow, "Bitcoin had over 250,000 unconfirmed transactions in December 2017 and the network was incredibly slow or insanely expensive. " If healthcare professionals quickly and reliably want transactions, they simply can not use blockchains that have pending transactions for significant periods of time. An article on's blockchain technology for health data further supports Spackman's claim that, although Bitcoin has proven to be a safe way to exchange cryptocurrency, "its standard for block sizes and the maximum number of transactions per second presents scalability problems for widely used blockchain applications. "

The interoperability, scalability and low rates of DigiByte make it one of the only commercially viable options currently being adopted. large scale of a "health blockchain". It is important to note that (A) this kind of decentralized application would serve to connect disparate systems to integrate existing health system technology, not replace them and (B) the increasingly popular Ethereum network has teams working on the blockchain partition (a process known as "sharding") in smaller and more manageable parts, called data fragments, to increase throughput and reduce congestion for scalability. However, as long as Ethereum can not effectively implement these second-level scaling solutions, it will have difficulty managing mass adoption.

As mentioned earlier, this technology does not have to completely replace existing systems. It is also important to note that the potential of blockchain technology in the health sector depends on whether hospitals, clinics and other organizations are willing to contribute to the creation of the necessary technical infrastructure by participating in the network.

C & # 39; is definitive value for blockchain technology in the EMR space (Electronic Medical Record) and practical use cases for safe and immutable database in space for opioid and infectious diseases, clearly articulated by the MIT Technology Review last October .

Empowering Patients with their data

Jared Tate, a leading authority on blockchain technology, said recently in a conference at a Harvard Business School Blockchain conference "Bribe Meeting" that "patients They should have control over their medical information Ultimately, patients should decide who will access their medical records. "He continued," Authorizing patients with their information helps to make their relationship with their provider more personal and secure. "

Strengthening patients with their information helps establish a relationship with their most personal and secure provider.

Tate emphasizes that blockchain technology will be great for securing and sharing patient records, but the challenge will continue to maintain the integrity and veracity of data; naturally, providers should carefully consider this aspect while deciding who can access and modify patient records. Giving patients control of their information allows them to share what they want, when they want and with whom they want.

Giving patients control of their information allows them to share what they want, when they want and with whom they want.

This patient-supplier transaction could be further secured by the latest DigiByte product, Digi-ID, which will be explored later in this series.

Cyber ​​Security

A few years ago, "Anonymous" – a decentralized "hacktivist" group – carried out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Boston Children's Hospital. If it were not for a very quick thought, taking the right precautions and careful consideration by Dr. Daniel Nigrin, their chief information officer, the health system could have shown thousands of accounts with sensitive patient information and identifiable personal information. Unfortunately, not all health systems will be lucky enough to have someone like Dr. Nigrin at the helm. One of the best weapons we have today in the fight against cyber security against these DDoS attacks is a decentralized and cryptographic level of data security.

The Race is On

This is just a brief installment on some of the values ​​that blockchain technology can add to the healthcare industry. Enhancement of patients, interoperability of systems, responsible information management, security and cost effectiveness are just some of the examples that a decentralized application on the DigiByte blockchain can support. This technology can involve entities across the spectrum of a fragmented system in the United States – it can connect providers, public health departments and patients with a level of confidence that we have not achieved before in healthcare.

[DigiByte] can link providers, public health departments and patients with a level of safety that we have not achieved before in healthcare.

This kind of technology could push us closer to a "frictionless" administrative experience in health care; this could ultimately contribute to facilitating better coordination of care and identifying critical intervention points for people with chronic diseases at high risk for some acute health events. The race for those who will build a fully interoperable system is active, the good news is that a blockchain already provides us with the technology to get started.

Jacob A. Keteyian is a master's candidate in Health Management at Harvard.

Those interested in development or learning can get in touch with the DigiByte team by visiting their website or by contacting [email protected] directly.


The information provided in this educational series is intended to enable developers and investors to understand the nature of the DigiByte technology. This article is not intended as and does not constitute an investment advice of any kind. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively those of the author and do not represent that of The Harvard Crimson. Keteyian encourages you to conduct extensive research before investing in any cryptocurrency and is not rewarded by either party for this educational series.

Crimson news groups and opinions – including writers, editors, photographers and designers – were not involved in the production of this article.

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