Academic Researchers From The University Of California Look to Blockchain For Medical Data
A group of academics from the University of California, San Francisco, are trying to use the blockchain technology in order to share medical data. The idea was outlined in a recent academic article published by Nature today, February 22.
According to the researchers, a blockchain-powered system could be used to improve the traceability and immutability of clinical data collected by companies and, by putting it on a distributed ledger, make it more efficient and trustworthy than it already is.
This new system could also be used to advance ways in which adverse events could be reported during research and to improve how medical records are managed by people.
The developers did an initial trial of which they launched a web-based portal that the participants could use to facilitate their interaction. Patients and doctors used the trial service. According to the authors, tests were also made to ensure that the network could withstand malicious attacks as well.
By using the same hash algorithm as Bitcoin, SHA256, all transactions are recorded on the blockchain forever, which makes the information be secured. According to the reports, the data on the blockchain will be stored by duplicating and distributing the information.
If at any moment, a user needs to modify some information, something that is not doable in a normal blockchain, the system will allow this user to submit a new transaction that will not overwrite the old one, but it will be correlated to it. This will be often used for cases in which some mistake was made when putting the information on the chain and it has to be corrected somehow.
Blockchain And Healthcare is Going to be a Lovely Marriage
This is far from being the only initiative in which healthcare and the blockchain technology are together. For instance, IBM has been making several partnerships recently in order to keep records of clinical activities. Bitfury has also partnered with Medical Diagnostic Web, a blockchain radiology marketplace, in order to use the blockchain technology to maintain, share and secure medical data.
Many companies are specifically interested in all the parts that involve the integration of the blockchain and record keeping because health records are not optimized now and these companies are already seeing the profit that they can get.