Researchers from the University of California are proposing the idea of utilizing a blockchain-based system for sharing medical data.
According to an article published by Nature, an international research journal, the blockchain system is aimed to improve the traceability and immutability of collected clinic data. At the same time, the system is also aimed at making the data trustworthy. The researchers also want to use the system to better the methods for reporting adverse events and improve medical record management. These events, in particular, are reportedly likely to happen during research.
During the trial phase, the researchers will launch a web-based portal accessible to all participants. The portal has real clinical trial datasets. This can facilitate the interaction between clinical investigators and patients. The researchers are reported to have tested for malicious attacks directed towards data integrity with real-world medical records.
Additionally, after a transaction is completed, all associated data will be immediately recorded onto a new block after which it was then joined together and hashed using the SHA256 algorithm. The article further stated:
“Data storage of the blockchain will be accomplished by duplicating and distributing the chain to physically separate machines and data warehouses to be managed by the regulator.”
The proposed system allows users to make changes or updates to the information already presented. Users can make changes by submitting new transactions with the corrected data. Interestingly, this can be done without overwriting old data.
Though blockchain technology has a lot to offer, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt its use. While commentating on their series A funding, Akiri, a healthcare startup noted, “Health data is stuck in silos, costing the U.S. $200 billion a year in lost productivity. Outcomes are lower. Costs are higher. Opportunities are missed. Patients, physicians, providers, payers, and pharma all suffer.”
However, some players have used this technology to create significant break thoughts for the health sector. Bitfury have formed a partnership with Medical Diagnostic Web and Longenesis to create a blockchain-based platform for maintaining, securing, and sharing of medical imagining and diagnostics data.
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