New report suggests Blockchain has transformative potential in healthcare

There are six major ways that blockchain-enabled technology can benefit health care, according to a new report published by Deloitte.

The “Blockchain: Opportunities for Health Care,” report was created in response to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ blockchain ideation challenge. In this response, Deloitte identifies those opportunities along with a framework to help healthcare leaders determine how blockchain could improve America’s health care.

“Blockchain technology–a distributed digital ledger that records and stores transactions–has transformative potential.”said RJ Krawiec, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and a Health Innovation leader in its Federal Government Services practice. “For example, the current state of health care records is disjointed and stovepiped due to a lack of common architectures and standards.

“But through the blockchain private key mechanism, patients could own their medical records and share information with health care organisations much more seamlessly and securely. Blockchain is not a panacea, but it could present a paradigm shift for the way the health care ecosystem treats medical records today.”

In its response, Deloitte addresses six current Health Information Exchange (HIE) pain points, and opportunities for blockchain to address them:

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Additionally, Deloitte lays out a four-step framework for health care leaders to evaluate opportunities to adopt blockchain technology:

Initiate: Identify the right pre-conditions for using the technology

Design: Determine which of the two primary use cases to consider: verify and authenticate information; or transfer value

Strengthen: Consider smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met

Implement: Choose a permission-less or a permissioned blockchain and select a blockchain protocol that guides the structure of the blockchain and development of applications

To help advance HHS’ future use of blockchain technology, Deloitte describes how HHS could map and convene the blockchain ecosystem that could coordinate early adopters and support a consortium for dialogue and discovery.

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In the US and around the globe, Deloitte has been a leading voice on the transformative potential of blockchain technology. Earlier this year, Deloitte announced alliances with five blockchain startups and built 20 blockchain prototypes to service industries including insurance, employee management and cross-border payments. Deloitte’s new blockchain offering guides clients through innovation and ideation, strategy development, prototyping, and product development. Read more about Deloitte’s perspective on blockchain.

(Infographics: Deloitte)

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